Distance: 8 km round trip
Elevation gain: ~350 m
As evidenced by the number of times we've done this trip, this is one of our favorite snowshoe trips. It's scenic, a decent workout, always has tons of snow, and has no avalanche danger on the trail.
The trail starts at the Chester Lake trailhead. After crossing Chester Creek (about 1 minute from the parking lot), watch for the orange snowshoe sign on the right indicating where the snowshoe trail diverges from the ski trail. From here the trail meanders through forest, climbing gently and crossing or following old sections of logging road for a little less than a kilometer. After that, the true ascent starts, and it is very steep! Just keep plodding on and after not too long you'll find yourself on a gentler grade, soon emerging from trees and getting your first view of Mount's Chester and Galatea, The Fortress, and Gusty Peak. The band of trees in the distance represents the last relatively minor ascent to the meadows of Chester Lake.
Once reaching Chester Lake continue along the SW (left) shore until the trail ascends left through trees towards the Elephant Rocks. Within 10 minutes you'll be there; total time from the parking lot, about 1.5 hours at a slow but steady pace; 2 hours if you took lots of breaks.
The weather on this outing was great - probably no colder than -5 C with light flurries and blue sky all at the same time. In the meadows around the lake there was about 2-3 feet of settled snow and a fair bit on the trees to add to the scenery. With the exception of a few logs on the snowshoe trail, everything was well covered.
Category:Lifestyle and Recreation
Keywords:Chester Lake, Elephant rocks, snowshoeing