Three Isle Lake

- 12 Kilometers
- Difficult
- Full Day

Hiking, Biking and Camping permitted


Three Isle Lake

Access: Hwy 40, Kananaskis Lakes Trail Parking: North Interlakes lot
Camping: Interlakes
- Bike 'n Hike, 12 km, 3hrs one way

This is a great day trip, but because you have to drop the bikes at about the 3km mark (Mountain Biking is restricted after that point) it's probably more worthwhile doing as a backpacking weekend. But if you're daytripping you'll still want to take the bike because after 6 hours of trekking to Three Isle and back, riding the last 3 km's to the parking lot will be a welcome reward, one that you're body will greatly appreciate. Of course, if you're a rugged Hiker you're probably going to wonder what all the fuss is about ...

From North Interlakes parking lot you cross the dam to the north side of Upper Kananaskis Lake and proceed west. After a little over 1 km a trail branches off to the left giving you the option to follow the Upper Lake trail (which goes around the lake) connecting with Lyautey trail, then back up and rejoining Three Isle trail again. It's about the same distance as sticking to the original trail which is what we did, just because it seemed to make the most sense ...

Okay, Okay, so this part of the Headwall wasn't that hard .... After almost 8 km's you come to the "Forks" where there is a campground for the weary Backpacker and another trail branching off to the north following the Upper Kananaskis river in the direction of Haig Glacier. This trail is another popular one, leading to Lawson and Maude Lakes where there also is a campground located at Turbine canyon. At the time we did this trip there was a Grizzly hanging around the Forks that had everyone a little on edge, so needless to say we all did a little bushwacking through the trees to bypass the trail and avoid any unpleasantness.
From the Forks it's about 3 more km's until you reach the almighty Headwall, which in your mind you associate with 'just about there' but eventually learn that is hardly ever the case. It seemed like the first 11.2 km's took 2 hours to travel and the final 0.8 was another hour by itself, because it is quite steep with lots of loose rock ... and it ain't no party 'til you make it to the top.

The Lake once you get there is a marvelous sight, and is much larger than the average High Mountain lake. If you go past the Backcountry campground and follow the north shore to the end of the Lake the trail continues up the South Kananaskis Pass for 2 km's to the Alberta-British Columbia boundary. When we began this trip we met 2 people who were Backpacking beyond this point and were headed to Beatty Lake on the British Columbia side. Looking at my map there is no trail or campground marked, so I guess they could be classified as the adventurous types, but it's something to keep in mind.
Unfortunately it was the only time I visited this Lake, in part because of the Mountain Bike restriction which I find to be unfair and unnecessary, however it's a popular journey and one that must be made.