Bear Like Hike in the Kootenay Rockies (with video!)

by torontogirlwest on September 9, 2012

Recently, I found myself back in the small Rocky Mountain town we called home for over three years.

In some ways it was entirely surreal to return to a place that now feels so removed from our lives in Vancouver. On the one hand, I found it hard to believe that we survived in such a small community for so long. But on the other hand, it was absolutely fantastic to be amidst the glorious scenery and wonderful friends.

In the four days I spent back in the Rockies, I had an opportunity to do a lot of fun things. But by far, the highlight was going up Bear Lake hike with Jenn and Paul of JJ’s Custom Cakery, and, Cookies, Cupcakes, and Cardio.


Bear Lake is the kind of hike we seldom got to do with the Husband because it requires access to a four wheel drive. To access the trail head you drive about 20 minutes outside the city of Cranbrook, and then take a logging road for what seems like about an hour.

Mountain Scenery

Our journey was particularly slow going this time because the road was in bad shape due to a horrible storm in the area a few months back. In fact, it was so bad that one of the two trails that access Bear Lake was apparently washed out.


Once you access the trailhead, you’ll find the hike clearly marked. The journey to the top is quick but very steep.

Bear Lake Kootenays

The hike up to the lake took us just shy of 1 1/2 hours, although we stopped quite a bit to enjoy the surroundings and do some quick filming for Jenn and Paul’s Youtube Channel.

Mountain Bowl

My guess is that if you pushed yourself you could easily make it up to the top of the hike in about an hour.

Bear Lake

Bear Lake is essentially a small alpine lake located in the middle of two mountain peaks – in a bowl of sorts.

Mountain Reflection

That’s why the hike to the lake is so steep – you’re essentially going up the face of the very top of a mountain.

Alpine Flowers

I’m ever so grateful to Jenn and Paul for taking me on this hike! Without them I never would have been able to experience the absolute gorgeousness of Bear Lake.


And I wouldn’t have had so much fun! Case in point: this picture of yours truly cracking-up!

Lake's Edge

I loved everything about this hike and would love to return again with the Husband!

Bear Lake Panorama

In fact, my return trip to the Rockies made me realize that we need to make a trip back an annual tradition.

Mountain Trails

What can I say, I guess I’m not done with those mountain trails just yet!

And just because I like you guys so much – here is the video we filmed! Enjoy!!!

Question: Do you enjoy being on video? I have to admit I avoid posting to many vlogs but I’m tempted to start doing more in the future! 

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Jo @ LivingMintGreen September 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm

As always, gorgeous photos! In addition to you wining & dining me when I come to the coast, will you take me on a hike?! :D
Jo @ LivingMintGreen recently posted..Can You Afford To Buy Organic? {Meal Planning Sept 10-16}

torontogirlwest September 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm

LOL That can definitely be arranged!!! :) I think of all of the ones we’ve been on, Dog Mountain may be my favourite. Just ’cause at the end you get a ridiculous view the area around Vancouver, the Gulf Islands, and Mount Baker!!!

Jo @ LivingMintGreen September 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Ps. I’m way too awkward to do a vlog. No. NEVER.
Jo @ LivingMintGreen recently posted..Can You Afford To Buy Organic? {Meal Planning Sept 10-16}

torontogirlwest September 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I’m sure it’s not that bad! ;)

Marianne September 9, 2012 at 11:59 pm

I hate being on video because I think my voice sounds weird. LOL
Marianne recently posted..Taste Test – Rhythm Superfoods Kale Chips

Toronto Girl West September 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

lol I think everyone feels that way! Although, I’ve heard mine in enough recordings that I’m used to it now! :P
Toronto Girl West recently posted..Bear Like Hike in the Kootenay Rockies (with video!)

Samantha Angela September 10, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous (and they probably don’t even do the scene justice) And that looks like a really awesome hike. I’m a big fan of hiking and I think here in Canada we have some of the most picturesque hikes in the world.

Toronto Girl West September 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm

You’re right – they don’t do the place justice! It’s kind of crazy beautiful up there!!! :)
Toronto Girl West recently posted..Bear Like Hike in the Kootenay Rockies (with video!)

Jenn (Cookies Cupcakes Cardio) September 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Awesome post…thanks so much for coming with us and joining in on the video!!! It was special to get to do it with you. I hope you DO come back yearly, and we would love to go out with you when you’re back….I’m inviting us along. LOL.
Jenn (Cookies Cupcakes Cardio) recently posted..How to Color Buttercream Icing / Frosting – Video

torontogirlwest September 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm

You have a date!!! Because I would love to hang out again! And when you get the chance, you should come out here!! I’ll show you *my* Vancouver! :)

healthy ashley September 13, 2012 at 6:08 am

Those photos are amazing!! How could you be anything but happy out there! And I love the photo of you… you’re too cute :)

torontogirlwest September 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm

lol Gracias Ashley! And yes, everything is ever so beautiful out in the Rockies!!

Erin September 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Karen, LOVE seeing and hearing you! So cool! That video was a great addition! What a magestic place you went. Wonderful. ALSO. My eyes played a trick on me, I initially thought you said the hike was 11 1/2 hours – LOL
Erin recently posted..Pre-workout snack

torontogirlwest September 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm

LOL No way!!!! I would die on a hike that long!!! :P May 21, 2014 at 9:55 am

I seriously love your site.. Great colors & theme.
Did you build this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own website and would like to find out where
you got this from or exactly what the theme is called.
Kudos! recently

torontogirlwest May 25, 2014 at 5:06 pm


Thanks for your comment! I actually had the blog designed by someone who used to go by the name of The Blog Fairy. She was quite reasonable back in the day but she’s heavily in demand now and charges thousands of dollars for her work. Unfortunately, I no longer have her contact info now that she has changed her name.

Best of luck finding a designer!!!

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