It was a beautiful sunny day up at Spray Lakes yesterday and there was lots of activity. We walked the well-packed section of the High Rockies Trail between Driftwood day-use area and West Wind Pass trail to the accompaniment of yipping sled dogs running on the other side of the reservoir. To introduce you to the trail we have developed a Guide to the High Rockies Trail.
A work in progress, it covers the 30 km of trail built this past summer between Goat Creek and Buller Mountain day-use areas. Maps show the main trail and access points with distances for each segment to help you plan your outing. Being a linear trail you either have to return the way you came or use two vehicles. There are also short descriptions for each section of the main trail.
At present, there are two sections of distinctly different character. The northern section from Goat Creek to Three Sisters Dam is more open and has a tread wide enough for skiing with great views when travelled from south to north. Be aware that it is used in winter by Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours which stage at the west end of Three Sisters Dam. There is room to park outside their staging area.
After a short section between Three Sisters Dam and Driftwood day-use area which has potential avalanche danger in winter and may be closed, the trail south of Driftwood runs mainly through mossy spruce forest on the east side of the highway with occasional views. At present the trail appears to be broken by snowshoers, hikers and fat-tire bikers to Sparrowhawk day-use area. The most southerly section of new trail between the “avalanche cut-off” and Buller Creek is closed in winter because of avalanche danger.
Next year another 30 km of trail will be developed south from Buller Creek to Lower Kananaskis Lake and a route will be signed through Peter Lougheed Provincial Pass to Elk Pass, the High Rockies Trail’s final destination.