Allstones Lake is one of my family’s favorite day hikes in David Thompson Country. Even though it’s just over 13 kilometres round trip if you include the peak, it’s a challenging hike and you should plan to make a full day of it. The journey to this pristine lake is a steep uphill climb with beautiful views along the way. While it can be busy with hikers during the daytime, if you stay overnight, you might get the lake almost to yourself.
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Allstones Lake Trailhead
The Allstones Lake trail is well marked on the David Thompson Highway – about an 80-minute drive southwest of Rocky Mountain House. You can park at Abraham Lake – across from the trailhead. The trail is in an area of Alberta known as Bighorn Backcountry. It’s a beautiful mountainous region of public lands east of Banff National Park and Jasper National Park.
With a surface area of almost 54 square kilometres, Abraham Lake is Alberta’s largest man-made reservoir. The massive lake was created by the Bighorn Dam. The lake gets its beautiful blue color from glacial rock flour. As you make the climb up to Allstones Lake, there are several points where you can look back and take in the view of this beautiful blue lake and span the horizon from windy point to Mount Michener and all the surrounding mountains in-between.
Related: Abraham Lake is famous for its winter ice bubbles. Read our post, Abraham Lake – Ice Bubble Heaven.
Things to Know about the Allstones Lake Trail
The first three-quarters of this hike is very steep. The trail winds through forest and there are places that open up to spectacular views of Abraham Lake and the surrounding mountains. Make sure to stop along the way to take in the fantastic views. Once you reach the top of the ridge, the trail forks. The left trail leads towards the closest end of the lake. Take the left trail and walk down the gentle slope to Alltones Lake. Once you arrive, you can soak your feet in the cool water or hike around the lake shore. If you take the right trail, it will fork again and you can take it to the peak above Allstones Lake or to the far end of the lake. From the peak you will have views of Abraham Lake in one direction and views of Allstones Lake in the other direction.
Camping at Allstones Lake
There are several backcountry campsites near the shore of the lake and a primitive bathroom. Allstones Lake is stocked with Brook Trout. and you can try your luck -if you have a fishing license. There can be a lot of day hikers into Allstones Lake, but few people stay overnight. The lake is extremely quiet in the evening and early morning.
More Great Hiking Trails in David Thompson Country: Read our post, Crescent Falls Hike – Family Fun in Summer and Winter.
Hiking Tips for Allstones Lake
Most of the Allstones Lake trail is a very steep climb and hiking poles can be helpful. Take plenty of water. Be prepared for all kinds of weather. On one of our hikes in July, we encountered snow – though it was sunny at the trailhead. There are a few sections with loose shale and a little scrambling may be required. Good hiking boots can make a huge difference.
Allstones Creek – Another Hike for Another Day
The Allstones Creek hike is an easy day hike that allows you to walk up a creek bed to a beautiful waterfall. It’s particularly enjoyable on a hot day when you can swim in the creek and the falls. Note: It’s too much to attempt to hike Allstones Creek and Allstones Lake in a single day.
Where to Stay
If you want to stay overnight, there is a small wilderness campground at Allstones Lake with a primitive outhouse. Bring your own toilet paper and hand santizer. If you wish to stay in the area for additional nights, Two O’Clock Creek Campground in nearby Kootenay Plains Plains Provincial Recreation Area is a good option. Other non-camping options include Aurum Lodge, David Thompson Resort or HI Nordegg Hostel.
Summit Three Peaks in a Single Day: Read our post, Heart Mountain Hike – Big Adventure Near Canmore.