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, Alberta.

The 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, over the bridge and a swing north uphill.

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 across the road on the well established snowshoe route.  The trail heads straight to Tent Ridge and a right turn at a near junction takes off north towards the hiking objective.

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 with very efficient sunglasses to manage the overwhelmingly bright sun. Eye protection is very important in sun over snow to avoid going blind.

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.