November Hike to Crandell Lake

I knew that I needed some serious mountain time this past weekend so I got Ryan on board to hit Waterton and do a little snow chasing.
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Little did I know, there was no snow in Waterton this weekend and it was so crazy warm you would think it was April and not mid-November. I love/hate it because a late winter usually means a late spring and I feel that there should be snow from November-March and then it should go. I’m such a dreamer.

My lovely Ryan is just not a hiker and the only way to convince him to come¬†was to do Crandell Lake, a short 2.4 km (roundtrip) hike to an alpine lake with minimal elevation gain. I was super surprised when we rolled up to the Parks Canada gates and they were still open and charging entry! When I first moved to Waterton in 2015, Parks closed up the entry gates after Labour Day for free winter access. A few years ago they didn’t close until after Thanksgiving Weekend and now here we are at mid-November and they’re still open. I’m guessing since Waterton’s park attendance is growing in winter time maybe they’ll stay open year round.

There weren’t many people though and Ryan and I pulled in next to three cars at the trailhead. We ran into the three groups of hikers early on and so let the dogs of leash to run to their hearts content (sorry Parks- love you!).

It was such a beautiful day and the snow dusted mountains were gorgeous. We stopped to watch an enormous bald eagle circle the sky above us.

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When we got to the lake we were in direct sunshine and it was so damn warm! Walking around the lake in the sunshine was amazing.

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The dogs found a patch of snow to roll around in.
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We explored the back country campground on the lake and they have a very nice camp kitchen, tent spots, and new outhouses so Ryan and I are thinking it would be a good spot to take Ryan and Ace on their first back country excursion.

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The dogs had a blast swimming, climbing rocks, rolling in the few patches of snow, and peeing on everything they could. Apollo discovered an echo when he barked and we had fun watching his reaction when his bark echoed back to him.

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On our way out of the park I spotted the parks red chairs and insisted we do a quick photo op in them when there was no wind, the water was sparkling, and Mount Vimy looked pretty all dusted in snow.

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I guess I’ll have to wait a few more weeks for a couple of storms to get my snow out there. I’m really looking forward to snow shoeing and cross country skiing!

MY GEAR

OTHER WINTER HIKING ESSENTIALS

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