ecently 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.
There is a good snowshoe trail from Goat Creek parking down to the pond. It heads left about 200 m down Goat Creek trail at an obvious junction (see the detailed map below). There is also a snowshoe-broken shortcut from the pond to the bridge that misses out the loop in the main trail. Presently, these trails have been broken by snowshoers and fat-tire bikers and are hard enough to walk on.
There’s been quite a lot of activity near the bridge where there is also a powerplant intake building that allows water to be pumped from Goat Creek up to the canal. There is pleasant, easy snowshoeing along the east side of Goat Creek, accessed by going up and around the back of the building. Start close to the creek, then just after a small side creek crossing head left to pick up an old road, which leads eventually down to Goat Creek after about 1.6 km. Unfortunately, Goat Creek is flowing fast and free and it is difficult to find a place shallow enough to cross over to the dog sled trail. Maybe it freezes up after a long very cold spell, though I somehow doubt it?
From the bridge over Goat Creek, the High Rockies Trail, which heads slightly to the right uphill, has been packed by Snowy Owl Dogsled Tours all the way to Three Sisters Dam. They have also packed two other old access roads shown in blue on the map. They use a drag behind a snowmobile which leaves a wide tread, though not quite wide enough for skate skiing.
About 2 km from the bridge, just after an open area, a broken dog sled trail takes off northeast back toward Goat Creek, following the west bank of the creek to the bridge. This allows for a pleasant 6.6 km loop from Goat Creek parking. Shortly after this junction there is another packed dog sled trail to the left which we followed to Goat Pond. It’t flatter, and in our opinion, less interesting than the undulating main trail higher up (blue dashed line on map).
The well-packed trail carries on toward Three Sisters Dam, following the powerline for much of the way with some long, straight sections and limited views. There’s a low-lying section with boardwalk and many bridges over flowing streams that must come out of springs on the hillsides above. The trail eventually climbs to a crest of a hill before diving down left onto an old road, a somewhat tedious section leading to the west end of Three Sisters Dam, which is the staging area for a couple of dogsled touring companies. If you are leaving a car at this end there is plenty of room to park on the dam outside of the staging area.