Marsh Loop Snowshoe includes spectacular mountain scenery in Kananaskis Country, Alberta.
Following completion of the Wintour Trail Snowshoe, the 4 KM (2½ mile) drive south on Kananaskis Lakes Road arrives at the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Visitor Centre nestled in the mountains. The Visitor Centre is closed on this weekday but public washrooms are available. The next project for the day will be the drive 3.0 KM (1⅞ miles) further south on Kananaskis Lakes Road to the William Watson Lodge complex for a 3.2 KM (2 mile) snowshoe with 21 m (69 ft) of elevation on the Marsh Loop Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Visitor Information Centre in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.
There is a small parking area on the one-way loop road to the William Watson Lodge main building and it is fortunate to find a spot here in close proximity to two trail-heads. The first is a link to the Elkwood Loop Snowshoe Trail. The trail head for the Marsh Loop Snowshoe Trail is to the north, a short walk past the front of the lodge building.
The front of William Watson Lodge with Mount Indefatigable dominant in the background.
The alternative to parking at the lodge is a return to Watson Road to find a spot in the cottage area, then walk the short distance to the trail-head via clear sidewalks. Snowshoes can be put on at the trail-head, followed by a short 0.7 KM (½ mile) delightful snowshoe downhill on narrow trail through snug forest to the Marsh Loop Snowshoe Trail about half the elevation between the lodge and lake level. The last tiny bit of the link trail is steep and may involve a short skiing experience.
Trail beginning at William Watson Lodge
The Marsh Loop Trail can be negotiated in either direction. Turning right will lead to the peninsula jutting into Lower Kananaskis Lake, with formidable Mount Indefatigable looming large in the background, for a left turn into the snow-covered marsh.
Link trail end at the junction of the Marsh Loop Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta
Today's choice is a left turn onto the upper level of the Marsh Loop Trail for a short, pleasant, forest snowshoe on subtle descent to mountain views in the east beyond Kananaskis Lakes Road. A 180 degree, wide turn, and gentle descent, transfers onto the lower portion of the Marsh Loop Snowshoe Trail where Mount Indefatigable dominates the view above snow-covered marshland with an evergreen border along Lower Kananaskis Lake.
The very scenic and peaceful snowshoe heads northwest through sculpted fields of snow.
Mount Indefatigable looms large above the Marsh Loop Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.
The trail leaves the marsh to an open area overlooking Lower Kananaskis Lake.
Mount Indefatigable towers over the opposite shore of Lower Kananaskis Lake from beneath William Watson Lodge in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.
At the pier, which juts out into Lower Kananaskis Lake, there are outstanding views of surrounding mountains beneath cloud cover, with sunbeams floating across the frozen, snow-covered surface of Lower Kananaskis Lake and magnificent mountains framing the breathtaking views. This is also the location of trails branching to snowshoe the Lower Kananaskis Lakes Trail, the Penstock Loop Trail and the Canyon Trail. The return to William Watson Lodge is clearly signed and the snowshoe up to the lodge from the Marsh Loop Trail is via the same link used for access.
The Marsh Loop Snowshoe Trail, combined with the link from William Watson Lodge is a very pleasant, short and easy walk in very beautiful and peaceful terrain. The well-sheltered excursion is a pleasant mountain, marsh and lake scenery diversion with a lot of variety within a short distance.
There are connecting link options to make the trip substantially longer if desired.