Mount Burke Proposed New Trail Section

The initial section of trail from the parking lot to where Salter Creek leaves Plateau Creek is in reasonable shape. However, post flood  the old route up Salter Creek is washed out and the creek is a time-consuming mess of rocks and deadfall. We are proposing a new 500m-long section of trail that will avoid the creek.

Some people have been using an old game trail on the descent that leaves the Mount Burke trail a short distance up from the creek and traverses steep open slopes above Salter Creek. Unfortunately this sideslope trail has been affected by creek-bank slumps and is difficult to follow through lots of deadfall lower down. There are a few bits of flagging indicating the route which comes down to the creek shortly before the Salter/Plateau junction. It is shown in yellow on the Google Earth map.

However, there is an obvious line, shown in red, that joins the Mt. Burke trail near where it turns right. There is a lot of small lodgepole pine step-over deadfall in the forest here. Most of it can be thrown aside by two or three strong people. There are no obstacles such as creeks or rocks and no live trees would need to be cut. This appears to us to be an ideal line that avoids the creek and its steep, unstable banks and shortens the hike up Mount Burke with no elevation loss. The estimated distance is about 500 m.

Burke earth

All it needs is for a few keen individuals to take on the task of shifting the deadfall. We can provide a track log for the new trail and can do some flagging. Any one interested in helping us? Use About>Contact Us in the menu above to contact us.

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5 comments… add one
  • Peter Jun 14, 2014, 6:43 pm

    A couple of steeper sections lower down but otherwise ok. I agree with you that straight is boring. It definitely makes a quick descent route though!

  • Gillean Daffern Jun 14, 2014, 9:47 am

    Hi Peter,
    I’ve often wondered about that cutline. How steep and overgrown is it? I think the fact that it is dead straight puts me off. Gill

  • Peter Jun 13, 2014, 10:33 pm

    I believe the cut line I use appears in the upper left of your google photo as a straight line which goes almost to the campground.

  • Peter Jun 13, 2014, 10:24 pm

    There’s actually a cut line that joins the mount Burke trail that I’ve used for years as a shortcut avoiding the creek altogether. It would make an ideal trail. Only problem is it’s dead straight! Easy going down but not as easy climbing up! I would definitely be interested in helping with a new trail (or clearing out the existing cut line).

  • Gillean Daffern Jun 13, 2014, 6:03 pm

    After Picklejar Lakes, Mt. Burke is probably the most popular hiker’s trail in the Highwood used nearly all year round. It is also an unofficial trail as are all trails in the Highwood with the exception of the Cat Creek Interpretive trail (which is a tourist trail) and the Mist Creek trail over to the Sheep. Consequently, expect no help after the 2013 flood , not from Parks, the ESRD or from the newly formed Alberta Recreation and Trail partnership. Trails in the Highwood fall through all the cracks. We are on our own, people, and must do the best we can.
    The section of trail in Salter Creek is an utter mess, but there is a way around it as Tony mentions. If we can get the bypass going, there is no doubt that hikers are going to use it in preference to the old route. It also shaves 0.77 m (1.54 m return) off the route.

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