The High Rockies Trail

The High Rockies Trail — See our Guide — is finished with the exception of signage. The official opening planned for August 26 as part of the Trans CanadaTrail celebrations was cancelled by Trailnet – we consider the trail to be open! It is just under 82 km from Goat Creek to Elk Pass at the powerline. While almost all of the trail can be used in winter there are a few things you should be aware of:

  • From Goat creek to Canyon Road the trail can be used by snowshoers, winter walkers, fat tire bikers, and where suitable by skiers. Between Goat Creek and Three Sisters Dam you will share the trail with commercial sled dog operators.
  • From Canyon south to Elk Pass, the High Rockies Trail is almost all groomed ski trail. Fat tire bikers and snowshoers are asked not to use this section of the HRT during the grooming season.
  • The section of trail through the Buller avalanche control zone is now officially closed between Nov 1st and  May 1st. Signs are up at either end of the section and at the winter access (see map).
  • The impressive 73 m (240 ft.) suspension bridge at Blackshale Creek is finished. There are trails down to the highway on either side if you want to hike up for a quick look. See map.
4 comments… add one
  • Tony Daffern Nov 24, 2016, 11:16 am

    I agree Alf. Rummel is an official winter trail. It’s going to make it difficult and dangerous for skiers using the winter campground who will be descending with heavy packs. I suggest you bring this to the attention of Parks, who I am told, have to sign off on the High Rockies Trail. Hopefully it can be remedied by the builders before the trail is officially handed over.

  • Alf Skrastins Nov 23, 2016, 11:50 pm

    Rummel Lake access trail.
    The portion of the Rummel Lake trail from the road up to the High Rockies Trail junction was “upgraded” this summer, as part of the High Rockies Trail. More accurately, the trail was ruined for winter ski use. Just like other parts of the High Rockies Trail, this trail was “upgraded” to be a summer mountain bike trail. Rocks, logs, dirt piles and other debris were intentionally placed across the formerly ski-able trail to turn it into an narrow, bermed single-track mountain bike trail. Absolutely no thought was given to winter users, like skiers or snowshoers. Not a single consideration was given to skier safety. Many of the hazards are placed in the middle of hills and corners. The trail has been narrowed so that snowplowing to control speed is impossible. As a result, the trail is littered with potential accident sites. Since these dangers were intentionally created, I believe it opens Alberta Parks to the potential for a lawsuit, in the event of injuries.
    The Trans-Canada Trails folks should be ashamed of themselves for destroying winter trail use opportunities in a part of the country that is typically snow covered for 7 months of the year.
    It will take a pretty significant snow depth to make this trail skiable!
    I took a few photos and then gave up and went home in disgust.

  • Tony Daffern Nov 18, 2016, 11:34 am

    There are only three sections of the HRT that, in my opinion, skiers will enjoy:
    – Goat Creek to Three Sisters Dam
    – Chester to Sawmill
    – The groomed ski trails from Canyon to Elk Pass
    The other sections are narrow, winding bike trails that can be winter walked or snowshoed.

  • Alf Skrastins Nov 17, 2016, 9:28 pm

    The Chester/Rummel segment of the trail is a bit irritating for skiing, since it was clearly designed as a mountain bike trail. Endless unnecessary ups and downs and lefts and rights. There is enough snow for snowshoeing, but some of the areas under big trees are still too thinly covered for skiing.

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