Goat creek and Spray river

by Bob Truman on January 12, 2013

in Banff, Goat Creek, XC

Skiers on Spray river west, about 3K from Banff

Greg beat me to it, but I will share some details and photos of my wonderful ski trip on Goat creek and Spray river west, one-way from Canmore to Banff.

2K from the Goat creek trailhead

2K from the Goat creek trailhead

This winter has given us incredibly good
conditions on these trails. You couldn’t ask for much better unless it was trackset with a Pisten-Bully. The snow was amazingly soft even though it had been trackset two days ago. Combined with frigid snow, and a couple cm of fresh snow on the trail, it wasn’t super fast but I still made it to Banff in less than two hours.

Goat creek, 8.5K from trailhead

Goat creek, 8.5K from trailhead

About 1.5k down the trail, I encountered two skiers who were re-waxing because their   grip wax was too grabby.  One of them had waxed with green so I can only assume she applied too much, the other had used blue. My Swix VR30(-10/-30) gave me all the grip I needed, and I only applied two thin layers. The air temperature was -11°C. I didn’t check the snow temp, but you can rest assured it was very cold.

The first 900 metres of Goat creek is not trackset

The first 900 metres of Goat creek is not trackset

As always, the first 7K to the Goat creek bridge is somewhat beat up, but nothing much to complain about. Thereafter, the tracks become  less abused, until you reach 13.4K at which time you’ll be on the busiest portion of Spray river west.

With all the snow we’ve had, the fast downhills and sharp turns were no problem at all. I expect some challenges on the downhills to the bridges, but it was all easily negotiated today.

Spray river west, 1K from Banff

Spray river west, 1K from Banff

As Greg mentioned in his trip report, you don’t reach the trackset trail until the Banff boundary which is 900 metres from the trailhead, but the trail has been skied on, walked on, and snowshoed on, so it has a pretty firm base.


Thanks for all the trip reports today. I’m happy to hear that West Bragg finally has some good conditions. The part I miss the most about skiing there is seeing all the happy dogs.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Dale Hoffos March 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm

We have often skiied the Spray River Trail from the Banff Springs end to the bridge that brings you back on the other side of the river but have never skiied from the Canmore end. Where does the trail from Canmore start. Where do we park and pick up the trail from Canmore?



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