Trail Conditions Update – June 14, 2021
While pandemic recovery continues and the world slowly reopens, staying active in the outdoors is an excellent way to keep your body and mind healthy. We encourage everyone who spends time on the GDT this year to do so safely and continue to do your part to limit the spread of COVID-19.
At this time, the GDTA supports single-day hikes or horseback rides on the GDT and longer (weekend or multi-day) trips where trails and trailheads are open. Check with public health agencies for information near your starting point, along your route, and at your planned destination. Any GDT travel must comply with provincial and federal guidelines and laws.
TRAIL CLOSURES AND NOTICES:
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, hikers with plans on the GDT this summer should pay close attention to provincial and local health restrictions as they evolve and be prepared to make changes to your plans in order to comply with these restrictions.
- Effective June 15, recreational travel is allowed in British Columbia.
- Access to some Parks Canada visitor facilities and services may be limited.
- BC Parks is providing BC residents with priority access to camping reservations until July 8, when non-BC residents will also be permitted to make camping reservations. Some BC Park facilities and services may be limited.
- Alberta Parks campground reservations are open with reduced services and additional health guidelines and restrictions.
- The new High Rock Trail is open while trail crews continue working on it this June and July, so be mindful and say hello.
- Turbine Canyon campground in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is closed for construction; opening date November 2021.
- Cairnes Creek (d9): The temporary bridge installed last year was destroyed over the winter. A new bridge will be installed later this summer. Cairnes Creek is glacial fed and a difficult ford so until a bridge is installed, it is recommended to ford the creek early in the morning when glacial melt is lowest.
- Trail 7 near Jasper is closed to hikers due to grizzly and black bears frequenting the area so the GDT has been permanently re-routed here. At Soggy Dog Lake (e33), the new route follows Trail 4g to Edith Lake where it connects with Trail 18. Follow Trail 18 to Trefoil Lakes where you briefly follow Trail 4b past Mildred Lake to reconnect with Trail 7 next to the Athabasca River, which leads to Old Fort Point trailhead (e34).
- SNOW MELT: Lower elevation valley bottom trails are mostly snow-free with mud and snow patches, while trails at higher elevations remain snow covered. Despite a recent unseasonable snowstorm, snow melt is slightly ahead of average for this time of year in most of the Rockies. Spring avalanche conditions may continue to exist so prepare accordingly. For up to date snow level data in BC, check out the Snow Survey Stations Interactive Map. In Alberta, check out the Alberta River Basins map (turn on the snow pillow layer).
- CREEKS: Rapid snow melt during this time of year results in high water levels and potentially dangerous creek crossings, particularly later in the day. Attempt to ford larger creeks early in the day when water levels are lowest.
- ELK CALVING SEASON: mid May to June 30. Protective mother elk will aggressively protect their newborns by kicking and charging at people. Stay at least 30 metres away from all elk during this time of year. Pay attention to trail closures in known elk calving areas.
- TICKS: It’s tick season. Long pants tucked into your socks are recommended. Be extra careful when in areas with a lot of underbrush and check yourself and your clothing after your hike.
- BEARS: With spring’s arrival, bears are leaving their dens in search of food. Be bear aware on the trails this spring, make noise and carry bear spray.
- Highway 6 is closed at the Belly River crossing 17 km past the turnoff to Waterton Lakes National Park, to the Alberta-Montana border due to the closed International Border.
- A Kananaskis Conservation Pass is required for all vehicles visiting Kananaskis Country and provincial sites in the Bow Valley Corridor starting June 1, 2021. The pass is not required for people arriving without a vehicle on foot, horseback or bicycle.
- Highway 1 road construction 4 km east of Golden, resulting in weekday nighttime closures (10pm-7am) and single lane traffic until June 24, 2021. If necessary, detour via Highway 93S and Highway 95.
- Highway 40 from junction Highway 742 to junction Highway 541 (Highwood House) is closed until June 14, 2021.
- For more information, check out Alberta 511 and Drive BC.
National and Provincial Park Trail Conditions:
Akamina‐Kishinena Provincial Park
Castle Wildland Provincial Park
Castle Provincial Park
Elk Lakes Provincial Park
Height of the Rockies Provincial Park
Kakwa Provincial Park
Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park
Mount Robson Provincial Park
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park