There’s lots of snow on the High Rockies Trail and conditions along the Smith Dorrian section are excellent. I took a quick snowshoe up to the suspension bridge yesterday to see how it looks near the end of a heavy snowfall season. There is enough snow on it to reduce the effective height of the handrail and it has been closed.
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.
It may be Spring in the foothills, but there’s still skads of snow in the Smith-Dorrien. Right now is a really good time for snowshoeing, the base has firmed up and the snow isn’t yet isothermal (wet from top to bottom), though it’s getting there.
The Smith-Dorrien area with its ample snowpack has some of the best snowshoe trails in Kananaskis Country with something for everyone. Here I am featuring the Chester Sawmill Snowshoe Trails, suggesting four loops varying from the popular 5.1 km Sawmill Loop to a 13.3 km Grand Tour.
Yesterday we headed down to the Sheep River area west of Turner Valley for a change of scenery. There is substantially less snow down there than around Bragg Creek and the Elbow. We parked in the Sandy McNabb skating rink parking area and walked down the trail to the Sheep River opposite Coal Creek. After crossing the well-frozen [...]
W e were back on the High Rockies Trail, this time doing a very short snowshoe between Sparrowhawk and Spencer creeks with a detour in the middle to look at Forbes Creek Grotto (see map). Would it harbour an icefall in winter? The answer is no, but it’s nevertheless an interesting place to visit. Snowshoes are a [...]
Recently we’ve checked out the High Rockies Trail between Goat Creek and Three Sisters Dam. It’s more open than the trail farther south and is one of the few stretches of the High Rockies Trail suitable for skiing, though perhaps more suitable for winter walkers, fat-tire bikers and, after fresh snow, snowshoers.
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.
This is the story of two trips to Highway 549. The first was to check out reports of well roads being gated in an effort to stop Pengrowth’s well sites being used as shooting ranges. And it’s true. Gates have been installed by ministerial order (am I the only one who dislikes that term?) on the Mesa [...]
Description of Elk Pass snowshoe trail in Peter Lougheed Park.
This is the little summit at the south end of The Tower with a great view. The safest approach in winter is from the north side via Engadine Creek, a route with no avalanche risk whatsoever.
Now that the snow has arrived, it’s time to check out Snowy Owl and Snowy Shortcut, two new snowshoe trails at West Bragg Creek. Built by volunteers from the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association this addition brings the total trail network at West Bragg Creek up to 106 km. Snowy Owl trail makes a large [...]
The Canmore Nordic Centre has recently created a very pleasant 3 km snowshoe trail; a mixture of old roads and single-track bike trails. Unfortunately the start is hard to find if you don’t know the area in summer and the trail has nowhere near enough signs to make it easy to follow in winter. While [...]
Just before the very cold weather hit we squeezed in an easy snowshoe trip to a viewpoint off Hwy. 549. Starting at the K Country boundary, we pushed snow to Threepoint Creek, which was well frozen, took Curly Sand trail to the meadow junction, then climbed 9999 trail to the pass. All the way we [...]
We finally got around to snowshoeing this popular hiker’s loop of about 7.5 km on a Thursday afternoon in mid January, the day warm and sunny, the meadows gleaming pale orange through my brown-tinted sunglasses. From Paddy’s Flat campground access road we got onto Riverview (brand new red marker at the start) and enjoyed an [...]