Pickle Jar Lakes Hike

Our hike this week was also in the Kananaskis, but we went for green lakes instead of a ridge this time – Pickle Jar Lakes. There are four beautiful green lakes all joined by one stream – called paternoster lakes (Our Father, after the shape of rosary beads on a string).

Trail Head across Highway 40 from Lantern Creek rest area.

We started our hike at the Lantern Creek rest area and headed up the Pickle Jar trail from there. It is a steady slog up, but looks out onto a pretty valley that Lantern Creek cuts though. The phrase “onward and upward” was coined for trails such as this one.

Looking back toward highway 40

Lantern Creek

Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja species)

Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum)

Eventually, you rise up past the tree line and look down on the first lake.

You can descend down to the lake and then follow the path to the other three lakes. Much of the path is on loose rocks that have fallen from the interesting mountain shapes surrounding the lakes.

First Lake

As you pass the first lake, you can see the little stream that connects it to the second lake

The second lake

The next three shots are of the third lake. We chose to eat our lunch here. Windy, but so pretty.

You can see the trail in the rocks on the left side of the photo.

Below, you can see where the third and fourth lakes connect under cover of some trees.

Brilliant green third lake on left, more “pickle coloured” fourth lake on right

The climb to see the fourth lake.

The fourth lake

Mountain Avens (Dryas octopetela)

Heading back out…


  1. Love this! Loved the photos and can almost invasion myself hiking with you. That would have been fun. And looks like a glorious day. Hope to see you in September when I visit Mom.

    XOX Roo >

    Liked by 1 person

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