Elevation Gain: 490 m (1,608 ft) to lake, 626 m (2,054 ft) to pass. Distance: 6.7 km to forks, 10.2 km to lake, 13 km to pass.
The time and distance are round-trip.
The hike to the Forks Campground from Upper Kananaskis Lake is a good hike for your first overnight trip of the year. It isn't too far (under 7 km) or too steep and it puts you in easy range of Three Isle Lake and the South Kananaskis Pass. The campground has a communal cooking area with plenty of wood an axe and lockers and hangers to keep your gear away from bears.
Once you leave the Forks, the trail gets much steeper and more exposed and there are long sections of stairs to climb. It was nice to have left our packs behind at the campground for this section, although you can also camp up at Three Isle. The lake is nothing spectacular to look at but there is good fishing. (If my boyfriend managed to catch oneÂ…). While he was fishing, I continued up to South Kananaskis Pass, which, in my opinion, was the best part of the whole hike.
To get to the Pass, you walk through a forested area and eventually get to the BC Border and a large meadow. There is a small trail across the meadow which is filled with flowers and butterflies. Shortly you'll reach Beatty Lake - a beautiful little lake in the trees. It is well worth the trip.
You can access the trail from the Upper Kananaskis Lake north parking lot. Cross the dam and follow the fire road to your left. Keep left at the Indefatigable Trail sign and keep right at the next junction. Follow signs thereafter.
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Posted By: k.alba
- Mon Aug 29 14:29:16 UTC 2016
UpsideOnce again, it was super handy to have dropped off our packs at the Forks campsite and continue onto Three Isle Lake/South Kananaskis Pass/Beatty Lake without much weight on us. Stunning views galore that made the overnighter worthwhile! DownsideWe parked our car at the Upper Kananaskis Lake parking lot and walked the 4.3 km around the lake (which was beautiful!). However, it was a bummer to come around the bend and see the Panorama parking lot. This would've been a little handier on the way out!
Posted By: and.gib
- Sat Jul 23 20:08:48 UTC 2016
UpsideBecause of this post, I decided to give this trail a try, and I would definitely agree this is a perfect hike for a first time overnight packer. And I because I was doing it alone it was a great way for me to gauge my abilities solo. Camped at Forks, and headed up to Three Isle and through South Kananaskis Pass to Beatty Lake with a smaller pack for a day trip.
Met lots of people that were doing the loop to Turbine Canyon with their full packs and would love to try it out in the future. But I would bring someone with me for that, and would bank on giving myself significantly more time to get to Three Isle. There are some challenging spots! DownsideCan't think of any! CommentHad awesome weather for the days I was out, which of course made it more enjoyable.
Posted By: amcleod6
- Wed May 20 02:10:40 UTC 2015
UpsideGreat length and difficulty level for first overnight trip - if you camp at Forks. Campsite is well stocked and maintained. Good tent pads, lockers, a lot of fire pits etc. Nice to be able to drop your gear and hike up to Three Isles and get through the more difficult climbs. You can make it a multi-day trip and continue on through the passes to other sites (that do allow fires) DownsideNo open fires at Three Isles. We went in September 2014 and the temp stayed between 0 and 10. The fires at Forks was much appreciated. CommentIt was my first overnight trip ever. Unfortunately the weather was pretty crappy and cold. The hike to Forks was beautiful and a good level of difficulty as I got used to carrying a pack. We went to Three Isles without our gear - it was quite the challenge! Not sure I would have made it with a pack at that point, so make sure you're fit. The lake isn't very exciting, especially in grey cloudy weather. So it was disappointing after exhausting ourselves on the climb. All that said, i would definitely do a multi-day trip and get out to the meadows and other passes beyond the lake, that allow for fires.
Posted By: Jonny
- Fri Sep 12 10:33:20 UTC 2008
UpsideBeautiful scenery, Great fishing, Rewarding hike. DownsideNo open fire's CommentJust came back from my first trip to Three Isle. Next time I would definately be spending the night at the fork's camp area for the reason of having a fire and being able to hike up to three isle much lighter.
Posted By: Soft Hackel
- Wed Sep 12 17:11:46 UTC 2007
CommentIf you want easy fishing at Three Isle Lake go by the creek (not much but provides high amounts of oxygen for the fish and therefore attracks them) on the right hand side of the lake from where you hike in.
Posted By: Soft Hackel
- Wed Sep 12 17:09:05 UTC 2007
UpsideThis hike has many different veiws that are spectacular and well worth it. Three Isle Lake has some very good fishing for Cutthroat trout I used a parachute Adams and caught two 1.5lbs lots of fun. DownsideIt down poored well we hiked up to Three Isle Lake and when we got back to camp (forks) everything was soaked. CommentGood hike but next time I won't bring that big book with me!
Posted By: megs
- Wed Feb 07 01:31:00 UTC 2007
UpsideA beautiful hike that has great rewards! DownsideA bit sketchy in the winter. CommentA great winter hike, make sure to bring snowshoes and be careful at the stairs.