May 8, 2023
Spring is in the air and this is transition time on the GDT. Valley bottom trails at lower elevations vary from bare and muddy to slushy and icy, while trails at higher elevation remain snowbound. With warmer weather, trail conditions can change quickly from icy in the morning to slushy and slippery in the afternoon. Plan for varying conditions – warm layers, boots, snowshoes, cleats and/or poles are recommended. Please note that most trails are not maintained in the winter and downed trees won’t be removed until the trails are clear, usually in July.
TRAIL CLOSURES AND NOTICES:
- SNOW MELT: Snow levels in the southern and central Rockies are lower than average for this time of year. Spring avalanche conditions 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).
- FIRE BANS: It has been an usually warm and dry spring resulting in unprecedented early season wildfire activity and a provincial state of emergency has been declared in Alberta. Fire bans and OHV restrictions are in effect throughout the Alberta Fire Protection Area covering the GDT from Sage Pass to Surprise Pass, not including the national parks. If you must have a campfire in the backcountry, ensure you follow the rules.
- CLOSURE – Mount Robson Provincial Park: The Berg Lake Trail will remain closed for repairs during the 2023 season, except for the first 7 kilometres from the parking lot to Kinney Lake. 14 sites at Kinney Lake Campground are open for reservations on a four-month rolling window. 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:
2. Moose River
- CLOSURE – Aster Lake campground on the Northover Ridge Alternate in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is closed due to construction. Random camping is permitted at Northover tarns in Height of the Rockies Provincial Park – please Leave No Trace!
- CLOSURE – Egypt Lake and Bryant Creek shelters are closed until further notice due to construction.
- 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: Tick season has started. 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.
- A Kananaskis Conservation Pass will be required for all vehicles visiting Kananaskis Country and provincial sites in the Bow Valley Corridor. The pass is not required for people arriving without a vehicle on foot, horseback or bicycle.
- Highway 40 is closed south of Kananaskis Lakes Trail to Highwood House junction until June 14, 2023.
- Highway 1 road construction 4 km east of Golden – Prepare for delays and weekday nighttime closures (10pm-7am). If necessary, detour via Highway 93S and Highway 95
- BC Parks lists Walker Creek FSR as closed at km 37 due to unsafe road conditions, but the road remains accessible beyond that point for those with high clearance 4WD vehicles willing to drive the very rough and overgrown road all the way to from the Bastille Creek trailhead.
- 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