September 2021 Trail and Road Conditions

Trail Conditions Update – September 15, 2021

Be prepared for colder temperatures and shorter days when travelling on the trail this month. Trail conditions are generally still good but expect wet and muddy sections during periods of rain or snow.

TRAIL CLOSURES AND NOTICES: 

  • CLOSURE – Mount Robson Provincial Park: The Berg Lake Trail is closed from Kinney Lake to Robson Pass for the remainder of the 2021 season due to continuing flood conditions causing washed out bridges, flooded campgrounds and unsafe trails. All campground reservations will be cancelled and fully refunded automatically. Mount Robson Visitor Centre has temporarily suspended its resupply package service and it is not expected to resume this summer. The Moose River Trail reopened August 1, giving GDT Hikers 4 options to use as the GDT northern terminus other than the Berg Lake Trail:
       1. Jasper Townsite
       2. Moose River (recently cleared)
       3. Blueberry
       4. 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.
  • FIRES: Cooler temperatures and rain/snowfall have reduced fire danger levels in the Rockies and campfire bans have been lifted. If you must have a campfire in the backcountry, ensure you follow the rules.
  • 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. 
    • CLOSURE – Waterton Lakes National Park: Twin Lakes campground is closed due to a black bear frequenting the area. The bear has not been aggressive, but has approached people and attempted to obtain food.
  • The new High Rock Trail is open so check it out!
  • Turbine Canyon campground in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is closed all summer for 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.

ACCESS: 

  • 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 weekday nighttime closures (10pm-7am) and single lane daytime traffic until September 20, 2021. Extended 24 hour closure will be in effect from September 20-24. If necessary, 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

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