Our Trail Updates Database

We have developed a database to list trail updates by guide book volume, area and trail number. Check it out by clicking on the box to the right.

Much of the information is taken from your comments since the floods. We really appreciate your input. Please assist by adding updates to this post so we can keep the database information updated.

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  • Gillean Daffern Sep 25, 2013, 12:02 pm

    BEAVER FLAT TO COBBLE FLATS. #26A in Volume 2.
    As expected, the northern section of this riverside trail took a beating from the flood. Not far from Rainy Creek crossing the trail disappears under the Elbow River. We climbed up the steep bank on a game trail and followed a ridge to a hilltop, then had a bit of a problem getting back down again to the river at the left-hand bend. It proved far better to follow scuff marks along an intermittent bench a little way up from the river. At one point we crossed a short stretch of scree. Obviously, the route needs brushing out, but it pays to persevere. because farther on the bench widens and flattens and the going is good past a camping area. The scramble across the boulderfield was easier than we expected and led to the continuation of the original trail at the lefthand bend.

    The trail was easily traced around the bend through sand, then above an eroded bank to a junction at 559348 where we built a small cairn. The original trail to the left ended in a few feet above a collapsed bank at the start of another boulderfield. (Don’t even try to follow its course around the V-bend below the promontory. The high steep bank of till on the far side—once the most scenic part of the whole route—is now extremely dangerous. The rushing flood water, bashing hard against this cliff as it tried to turn around the bend, has undercut the till to a height of about 30 ft. Boulders have dropped into the river, which should make it interesting for kayakers, and other boulders are protruding out of the till, poised ready to drop at the slightest touch.)

    We found an excellent, safe detour around this impasse. Instead of following the river around the promontory, we went OVER the promontory. At the cairn at 559348 we followed the fainter right hand trail (a person trail?) that zigged up a rocky ridge onto the promontory top, a vertical height gain of only 150 ft. Along the way we put in small cairns and a bigger cairn at the top. (Good viewpoints from both sides of the promontory.) We headed right on a game trail and where the promontory met the face of the Mustang Hills, veered left, following the trail on a descending traverse through trees back down to the river. Only the last bit was steep, but could easily be modified. On meeting the original trail at 559345 we built a cairn.

    The next short section of riverside trail was a mix of trail remnants, bushy bypasses and one short walk on a cobble flat. After leaving the river, the route was easy all the way across the flat to Alf’s cairn at 556633, marking route 27A off or onto the Mustang Hills.

    As Alf mentioned, the route from here to Cobble Flats day-use is in many ways easier than before. Aiding and abetting, we flagged a trail through the confusing swath of silt-coated forest from just beyond Alf’s cairn to another of Alf’s cairns on the big new cobble flat where the river used to flow around a bend. After this, the only other changes we found were a section of badly eroded trail just before the meadow viewpoint, and a cobble flat, marked with cairns at both ends, that cuts out a bad bit of trail.
    http://bit.ly/19FfXgP

  • Alf Skrastins Sep 23, 2013, 11:03 pm

    RAINY CREEK TRAILS, POWDERFACE RIDGE, RAINY SUMMIT RIDGE
    I did a loop hike to Powderface Ridge, starting from Rainy Creek Lay-by along Hwy #66. We went up Hill 539248 (28D), then across to the new logging road that replaces the Southwest Fork (28B). The logging road ends a short distance from the lovely pines and the long meadow that leads up the Powderface NE ridge (#29 and #29A). We gained Powderface Ridge at the grassy notch in the rock band that guards the east side of the ridge crest. Following the ridge top (#31A), rather than the boring regular trail (#31), we went to the south end of Powderface Ridge. Next, we crossed the regular Powderface trail and made our way up Rainy Summit Overlook and followed Rainy Summit Ridge (#30) down to the Rainy Summit Connector (#28F).
    No flood damage anywhere on this loop. It’s a great alternative to enjoy the Powderface Ridge area.

  • Derek Ryder Sep 22, 2013, 10:59 pm

    QUAITE CREEK
    The entire route from the TransCanada to Jewel Bay is now brushed out and beautiful. Rave reviews from both hikers and mountain bikers on the trail today, though I will admit to not being a fan of the somewhat rocky 2.7 km from the highway up to the campground. The rest is awesome.

  • Alf Skrastins Sep 22, 2013, 9:54 pm

    MT. LAWSON SOUTH RIDGE (#101)
    The only flood damage on the Mt. Lawson South Ridge route is a bit of a deeper trench where you cross Kent Creek to get onto the ridge. The rest of the route is in good shape. Larches are coming into fall colour on the ridge. It’s a great place to get an overview of some of the flooding impacts along the west side of the Opal Range.

  • Alf Skrastins Sep 21, 2013, 11:26 pm

    POCATERRA RIDGE
    There were a lot of people on Pocaterra Ridge and at Highwood Pass on Saturday. The larches are beginning to turn yellow in the area and many folks are coming out to see the show. No flood related problems on the entire Pocaterra Ridge route. The creek crossing at the north end is a simple matter of walking across a log.

  • Gillean Daffern Sep 21, 2013, 10:33 am

    PRAIRIE CREEK
    Between the hwy. and the footbridge (still there, so no wading needed), the trail was washed out in two places by eroding banks. The section before the bridge now runs along the new bank top. After this expect the odd gouge, erosion on hills and the usual silt on low land near the creek. The connection to Corri Rob trail is still intact, but the near river bank is steep and overhanging. Use roots. The alternative is two fallen aspens downstream.

  • Gillean Daffern Sep 20, 2013, 10:54 am

    BARIL CREEK, ETHERINGTON CREEK, GREAT DIVIDE TRAIL
    The Great Divide Trail Assn. members have been checking out the portions of the trail they can get to and their accesses from Hwy.940. Baril Creek trail to Fording River Pass is OK apart from the creek crossings. The first half of Etherington Creek trail is an utter mess. For details with pics turn to http://www.greatdividetrail.com/

  • Derek Ryder Sep 18, 2013, 3:56 pm

    HIGHWOOD PASS, SEPT 18:
    3″-6″ of snow on the ground and snowing at the pass today. Snow level started at 1,835 m (Little Highwood Pass parking lot) and it was sticking to the ground by 1,910 m (Elbow Pass parking lot). If the forecast is even marginally correct, it won’t last. See photos and more here:
    http://drandkc.blogspot.ca/2013/09/the-start-of-winter.html

    Note that Pocaterra Hut was closed when we tried to go there for lunch. The PLPP Visitors Centre is still closed. Many day use areas down there are closed. We ended up going to William Watson Lodge to hide from the rain.

  • Alf Skrastins Sep 18, 2013, 12:30 pm

    I hiked Ptarmigan Cirque and Arethusa Cirque yesterday. Trails to both areas are in good shape, largely untouched by flood damage. Larches are just starting to change colour and should be pretty nice by the weekend. Don’t bother with Ptarmigan Cirque, if you want to see larch trees, as there are hardly any along the trail. Arethusa and Pocaterra Cirques have significant larch forests.

  • Wayne Hortensius Sep 17, 2013, 7:19 pm

    RAE GLACIER (#47A)
    Sept. 16: You can still get there, but it’s harder than it used to be. The trail disappears in a rock field at the turn up the fledgling Elbow River. Pick your way across the rocks for about 400 metres after which the trail reappears at the base of the rib. The trail is in good shape going up the rib and through the trees. After that, the trail up the right side on the scree is largely swept away now. We had to cross the creek twice on our way up to the base of the moraine as the right side was now too unstable. The creek was fairly low the day we went up and I wouldn’t want to attempt it if the water was high. Our destination was the stone bench at the meltwater pond and we were able to get there. We saw another couple further up, perhaps another 1/2 km beyond the pond.

  • Cole Warawa Sep 17, 2013, 3:31 pm

    GRIZZLY COL
    Went up Grizzly Col & Grizzly Peak in the Highwood area this past weekend. Trail to Pocaterra tarn is in great shape. No problems whatsoever on the trail to Grizzly Col. The hike up to Grizzly Ridge was also fine. The scramble up Mount Tyrwhitt was the usual loose/moderate scramble.

  • Cole Warawa Sep 17, 2013, 3:26 pm

    CHESTER LAKE & THE FORTRESS
    Went up The Fortress a couple of weeks back (via the Chester Lake trail). The initial bit of the Chester Lake trail is demolished, but it is only for a short distance. Cairns help you find your way among the rocks. Beyond the initial damage, the trail to Chester Lake is fine. The scramble up The Fortress is also in good condition.

  • alan kane Sep 16, 2013, 8:53 pm

    NIHAHI RIDGE & CREEK
    We traversed most of Nihahi Ridge and came out Nihahi Creek a few weeks ago. The ridge is just fine and the creek didn’t suffer too badly either, probably because it is a wider drainage than so many others that were hard hit. No real problems encountered with either one.

  • Derek Ryder Sep 16, 2013, 7:55 pm

    QUAITE CREEK: A group of 17 Friends of Kananaskis volunteers “brushed out” part of the Quaite Creek trail today. We started up at Jewel Pass and cleaned it up for about 2 km, which is about half way to the campground on the new routing. There is still much work to do, so please, be patient, and we’ll make it better. A couple of mountain bikers came past us, and gave our work party a big “thumbs up” for both the new trail design and the work to dat. It’s probably at least one or two more days of brushing to finish it.

    I found the trail from the TransCanada up to the campground a gravel/rubble slog, but heard today the long term plan is to re-build it in the forest.

  • Gillean Daffern Sep 16, 2013, 4:07 pm

    TRAILS FROM INDIAN GRAVES CAMPGROUND AREA
    #239 JOHNSON CREEK in 3rd edn. Johnson Creek changed its course on nearing Willow Creek, wiping out sections of the lower trail. Not worth trying to trace this part of the route. Trail is fine beyond the north fork (Johnson Creek designated random camping area and parking lot.)
    #242 WILLOW CREEK TO PEKISKO CREEK in 3rd edn. Only the start is affected, where Willow Creek and Johnson Creek combined to wipe out the hwy. bridge (now fixed) and surrounding area. To get onto the untouched portion from the hwy., start from the eastern approach and descend between new riprap and the new fence (no gate now) onto the new stoney flat. Walk past a cairn, then veer rightish across silted vegetation to gain the truncated end of the Willow Creek track.
    #244 WILLOW CREEK HILLS in 3rd edn. Minor erosion where small creek crosses the trail (nee well road) near the beginning.

    All other trails leaving Willow Creek trail and Johnson Creek appear to be unaffected. This includes the popular north fork trail to Iron Pond and Iron Creek. We walked some trails and had a chat about others with the folks from the Willow Creek Stock Assn. who had been riding out in all directions to check on cattle and fences. Only Corral Creek had not been visited.
    For anyone unfamiliar with the area, here is a pic from Indian Graves Ridge.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/TonyDaffern/IndianGravesRidge?authkey=Gv1sRgCKXog86phumV3wE&feat=email

  • Gillean Daffern Sep 16, 2013, 4:04 pm

    HWY. 532
    We walked a mix of road and various valley trails to reach the big bend under Hailstone Butte.The first washout occurs a few metres west of Indian Graves Campground access road. Going beyond is off limits to vehicles, but because the washout is easily bypassed by a track to the right, some drivers were continuing on to the second washout at the north fork. And why not? The road is perfectly fine to Johnson Creek designated random camping and parking area.
    After this the road is again fine to just beyond the Bear Pond turnoff. Then there are three washouts all caused by the same minuscule creek running off the east face of Hailstone. Someone had biked to the lower washout and was obviously enjoying a hike up the very fine ENE ridge. https://picasaweb.google.com/TonyDaffern/WillowCreek?authkey=Gv1sRgCKuSs5aJ8dfZJg&feat=email

  • Alf Skrastins Sep 13, 2013, 11:32 pm

    BOBCAT TRAIL, WEST BRAGG CREEK
    Construction has been completed on the newest trail in the fabulous West Bragg Creek trail network. The Bobcat trail links the Ranger Ridge trails with Tom Snow/Ridgeback and the Moose Mountain trails to the west. In 3 km, the trail gains nearly 300m elevation. It travels through varied habitats, from the cool forests at Ranger Creek, through aspen groves, to sunny, grassy hillsides at ridge top. Starting from the Tom Snow/Ridgeback junction, the trail crosses a bridge over Ranger Creek, then begins a gradual traverse along the west slope of Ranger Ridge. The final portion of elevation to ridge crest is gained with several flowing, bermed switchbacks and S-turns and a traverse across an open hillside. After the junction with the Fullerton Trail, Bobcat continues along the scenic ridge, before contouring over to Sugar Mama and then up to Ranger Summit junction. Mountain bikers will enjoy this as an uphill or downhill connector to Station Flats. Hikers will love this trail as an extension of Fullerton Loop. You can return to the parking lot at Highway #66 , along an old road back to the maintenance compound at Allen Bill trailhead.
    Please note that this is a new trail and still needs to harden up. It rained hard shortly after the trail opened and a herd of cattle pounded their way up the trail, turning some of the most recent sections into rough, muddy sections. These parts should have dried out by now and you can help pack the tread back down by walking on the trail and pressing soil into the holes, or by riding smoothly down the trail. Please avoid the trail if it is wet. Equestrians, please give the trail about a year to harden up.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/WBCBobcatSept82013?authkey=Gv1sRgCNLh0sGG_7-OKQ

  • Derek Ryder Sep 13, 2013, 6:34 pm

    Those eager to help “brush out” the Quaite Creek trail… the Friends of Kananaskis will be heading up Monday Sept 16 and the more folks to help the merrier. Please do NOT just show up, but rather, send a note to [email protected] to sign up.

  • Alf Skrastins Sep 12, 2013, 11:32 pm

    HIGHWAY #40, HIGHWOOD VALLEY
    It was an outstanding day to ride from Highwood Junction to Highwood Pass on the closed portion of Highway #40. Cycling is permitted and possible for the entire distance. There is plenty of damage to the road, but it is easy to ride around all of it. If you have skinny road tires, there are a couple of short dirt or gravel sections that are easy to walk, if you are concerned about getting a flat.
    From the damage and the absence of anyone working on road repairs, I would guess that we won’t be driving down here any time soon. You could bike a short distance from either end to get to some of the hikes. But in the meantime, it the road is great for cycling… and you don’t have to hear those damned Harley-Davidsons all day!
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/Highway40Sept122013?authkey=Gv1sRgCPnz44zKgLj1Wg

  • Tony Daffern Sep 12, 2013, 9:27 am

    According to the official news release (Sep 6), “Trails and hunting areas beyond the road barricade at Lost Lemon Pullout are accessible for pedestrian and cycle traffic only.” We interpret this as opening the road up for hiking or biking from both closures. If you want to confirm it’s OK call the K Country hotline at 403-678-0760.

  • Bruce Barker Sep 11, 2013, 5:49 pm

    Is it possible to ride a road bike from the south end of Highway 40 north to Highwood Pass. I realize the road is not yet open, but perhaps for cyclists who can walk around washouts?

  • alf Skrastins Sep 10, 2013, 11:00 pm

    HIGHWOOD RIDGE
    I hiked Highwood Ridge from Highwood Pass today. The parking lot and route up to the ridge are all in fine shape, with little evidence of flood damage. From the ridge, you could see that some creeks in the Highwood Pass area had large rock and gravel flows, while others were almost unscathed. There were a number of debris flows down the east side of Pocaterra Ridge, Highwood Ridge and several very odd landslides on the lower east side of Grizzly Ridge. Some of these looked like meteor impact craters, as chunks of hillside popped out of the slope and slid into the creek in Paradise Valley.
    On the drive to Highwood Pass, there appeared to be minimal road damage and only relatively small debris flows as far as Elbow Pass Trailhead. One wonders why they couldn’t have opened the road as far as Elbow Pass Trailhead and the Elbow Lake trail many weeks ago. It was obvious that there have been some big mud/rock slides across Highway #40 between Elbow Pass trailhead and the top of Highwood Pass.

  • Allan Mandel Sep 10, 2013, 8:30 am

    BALDY PASS from the north, SOUTH FORK OF LUSK CREEK
    #2 Baldy Pass from the north has not been significantly affected, although in a couple of spots there are some deep gouges in the trail from water flow. Nothing too serious though. Trail up south fork of Lusk Creek (#3) is also in good shape.

  • Alan Kane Sep 8, 2013, 9:56 am

    Evan Thomas fire road ( checked Aug 31)

    Beyond the initial 2 washouts and easy detours that happen within first 20 minutes walk, there is a large bouldery washout from a side stream in 1 hour, but easily crossed. Then it would be mostly all bikeable until about 7 km whereupon the road is gone completely starting at the side stream. Beyond here, little trace remains of the road anymore, walkable/wadeable, but certainly not worth taking a bike. Other than wading the creek, continuing may require a short scramble along slab to the left above the creek. Past here, this drainage that eventually connects through to Canyon Creek is a mess of boulders and is not likely a feasible hiking route anymore, although a about 1 km up, a massive wedge of rock with a channel worn into it that must have spanned the creek is totally uncovered and worth a look. The creek dodges around it now. The subtle continuation of Evan Thomas fire road that branches off to the right before this point was easy to miss (and I did) so is now flagged/cairned. Untouched initially, but within 15 minutes a washout requires a detour up the hillside. Within 10-15 mins further walk, all traces of road are largely gone, replaced by a jumble of trees and debris. This is about 25-30 minutes walk from main washed-out valley. Equestrians were forcing a way through this the same day but were also having a tough time of it, despite employing large axes and coarse language. This hikeable part does however get you far enough along to gain the open northwest end of Fisher Peak. You could start at a point where the stream now flows down what is recognizable as the original road, some 9.5 km total from the parking lot.

  • Derek Ryder Sep 6, 2013, 1:05 pm

    Alf: According to the official news release, “Trails and hunting areas beyond the road barricade at Lost Lemon Pullout are accessible for pedestrian and cycle traffic only.” Meaning you can ride as far as your little legs will take you, making much more accessible than you note. The only place I know where you would have to get off your bike (before riding would cease being useful as a method to get to hikes) is the debris flow at the Mt. Lipsett trailhead, and that’s nothing to walk across (and it may be cleared by now).So also readily accessible by a bike access from the Lost Lemon endpoint are Running Rain Lake (#211 in Vol 2 of edition 3), Mt. Lipsett (#202), Mist Mtn & Unnamed Ridge (#203/204), Mist Ridge (#206/207/208), plus Oldlum Creek North Fork (#212C). The ride past here would be a long haul back to the car.

  • Alf Skrastins Sep 5, 2013, 10:46 pm

    MUSTANG HILLS (#27)
    The access to Cobble Flats Day Use area is now open, so it is again possible to do the Mustang Hills Loop from the preferred parking area.
    Most of the loop is unchanged, however the flood has affected the final 2 km along the Elbow River back to Cobble Flats.
    As you head west from GR556333, the trail is unchanged for about 200m, until you get to a small stream. Just follow along the north (right) side of the stream and trend right, following the obvious openings in the forest. The flood cleared almost all of the underbrush and deposited layers of sandy silt in the low areas. This results in a nice clear pathway all the way to the bend where the 2005 flood and 2010 wind storm caused a lot of damage. By contrast, the 2013 flood has repaired this area. The Elbow River channel has moved south, leaving a clean, dry cobble/sand bar and an easy route straight across the former bend. Just pick up the trail again on the far side and continue on. Just before reaching the point where the trail climbs up onto the grassy side slope, a bit of the slope and 2 meters of trail has been lost to the river. It is easy enough to squeeze past this, but you’ll need to be careful until the trail gets beaten in a bit more. After descending back down to the river, the flood provided yet another trail repair. Simply continue right down to a cairn by the river, where another cobble/sand bank has been deposited. Follow this new bench past the “few fallen trees below a washed out bank” and you’ll pick up the trail again as it enters the forest. The rest of the trail is unchanged all the way back to Cobble Flats parking lot.

  • Alf Skrastins Sep 5, 2013, 9:57 pm

    HIGHWOOD PASS
    Highway #40 is now open as far south as the “Lost Lemon Mine Viewpoint”, which is 22km south of the winter gate. This means that we now have access to hikes #44-52 in Volume 1 of the 4th edition of the Kananaskis Country Trail Guide. Note that the Valleyview Road is closed due to bear activity, affecting access for Opal Traverse (#44) and Elpoca Creek Hill (#45). Pocaterra Ridge (#46), Elbow Lake (#47), Rae Glacier (#47A), Ptarmigan Cirque (#48), Grizzly Col (#49), Grizzly-Highwood Traverse (#50), Little Highwood Pass (#52) and Arethusa Cirque/Burns Lake (in the upcoming Vol #5 guidebook), are all now accessible. Highwood Ridge (#51) is available at the north end, but the south access is closed, so you can’t yet do the traverse.
    Tombstone Lake Trail is closed and the Sheep Trail is open with a warning about impassable conditions west of the Sheep Road, so I am not sure what that means with respect to access to Lake Rae or Piper Pass (#38 in Vol 2). Anyhow, this is good news, because it provides access to many great larch hikes, in time for the fall colours!

  • Wayne Hortensius Sep 4, 2013, 8:31 pm

    BALDY PASS FROM THE SOUTH (#9)

    The deep washouts remain on the section of the trail after it meets up with the Porcupine Ridge connector trail. But the “bash your way up the creek bed through the field of rocks” bit now has flagging, rock cairns and even rows of rocks on either side to keep you on the now well trodden trail. At the end of the field of rocks there are a few very elaborate inukshuks that have been constructed. After that the trail is fine to the pass.

    SOUTH PEAK OF BALDY (#11)

    Naturally enough, there’s no flood damage at this elevation. The trail hasn’t changed a bit all the way to the south peak.

  • Derek Ryder Sep 4, 2013, 8:26 am

    HWY 40 PARTIALLY RE-OPENS:
    An additional 22 km of Hwy 40 south of the winter closure gate will re-open today. Crews were repairing the damage at Storm and Running Rain last week. It will open to the Lost Lemon Lookout.

  • Gillean Daffern Sep 3, 2013, 11:19 pm

    STONEWORKS CANYON
    The new access described on this blog not so long ago has been decimated by a river of stones flowing onto the service road.We followed a “road” deep into this stony, bouldery wasteland and from its end accessed the creek bed.Obviously,the new Stoneworks Creek diversion didn’t work too well in the flood, the creek overflowing not only here, but also breaching the bulkhead like it was nothing and flowing through the old quarry area which is destined for housing.
    Crossing onto Johnny’s Trail, we straightway had to detour left around a bite in the bank. Soon after, the trail has been pretty well wiped out. Worse than the stones, the tree debris and the big gouge out of the bank, are the deep 15 ft-high trenches not only along the line of the trail but also at angles coming into the trail. There seems no way this section of Johnny’s can ever be fixed. Possibly a parallel trail can be forged through the trees early on, but sooner or later it would meet the stones.
    There IS a way around this mess, but it is longer with more height gain. Shortly after the bite in the bank, a brand new trail, so wide it must have been made by a machine, has been pushed along the base of the bank, running parallel to Johnny’s a way before zigging up left onto the bank top. At the top, it meets the bank top trail, a Cross Zee horse trail that we last hiked some 10 years earlier. If you follow it to the right, it eventually reaches another trail at a T-junction with flagging. And if you turn right on the new trail you soon reach Johnny’s beyond the devastation. From this junction Montane Traverse lies just a little way up the trail to the left. We didn’t go farther, so have no idea what the rest of Johnny’s is like or what state the canyon is in. Anyone?

  • Gillean Daffern Sep 3, 2013, 9:46 pm

    CANMORE BENCHLAND HORSESHOE TRAILS
    The original start is once again available along the right east bank of Cougar Creek . No trail yet, but the ground is good and firm for biking.

  • Gillean Daffern Sep 3, 2013, 9:35 pm

    COUGAR CREEK, LADY MACDONALD, MONTANE TRAVERSE
    The Cougar Creek parking lot is back, with room for about 20 vehicles.You can now walk alongside Cougar Creek as we used to on hard-pressed stones and shale.After passing the cliffs of till, get onto the forested left bank at pink flagging. (The bank between here and the narrows is badly undercut, so this is the only access.) Follow a trail which intersects Montane Traverse — the trail sign is at the edge of the bank to the right — and continues on to Lady MacDonald trail heading left.The trail ahead descends easily to Cougar Creek at the narrows which is now a flat plain with a tiny wandering creek.

  • Gillean Daffern Sep 3, 2013, 9:16 pm

    EXSHAW CREEK START
    The parking lot on Mt. Allen Drive is no longer there. The nearby footbridge is still standing but isolated in a stoney desert.The upper footbridge washed downstream, so the usual approach via the berm is impossible, especially after Lafarge made the berm higher and steeper with the dumping of rocks and boulders down to the creekbed.The trail now starts from the end of Mt. Lorette Drive.There are “no parking’ signs, so you will have to park somewhere en route. Either walk up the water treatment plant access road or the trail described in Volume 3 to its left.

  • Alf Skrastins Sep 2, 2013, 11:07 pm

    ACEPHALE WATERFALL (#40), HEART MOUNTAIN LOOP (#41) and HEART-QUAITE TRAIL (#37).
    The June Flood wiped out the unofficial parking area and and initial section of trail along Acephale Creek. This has now been replaced by another unofficial parking area and nice, new trail, about 100m to the east. If you are going to Acephale Falls or climbing area, simply follow the new flagged trail to the Quaite-Heart trail, go a few meters beyond this trail to the Powerline, then go west to the the usual Acephale trail.
    I prefer this as a starting point for the Heart Mountain Loop. In this case, simply follow the Heart-Quaite connector trail (#37) west, past the pond to the start of the Heart Mountain ascent trail. This section is in excellent shape and is a great warm-up before the climb. Then do the Heart Mountain Loop. This trail is also unaffected by the flooding. At the end of the Heart Mountain Loop, go east at the power line for about 30 meters, then follow the flagged trail back to your car.

  • Derek Ryder Sep 2, 2013, 5:24 pm

    QUAITE CREEK:
    The brushing out is planned for ~ September 16th. A volunteer group from TransAlta, the Friends of Kananaskis primary sponsor, will be heading up to improve the route. It’s really nice that it’s open, but yes, it’s still a work in progress. Patience!!

    GROTTO CANYON
    No one seems to have mentioned what it’s like up past the waterfall as yet, so I will. The short canyon section is wall to wall rock, gravel and boulders. When it opens up, the valley is essentially wall to wall rock, gravel and boulders, too. No more lovely mats of dryas. No flowers in sight. The “cave” on the hoodoo wall has partially collapsed and is somewhat different than it used to be. There are gravel banks 8′-10′ tall on the canyon sides. There’s no trail at all, but you can readily (if slowly) pick your way through the rubble without problems. There are still some rogue campsites in the little bits of forest still left on the sides.

  • Gillean Daffern Sep 1, 2013, 10:10 pm

    McCONNELL POINT
    This applies to #39A. The decades old cairn indicating the turnoff from the easternmost logging road (now the new Quaite Creek trail) had been dismantled by the trail builders. We built it up again. A new inukshuk a little farther on at the top of the hill has no significance,

  • Gillean Daffern Sep 1, 2013, 10:01 pm

    QUAITE CREEK
    The trail has been more or less put back the way it was up to the bend, though is much stonier and more undulating. Between the bend and the campground the new trail keeps higher up the banks and crisscrosses the creek four times. After the campground, the new route (blue post at the junction) follows the left-hand (easternmost) logging road which is almost a kilometre longer than the original route. It is rooty in places and needs a good brushing out. Quaite is obviously a work in progress, but nevertheless it was good to find it open and being well-used. Bikers were having a few problems.

  • Alf Skrastins Sep 1, 2013, 9:14 pm

    WEST WIND PASS
    Nothing new about the trail itself, but you no longer have to park on the road at the trailhead. The rock debris on both sides of the road has been levelled and smoothed out, so that you can either park where the old dirt parking area was (lake side) or next to the start of the trail on the east side of the road.

  • Alf Skrastins Aug 30, 2013, 10:11 pm

    SHEEP TRAIL (#9), Mt HOFFMANN (#24)
    Starting from Indian Oils trailhead, go upstream along the Sheep River about 200m, nearly to the end of a large new sand/gravel bar. Cross the Sheep River (now mid-calf deep) and walk back downstream until you can easily gain the south bank. Then follow the Sheep Trail (#9) back to Tiger Jaws Falls. Heading towards Dyson Falls, the first portion of the Sheep Trail (#9) shows some water damage, but nothing that affects hikers. The old logging road leading up to Mt. Hoffmann (#24) has also seen some bits of water damage, but nothing major. The rest of the route on and along Mt. Hoffmann is in good shape.
    We descended to the Sheep Trail (#9) opposite Bluerock Campground and followed it back, past Sheep Falls, to our original crossing. This part of the Sheep Trail was unaffected by flooding.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/MtHoffmannAug302013?authkey=Gv1sRgCI7roZGi0f209gE

  • Alf Skrastins Aug 30, 2013, 8:55 pm

    JEWELL PASS, QUAITE VALLEY
    The Jewell Pass and Quaite Valley trails re-opened on Friday.
    Both trails suffered major flood damage and the repairs included some significant re-routing of the trails. Quaite Valley trail up to the campground is open for hiking, but the trail is still too soft for biking. The Quaite Valley campsite is open for camping. A re-route of the trail from the campground to Jewell Pass is currently being constructed. It is open for hiking, but is still too brushy and rough for mountain biking.
    The Jewell Pass trail was in good shape for the first kilometre down from the pass, but the next kilometre has been completely re-routed. Instead of turning left and descending switchbacks along Jewell Creek, the trail now turns right and traverses over to Jewell Falls. It crosses the creek above the falls, then winds down a mossy ramp to a viewpoint at the bottom of the falls. It then contours to the junction and crosses Jewell Creek on a new bridge, before traversing a bit higher on the east side of the valley than the old trail. The final 500m along the sunny rib remains as before. Volunteers from Friends of Kananaskis Country assisted the Parks trail crew in repairing and rebuilding this trail. I believe you’ll find the new trail to be more aesthetic than the original.
    Here are photos of some of the trail work project.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/JewellPassProjectAug2013?authkey=Gv1sRgCMypvbWc6KjgNg&gsessionid=ecZot1MKR2GbZi1m-_1LUQ

  • Rachel Aug 29, 2013, 5:51 pm

    Barbara,
    How was the 3 Isle campground? I have heard very conflicting reports on it. In good shape, or any trouble?
    Was any part of the trail back from 3 Isle to North Interlakes sketchy or unsafe, or just a little un-trailed in places?
    Thank you!

  • Tony Daffern Aug 28, 2013, 10:16 am

    Thank you for the update Barbara, I have updated the trails in the database.

  • Gillean Daffern Aug 28, 2013, 10:00 am

    LITTLE ELBOW
    The first part of Little Elbow Interpretive trail has been decimated between the parking lot and the suspension bridge. The second half is fine and can be used to access Little Elbow trail. Little Elbow has two huge washouts between Nihahi Ridge turnoff and Nihahi Creek, where sections of bank together with the old road have been washed away. At the first, the trail has been rerouted across the newly-created sandy flat. At the second, a bypass trail has been built through the trees. These problem areas actually makes this section of Little Elbow a little more interesting to walk!
    http://bit.ly/18l2x8U

  • Gillean Daffern Aug 28, 2013, 9:27 am

    QUIRK CREEK
    Footbridge is out at Cobble Flats day use.

  • Barbara Aug 27, 2013, 9:29 pm

    Great update on all the trail conditions. Thanks for compiling this list!

    I just go back from Northover Ridge, so have an update to Volume I trails 69, 70, and 71.

    #69 To Aster Lake: We started from North Interlakes and went up via Hidden Lake. Around August 16 people were still taking the forest trail around Hidden Lake with a fair amount of deadfall. We did this stretch on August 22 and water levels in Hidden Lake had receded enough that we could simply walk around it along the shore. There’s some deadfall at the beginning, but it only takes a couple of minutes to get through this and then one is fine. What may become an issue later though are all the trees along the shore that now have their roots for the most part washed out. With snowfall or wind, I’d imagine that these will become susceptible to falling. Watch out if you hike around in those conditions! No issues at all along the headwall heading up to Aster. The worst (if one can even call it that) was a 1m (yes, that’s all) stretch where it was a bit washed out. The trail is well-defined and has been well-traveled in the past couple of weeks.

    #70 Northover Ridge: No issues here at all. As a matter of fact, we didn’t even have to cross any water at Aster, it was completely dry.

    #71 Three Isle back to parking lot: Ironically enough, the most deadfall and getting off to just a side of the trail happened on the ‘highway’ portion of this trip. Bridges are all in, but there’s a couple of sections where you just have to follow new trails that are forming to the side of the original trail.

    You can see more info and photos from this trip here:
    http://naturebound.ca/2013/08/24/northover-ridge/

  • Wayne Hortensius Aug 25, 2013, 10:11 am

    WASOOTCH RIDGE
    I went up as far as the third reversal (a little more than 4km from the parking lot) with no problems and could see people further up the trail as well.

  • Gillean Daffern Aug 23, 2013, 2:10 pm

    GUNNERY CREEK, THE NOTCH TRAVERSE
    Re Gunnery Creek, O’Shaugnessy Falls no. 2 above Hwy. 541 is a gonner. The trail itself to the pass has minuscule damage.The trail to the Notch is good, other than the usual problem of finding it.The route over to the creek on the west side of Gunnery Mountain is fine, BUT on no account go down to the creekbed—it’s a mess of tumbled stones and trees. Keep high on the left bank, only descending to creek level near the end. Even then stay in the trees. After crossing the fence, pick up a trail taking you out to the bank top above Hwy. 541.

  • Gillean Daffern Aug 23, 2013, 1:41 pm

    LOWER CATARACT CREEK, ZEPHYR CREEK
    Crossing the Highwood River is now fairly easy.Park on the stoney flat to the east of the remains of Sentinel day use area on Hwy. 541.
    For Cataract Creek trail ford the river a little upstream of the wonky interpretive sign to a stoney peninsula. You can’t access the south bank directly from here; in the way is a new deep pond fed by a channel of the river flowing back west, seemingly downhill.(The pool’s sandy north bank guarantees this will be a popular swim hole one day.) So you head right and walk around the head of the pond.An obvious trail climbs the bank and runs along the bank to the Cataract Creek trail.
    The Cataract Creek trail is covered in silty sand initially, but is then fine.We had a most enjoyable walk in the meadows past the waterfalls, but didn’t quite reach the next creek crossing.Instead we took the shortcut trail across Cataract Creek to Zephyr Creek. At the crossing there was lots of sand piled up on the west bank, and much evidence of flooding on the east bank, but the trail itself was good. (I think the equestrians are keeping it open.)

    For Zephyr Creek cross the Highwood River via two channels just upstream of the confluence with Cataract Creek, then cross Cataract Creek. Follow the tree edge on the stones into a new deep sandy draw.The trail starts from the far end of the draw and climbs into the longitudinal meadow, Cross it and in trees follow the trail up and along to the big meadow at the sundance lodges. Zephyr Creek trail starts a little to the left at the mouth of a grassy road between aspens (nee logging road). In volume 5, the trail just described will be the regular route to Zephyr.
    The rest of Zephyr is in fine condition. At the Painted Creek junction where we turned left and crossed Zephyr Creek to access the rock paintings, there is a little flood damage and the spreading of stones. We built cairns across this area to the continuation of the trail on the left bank. After this, the trail has just one minor washout despite its many creek crossings.It’s obvious a lot of water came down this minor creek, but luckily the rock paintings at the narrows are still okay.

  • thepassionatehiker Aug 22, 2013, 7:42 pm

    Old Baldy Ridge.

    Re. the recent posting by Alf Skrastins, about the SW ridge of Old Baldy, I agree re. this being a good alternative route, using the new trail he describes above. See comments on this Kananaskis Trails blog under Forum/Hiking Trails/Old Baldy South Ridge. I used this route to reach the ridge, then back down the steep western slopes to the highway. I had some ideas about trying to find a partial bypass to the boulder step, possibly on its very right hand (eastern) side, but haven’t been up there recently to scout it out again. Some nice cliffs as you climb above the step.

  • Alf Skrastins Aug 21, 2013, 11:23 pm

    EVAN-THOMAS CREEK and OLD BALDY TARN/RIDGE
    There are two big bits of the Evan-Thomas trail (#35) that have been eaten away by the flooding of Evan-Thomas Creek. Both sections already have a re-route trail roughly cut through the forest. This actually improves hiking, by making this part less of a boring road slog.
    The Wedge Connector XC trail (#33) is completely gone where it crosses Evan-Thomas Creek. Not sure if this will be fixed for this winter or ever!
    The Old Baldy Tarn route (#38) up McDougall Creek starts off OK, but you quickly come across fallen trees, missing bits of trail and gravel/rock deposit over the old trail. It is easy to find good connections around all of these until you get to the first of the “steep bank traverses”. The first 3 of these steep banks are gone and the trails along with them. In each case, just cross the creek to the right side and you’ll find reasonably open mossy or grassy strips through the forest. In each case, these re-routes will be better than the original trail.
    The last steep bank is still OK.
    A good alternative to the creek route is the SW ridge route. A good trail was cut in 2011, probably as a fire-guard route as part of the Evan-Thomas prescribed burn. As a result, a very good trail now exists from valley bottom, to the base of a black-bouldery step. The route along the ridge above the boulder step is also good, but the step itself is an unpleasant bit of boulder walking. I used this as our descent route from Old Baldy Ridge.
    The Tarn is about half of it’s spring-time size, but it still has plenty of water in it.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112757355578245802406/OldBaldyAug212013?authkey=Gv1sRgCNTS6ry339vkqQE

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