Who knows what the weather will do on a weekend in May in the Rockies. You have to chance your luck if you really want to get out there, and after a long cold winter in Calgary you really do want to get back out in summer camping mode. It was a last minute decision after a glass or two of wine with my outdoor enthusiast mate and before we knew it we were off too MEC to go and pick up our Canoe and Sea Kayak. The deals are great and you can hire a canoe for $50 for the whole weekend. After securing the canoe to the car, we were off.
It’s one of the things I have always wanted to do but have never got round to it and it was not going to disappoint. The only concern we had was whether we had enough food and whether the wind would be up on Lake Minnewanka.
We got lucky as the lake was pretty calm and despite the forecast of rain in the morning we set out for the first campsite LM#8 along the lake. There are about 4 campsites which are typical back country affairs and everything you need. This one allows you to hang your food up and apparently this particular site tends to close in the summer as it is at the base of Alymer Pass which is a bit of a bear haven.
The lake was dammed in 1895 and a few times after that so scuba divers have plenty to look at with the old town still sitting under the water. There’s a great hike around the side of the lake and a popular trail with mountain-bikers but be aware that one part of the trail is closed July 15th until September because of the amount of bear attacks in the last 6 years. This is essential grizzly habitat.
The following morning we had tranquil water and we glided back but this lake is known to very choppy and many people have found themselves stranded waiting to get back or having to be towed…so be warned.