September 2014 Trail and Road Conditions

GDT AutumnTrail Conditions Update – SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

Autumn is fast approaching, the leaves are changing and fresh snow has fallen on the southern portion of the GDT! Expect nighttime and early morning temperatures below freezing and fresh snowfall at higher elevations at anytime.

The elk rutting season has begun and will last 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.

As a result of last summer’s flood damage to the trail and bridges, some trails remain closed in 2014 (see below). It is recommended that anyone planning to hike the GDT this year research the status of any trails you wish to use and exercise additional caution and allow adequate time to route-find and safely navigate unforeseen obstacles.

Trail Closures and Notices:

  • TRAIL CLOSURE – Elk Lakes Provincial Park: Lower Elk Lakes trail beyond the campground (between Lower and Upper Lakes) and the trail from Upper Elk Lakes to West Elk Pass remain closed due to washed out bridges and sections of trail. DETOUR: Use Elkan Creek trail from the parking lot to Elk Pass (4km).
  • ACCESS TRAIL CLOSURE – Kootenay National Park: Tumbling Creek Trail remains closed.
  • NOTICES – Cairnes Creek: The bridge is washed out making this a potentially dangerous ford. It is recommended to cross early in the morning when glacial melt is lowest.
  • The Lambe Creek bridge is badly damaged so it is recommended to ford the creek further downstream and avoid using the broken bridge.
  • The Maligne Pass trail in Jasper National Park has been decommissioned and is in poor shape. The trail from Pobokton Creek to Maligne Lake (approx 42 km) is no longer being maintained by Parks Canada so expect deteriorating and overgrown trail conditions; long pants are recommended. The Maligne River bridge has been removed but the river can be easily forded (knee deep in mid-summer). Most other bridges are still in place.

Access Roads Update


  • Highway 40 is open from Highway 1 to Highway 541 but traffic is detoured or limited to one-lane in some areas due to construction work, in particular near Lineham Creek and Cat Creek where new bridges are being constructed. For more information, check out Alberta 511.
  • Construction continues on Forestry Trunk Road 940 south of Cataract Creek to the Hwy 532 junction. The road will be open every Friday through Monday for recreational users but closed for construction activities from Tuesday to Thursday each week until further notice.
  • Highway 532 eastbound and westbound from junction of Forestry Trunk Road 940 to Highway 22 remains open during road repairs.
  • The Oldman River Road is washed out approximately 10 kilometres from the junction with Forestry Trunk Road 940 with no timetable for repair/re-opening.


  • The Blaeberry FSR is closed to non-industrial traffic at 11.5 km and washed out completely at 19.1 km. From this point, you can still travel the additional 22 km on foot (or possibly bike) to the David Thompson Heritage Trailhead (on the GDT) near the Cairnes Creek Recreation site, which is deteriorated and partially flooded but there is still a reasonably dry, flat area for camping.

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