Easy – Moderate
Elevation: 900-1200 (reaching helicopter pad)
Summer, Spring, Fall, Winter
This is a great first hike! Great switch back hike, dirt path the whole way, no scrambling. If you new to hiking I always recommend this one. Its not technically a true summit, thats why theres no scramble, but theres two great view spots. The first being the one in the photo – the one and only photo I have as it was a long time ago! The second summit is to the helicopter pad, not much more of a view than the first summit, but another cool thing to see.
This is also a great hike to do at the beginning of the season, I believe I did it in May. The trail was a little wet, but totally manageable, lots of summits are not accessible during the winter, and even late spring months. But this is not the case for barrier lake! The well groomed trail makes it great for all season, including snow shoeing in the winter.
The trail can be done as an out & in hike or a loop which would make it more of a 10km hike, either way, great view of the glacier lake known as Barrier Lake (hence the name). In the summer, the lake can be used for outdoor activities such as kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding. Kananaskis outfitters can help you with all your boat rentals, and sometimes even have free “demo days” where they will let you test their equipment!! Equipment is locked up right at the lake, so you just have to go to the office, where they provide you with a key after the paper work is completed. No transportation required!
Please note, there has been a bear that tends to roam the trail around the spring months after hibernation season, most bears in the park are well conditioned to humans, but please be aware of your bear safety so we can all co-habituate and share these wonderful lands together!