The upgrading of a number of day-use area in Kananaskis Country by Alberta Parks will make parking difficult for trail users until the end of June. Here is an overview of the construction projects that are under way and their anticipated completion dates.
While appearing similar to the previous site, there are some significant differences. Improvements we hope. The new site is slightly wider to allow for the larger righthand sidebar, and the sidebars now appear either side of the blog. The main differences and additions are:
The Great (Trans Canada) Trail in Kananaskis Country now has a paddling section. The trail from Stewart Creek Interchange to Dead Man’s Flats is now shown on the Great Trail map as a 6.5 km Water Trail from Bow River Campground to Three Sisters Campground. Unfortunately, whoever dreamed up this idea didn’t consider the practicalities.
The Mustang Hills is a group of three hills in the upper Elbow located northeast of Rainy Summit between Highway 66 and the Elbow River. At first glance, they appear to be covered in trees, but in reality they harbour meadows offering great views. This coming December, Spray Lakes Sawmills are slated to clearcut the lightly-treed slopes most hikers use to access the hills.
Nakiska Ski Area is advertising snowshoe trails and guided snowshoe trips! While the original press release had the trail open to everyone, guided or not, just before Christmas they declared their snowshoe trail would be for guided parties only. No other snowshoers allowed. This decision may affect how the the rest of us get to Marmot Basin. The upper section of Mid-Mountain Road (the old Marmot Basin Road), part of the Nakiska snowshoe trail, is the only way for snowshoers and skiers to access Marmot Basin.
Memorial Lakes Trail. The dicey traverse of the shale bank, lately equipped with a rope that showed just how bad it had got, has been replaced by a brand new trail that crosses the creek, runs along the mossy west bank, then returns to the east bank beyond all difficulty via a second new bridge [...]
Next time you visit Elk Pass at the powerline take a few minutes to view the new portal conceived, designed, built and erected by students from three Elk Valley schools. Using carts they designed, they hauled three 16 ft carved cedar logs 5 km and 300 vertical metres to the Alberta boundary at Elk Pass.
Thanks to a local outfitter we now have a much better trail to Lake Rea from the Elbow–Sheep cut-off in the headwaters of the Sheep River in Kananaskis Country. While the trail is 500 m longer than the discontinued one, it misses out open hillsides torn up by grizzlies and has a good tread throughout.
Among the rarer land forms in the Canadian Rockies are snow-avalanche impact pools. They are small ponds located at the foot of steep avalanche slopes scoured out by snow avalanches with a mound of debris behind them. We visited the impact pool at Upper Tombstone Lake.
We were about 150 m up the trail when Gillean saw a bear cub ahead soon followed by its mum shepherding her offsprings toward us. We were heading up Elbow Lake Trail about 8:15 Thursday morning on a backpacking trip to Tombstone Campground.
Alberta Parks, with help from The Friends of Kananaskis Country, is conducting a trail user survey throughout Kananaskis parks this summer. You may encounter friendly Friends volunteers at the end of your hike conducting a brief survey using tablets. Please give them about five minutes of your time.
A short guide to the path of The Great Trail through Kananaskis Country with lots of links to maps, and to Trailfinder information screens where you will find more links. Most sections are described in Gillean Daffern’s Kananaskis Country Trail Guides.
For this long weekend (May 19-22), there will be parking (about 70-80 vehicles) in the yellow area in the image. The WBC trails received 36mm of rain and 10cm of snow on May 17, so trails will be wet and muddy for several days. Check current trail conditions on the GBCTA website, before heading out.
The latest improvements to multi-user trails is the provision of cattle guards so mountain bikers don’t have to dismount and open swing gates, or lift their bikes over drift fences when they encounter a V-gate. It also reduces the chance of people not shutting gates behind them.
Did you know that the highest point on The Great Trail (Trans-Canada Trail) is Cox Hill in Kananaskis Country? At about 2217 m (7274′), Cox Hill is a superlative viewpoint. Nearby is the imposing bulk of Moose Mountain and it’s impressive north ridge. To the west you are treated to an extensive panorama of the main [...]