Whitegoat Lakes rest gracefully beneath the south face of Mount Stelfox in David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada.
So, why is it called the plural Whitegoat Lakes if there is only one lake? I don't know. The lake is largely bordered by marsh land which may give the impression of multiple bodies of water. The northeast end of the water course hosts large and very beautiful, shallow ponds which create the illusion of multiple lakes. But, there is only one Whitegoat Lakes.
This peaceful lake resides between the base of formidable Mount Stelfox and the David Thompson Highway. The stretched out summits of Mount Stelfox form a serrated line from the south peak at 8,212 ft (2,503 m) to the tallest north summit peaking out at 8,619 ft (2,627 m).
Whitegoat Lakes is easily accessible from McKenzie's Trail West across the David Thompson Highway (Hwy 11) from the David Thompson Resort situated about half way between Nordegg and the east border of Banff National Park near Saskatchewan Crossing on the Icefields Parkway.
At Mackenzie's Trails West, there is the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of short to lengthy wilderness experiences for a wide range of equestrian skill levels or lack thereof.
The trail-head for access to Whitegoat Lakes is directly across the parking area from the main office. There is no public parking.
The mission here today is to arrange for a short horseback ride on the morning of the following day and to enjoy a stroll to the nearby shoreline of Whitegoat Lakes before returning to accommodation at David Thompson Resort prior to the planned afternoon hike to Little Indian Falls near Abraham Lake.
The Whitegoat Lakes trail veers away from convenient access to the marshland surrounding Whitegoat Lakes. The trail continues northerly for several kilometers beneath the base of Mount Stelfox and links into the trail to Whitegoat Falls and further to Whitegoat Pass which is part of the full day 21.8 KM (13⅝ mile) loop around Mount Stelfox.
Throughout Bighorn Backcountry there are many opportunities to enjoy multiple day trips into spectacular and scenic mountain back country.
On this day there is an opportunity to turn around and follow a labyrinth of old road past the Whitegoat Lakes access area and return towards David Thompson Resort for lunch.
On this overcast morning there are beautiful views across marshland to open water with Mount Stelfox consuming the background.
An old and derelict dock on the southeast corner of Whitegoat Lakes provides an interesting foreground for photographs prior to returning for lunch at David Thompson Resort.
On the east side of the David Thompson Highway (Hwy 11), the David Thompson Resort provides a variety of camping and motel accommodation supplemented by support services and amenities.
There is a impressive playground for children, a miniature golf course, a Frisbee golf course and infrastructure to host festivals, banquets and ceremonies.
The large property, perched above the west shoreline of Abraham Lake, offers nearby access to a variety of wilderness adventure opportunities including alpine helicopter options and multiple-day horseback adventures.
At reception there is a facility to aid hikers to find hiking and scrambling opportunities at all levels of endeavor. The overall atmosphere is 'down home' and short of luxury. Staff are courteous, knowledgeable and supportive. The location is strategic near the center between Nordegg and Saskatchewan Crossing on the Icefields Parkway.
Photographs for this post were captured at and near David Thompson Resort above Lake Abraham in Bighorn Backcountry, Alberta, Canada on Saturday, July 25, 2015.