Rocky Mountain House is a jumping off place for some memorable family holidays – and snowshoeing to Crimson Lake along the Twin Lakes Trail is one of our favourite trips. The 4.4 km (2.7 mi) route fits the bill for an easy, fun filled weekend outing. Park at the well-marked trailhead on the north side of Highway 11, just 3 km (1.9 mi) west of Rocky Mountain House. There are no hills to climb along the way, so you can get to Crimson Lake in about an hour.
An Invitation to Get Outside
Snowshoeing is a great way to get the family off the couch and into the great outdoors. It’s fun and easy. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. We first took our kids snowshoeing when Ryan was three and Emma was five. They loved it! Of course, there was a lot of falling into snow banks on that first trip, but that just added to the enjoyment. I can still hear their delighted laughter when they’d lose their balance and plop down into the fluffy snow.
The trail to Crimson Lake is wide, which makes it perfect for snowshoeing as a family or group. Along the way, Ryan wanders into the woods and tries hopping, bunny style. “Guess what animal I am,” he asks me. “Hmm…are you a bear?” “No, Mom! I’m a snowshoe hare! Get it?” He’s laughing like he’s told the funniest joke in the world.
“Hey, look at these tracks!” Emma calls. We tramp through the snow and huddle over the small tracks. “What are they?” Ryan wonders. “I think they’re squirrel tracks,” Emma decides. An abandoned wasp nest hangs on a nearby branch low enough that we can get a close look at it. Ryan tries to peer inside it. “It’s a good thing there are no wasps in there this time of year,” Emma says.
Making Fun Family Memories
I love the sounds I hear on this trek: A woodpecker drumming for sleeping grubs under the bark of a tree, a jay scolding as we pass by, the sounds of the children’s laughter.
When we get to Crimson Lake, I pull a thermos of cocoa and some snacks from the backpack. There’s something about enjoying a little treat outdoors in winter that makes a day of fun really special. The looks on the kids’ faces tell me it just doesn’t get any better than this.
Crimson Lake Snowy Saturdays
In 2017, for eight Saturdays begining January 21 (through March 11), you can rent snowshoes and sign up for lessons at the Crimson Lake store - which also offers hot drinks and snacks. There are free family activities including snow forts, snow games and a snowman contest. Warm up at the fire pit and roast hotdogs you can get in the store. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.