Hairtrigger Lake lies in the Forbidden Plateau area of Strathcona Park. It was my furthest destination from the parking lot although any of the alpine lakes could have been a good destination when I did a circle trip (18 km) heading towards Battleship lake to Kwai Lake and back to the parking area via Lake Helen Mackenzie.
For summer in July, it was a rather chilly day in the mountains. There was more clouds than the occasional appearance of the sun and the temperature at the parking lot was around 9*C only; quite unusual at this time of year. At least the lighting was even and I wasn't sweating up the trail.
I had a 5:30 am start and made my way in good time to Battleship Lake where I see a newly constructed boardwalk. There are only a few good spots to photograph the lake and I usually take a shot at the south end but its not possible to see the entire lake towards the north.
There was practically no breeze so there was nice reflections of the clouds on the water. The trail climbs up a bit from Battleship lake then levels out to some nice alpine meadows which are flooded at this time of year. The trail heads down and eventually crosses a small stream which flows out from Lady Lake.
I find Lady Lake quite photogenic. When the lake level is low, it makes a nice walk along the shoreline. I saw patches of blue sky so I thought the clouds was starting to dissipate but it wasn't so.
It wasn't long before I reached Croteau Lake where a new campsite was put in and an update composting pit toilet. I didn't bother wasting time to check out the campsite but pressed on to Murray Meadows.
Croteau Lake with Mt. Allan Brooks in the background.
The downhill jaunt down to Murray Meadows was nice. At the end of the meadows was a sign saying 400 m to Kwai Lake. Quite a few people camping out here. It was close to 8 am and it appears that people had gotten up not long ago. Everyone was bundled up from the cold but I was generating a lot of heat so I walked around as if it felt like summer.
At the south end of Kwai Lake, the trail heads up to a junction with one direction heading to the Ranger's cabin and the other to Circlet Lake. I walked the short distance on the latter and passed by some nice small tarns before reaching Hairtrigger Lake. Melting snow patches lay here and there and it sure looked gloomy with no good views of the mountains.
A large tarn along the way to Hairtrigger Lake.
Arrival at Hairtrigger Lake
Despite being early in the morning still, I did't stay at the lake too long. The lake seems to have lost its charm under the gloomy looking clouds otherwise it's a very photogenic lake. I made my way to the Ranger's Cabin then towards Lake Helen Mackenzie through a forested section.
Typical forest scene
At a point along the trail where I caught glimpses of Lake Helen Mackenzie, I headed into the wet and thick bush to reach the shoreline. I was more concerned about water getting into my boots than my clothes getting soaked.
A glimpse of the sun at Lake Helen Mackenzie
After leaving the lake, foot traffic started to pick up and I saw more hikers. I stopped here and there to take some photos but was glad to finish the hike. The parking lot was packed when I got back and more people were arriving.
Boardwalk protect the sensitive meadows.