Shark Lake Snowshoe - Kananaskis - Hiking Alberta

 

Shark Lake is also known as Lake Marushka in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.

 

 

Shark Lake is nestled under Mount Smuts near fin-shaped Mount Shark in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Kananaskis Country, west of Calgary, AlbertaThe snow-covered Smith-Dorrien Trail, about 40 KM (25 miles) south from Canmore, Alberta arrives to a turn at Mount Shark Road, west past Engadine Lodge, then north uphill towards the Mount Shark cross-country ski area and helipad.  

The trail-head is a small pullout on the right 1.8 KM (1.1 miles) from the Smith-Dorrien Trail.  Cresting the hill or finding the helipad means having driven past.

 

View of Spray Lake Reservoir from the Shark Lake Snowshoe Trail

 

 

The trail begins about 100 meters (109 yards: 1 yard = 36"; 1 meter = 39.37") farther along and across the road on the well established snowshoe route.  Early elevation through forest brings up the heart rate and keeps the body warm.  As the trail flattens, torn up stumps from long-ago logging activity create rugged sculptures surrounded by wind-swept snow drifts.

 

 

 

Briskly cool, still air under bright warm sun allows the opportunity to snowshoe comfortably in shorts, backpack, a wide-brimmed hat and very efficient sunglasses to manage the overwhelmingly bright sun. 

Snowshoeing effort equalizes the cool temperature and a nice tan is achievable in a very short time.  The sun remains low in the sky, reducing intensity, which in turn is magnified and reflected by surrounding snow for a mix of magic which needs to be experienced to be appreciated.

Layers are applied at the shore of iced-over Shark Lake while lunch is enjoyed in the sun, surrounded by magnificent, snow-draped mountains and the sound of water trickling through ice in a nearby brook.  The sound of peaceful calm is deafening.

The Smith-Dorrien Trail provides access to a multitude of spectacular snowshoe routes over a wide variety of endeavor.  Among these are Chester Lake, Black Prince, Hogarth Lakes and partial access to Burstall Pass.

For the route to Shark Lake it is wise to consult a hiking guide which will steer you past trail junctions to Tent Ridge on the left and a descent to the Mount Shark parking area on the right of the Shark Lake trail.  Following are a few additional images from the day.

 

Long shadows in crisp, cool, still air under bright low sun

 

Mountains on the snowshoe route to Shark Lake

 

Sun filtered through cirrus cloud at the shore of frozen Shark Lake

 

Wind swept snow sculpture on old overturned stumps

 

The return route from Shark Lake

 

Wood, snow, trees, mountains, sun, cool crisp fresh air, tranquility

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

I hope that works for you. If the Shark Lake pictures do not do the job, perhaps the wind swept snow sculptures at Elephant Rocks will counter the August heat. The low resolution pictures do not show the fresh powder sparkling like diamonds. There is magic in the perfect balance of physical endeavour in cool air while snowshoeing in shorts and a backpack. But, ya gotta wear shades!

These are fabulous photographs. On a hot summer day in August, they would be more cooling and refreshing than an air conditioner in the room.

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