Goat Creek to Spray Lakes West

A rather pleasant forest section with good views on an old road used for commercial dog sled touring in winter. Note that the High Rockies Trail does not start at Goat Creek parking lot; it comes up Goat Creek from Banff as part of The Great Trail. So you must first walk the Goat Creek trail 880 m to the Banff Park boundary kiosk where you turn left onto the High Rockies Trail.

Goat Creek to Goat Pond Dam – 6.1 km

A winding trail descends to a pond where spring waters idle a bit before shooting through a pipe into Goat Creek. It’s grassy bank is a very pleasant spot, still waters reflecting Ha Ling Peak and Mount Lawrence Grassi. Just beyond the old wooden spillway, the trail turns right and descends to Goat Creek. Follow the creek upstream to the bridge.

Heading north toward the east end of Mount Rundle

After the Goat Creek crossing the trail climbs, then levels off and meanders on old road beneath the Goat Range, passing an array of cliffs and buttresses. Across the valley rises the massif of Ehagay Nakoda, comprised of Ha Ling Peak and the many summits of Mount Lawrence Grassi. After crossing the powerline reach the west end of Goat dam below an old quarry. From here it is 860 m across the dam to a parking area.

Goat Pond Dam to Spray Lakes West – 3.8 km

Continue along the undulating old road. The powerline comes in and follows the road most of the way. Just after passing tongues of stones brought down by the 2013 flood, a side road to left leads to Goat Pond at a sandy shoreline with stumps. Your view here is of Third Sister. Enter the flat damp bit where the trail has been built up. There is a section of boardwalk and bridges over a myriad of tiny creeks issuing from the low gap in the Goat Range to the west. A major bridge over a bigger side creek leads into an improved section of road.

Climb to a quarry then descend a long hill offering a first view of Mount Sparrowhawk. Road and power line then part company, the road to left descending farther around a bend and along a straight to a locked gate. Continue ahead to Spray Lakes West campground road.

For the next section of the High Rockies trail turn left and cross Three Sisters Dam. The former picnic area to the right has been converted to a parking area. In winter the area at the west end of the dam is used as a staging area for sled dog tours, but there is still room to park on the dam.)