Share on Facebook33Tweet about this on Twitter3Pin on Pinterest5Share on StumbleUpon58Email this to someone

It was a day for reflection.

Nature created brilliant reflections in the pristine lakes of the Spray Lakes region near Canmore, Alberta.  And, after repeatedly picking my jaw up off the ground, I reflected on how this incredible beauty existed so close to my home town of Calgary, and I had never been there before.

If you’re planning a visit to Alberta, this is a place you don’t want to miss.

The best way to do it is to drive the Kananaskis Wildlife Trail.   The trail is a 153-kilometre (96-mile) loop through the gorgeous Kananaskis Provincial Park.   You can drive it in either direction, but I started out from Canmore on the Smith Dorrien Spray Trail.   Just follow the signs to the Nordic Ski Centre, the site for cross-country skiing at the 1988 Winter Olympics.  The trail is a 65-kilometre loose gravel road which starts out with a steep incline, but levels off once you reach the Spray Valley.

Spray Lakes Road, Alberta

At the top of the incline, you’ll come to the Spray Lakes Reservoir, which supplies the drinking water for the town of Canmore.

After that, the road runs along the shores of the Spray Lakes, and there are numerous spots to stop for lookouts, hikes and picnics.  The Spray Valley runs between the Goat and Three Sisters Mountain Ranges.  You’re right up against the mountains, which makes them seem even more impressive.  It really is just one stunning vista after another. 

Spray Lakes Resevoir, Alberta

Spray Lakes, Alberta

Spray Lakes, Alberta

You can do the entire drive in about 3 hours. But, if you’ve come this far, why rush?   I took the time to stop and soak in the scenery, but wish I had been able to take even more time to do some hiking, and see some wildlife.  I would also love to spend more time at the Mount Engadine Lodge, a hidden getaway in the park.  As part of the trip, you’ll want to stop in for the afternoon hikers tea and enjoy this blissful meadow view.

Mount Engadine Lodge, Alberta

The Smith-Dorrien Spray Trail meets up with Highway 40, the return loop to Canmore.  You can stop in at Kananaskis Village and the many lookouts and interpretive walks along the way.

It was a short visit, but a memorable one that has me longing to go back. 

To answer the question in the post headline:  why should you go?

Because, this…

Spray Lakes, Alberta

You may also like:

A Spectacular Helicopter Tour over the Canadian Rockies

10 Winter Adventures in the Rockies for Non-Skiers

Dog Sledding in Canada: An Adventure of a Lifetime

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *