Trail Conditions Update – October 15, 2021
Fall colours are here, and so is the snow! Winter is coming and snow has fallen at higher elevation on most of the GDT so expect wet, slippery and muddy trail conditions. Nighttime and early morning temperatures are below freezing, so be prepared for cold temperatures and shorter days when travelling into the backcountry this fall.
TRAIL CLOSURES AND NOTICES:
- CLOSURE – Mount Robson Provincial Park: The Kinney Lake Road, parking lot and Berg Lake Trail are closed for construction. Reservations for the Berg Lake Trail in 2022 have been postponed until further notice. Mount Robson Visitor Centre has temporarily suspended its resupply package service. The Moose River Trail is open, giving GDT Hikers 4 options to use as the GDT northern terminus other than the Berg Lake Trail:
1. Jasper Townsite2. Moose River3. Blueberry4. Kakwa
- COVID-19: 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. Some facilities and services along the GDT may be closed or limited due to the pandemic. Hikers with plans on the GDT 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.
- ELK RUTTING SEASON: It is elk rutting season until mid-October. Warning signs that read “ATTENTION – Elk Mating” have been posted at areas where elk herds often gather. Be aware that bull elk become extremely aggressive during rutting season so keep at least 30 metres away from all elk and never get between a male and female elk.
- BEARS: It’s pre-hibernation feeding season for black and grizzly bears which increases the chances of running into a bear on the trail. It is easy to surprise a bear that is focussed on feeding so make noise while hiking in bear territory. Be alert, make noise, carry bear spray and if you see a bear, back away slowly and leave the area.
- Turbine Canyon and Forks backcountry campgrounds in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park are closed due to construction.
- Egypt Lake and Bryant Creek shelters are closed until further notice.
- A new bridge was installed over Cairnes Creek on September 12, 2021.
- 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).
- Chown Creek bridge (g2) has been damaged by extreme flooding and only a portion of the bridge remains. Recent reports indicate that the creek is fordable 50 metres upstream of the bridge, allowing access to the campground on the north side of the creek. If the creek is impassable, NOBO hikers can bushwhack in the forest on the south bank of Chown Creek and reconnect to the GDT about 3 km upstream. SOBO hikers should not ford Chown Creek.
- 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.
- Sunshine Road is open but Sunshine Village will be closed for the entire 2021 season, including the shuttle and gondola.
- Highway 1 road construction 4 km east of Golden, resulting in extended 24 hour closure in effect from September 20 to December 1, 2021. Detour via Highway 93S and Highway 95.
- CLOSURE: Walker Creek FSR is closed at km 37 due to unsafe road conditions, so be prepared for a lengthy road walk from the Bastille Creek trailhead. Where the road is open, a 4WD vehicle with high clearance is strong recommended.
- For more information, check out Alberta 511 and Drive BC.
National and Provincial Park Trail Conditions:
Banff National Park
Jasper National Park
Kootenay National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park
Yoho National Park
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