Goat Creek and Spray River East

Goat Creek at 5K

Jan 24, 2020

Does Banff National Park not have anyone competent enough to update their trail reports accurately?

This morning I read that Goat Creek was trackset yesterday. Surprise! It wasn’t. 

After the blunder concerning dog-friendly trails at Lake Louise, I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised. 

Chris and Kathy on Goat Creek

When Paula informed me about the four new dog-friendly trails, I immediately called the Lake Louise Visitor Centre to verify the information. I had some misgivings about the info on the trail report. No answer despite repeated calls. I left a message but nobody returned my call. Still waiting. 

The four new dog-friendly trails are no longer posted as dog-friendly. 

Spray River West was trackset yesterday

I wasn’t disappointed that Goat Creek wasn’t trackset because the old tracks are just fine. I had wonderful conditions on cold, clean snow all the way to the Goat Creek bridge. 

Despite encountering one person walking directly on the tracks right in front of me, the multi-users for the most part have stayed in their lane. 

The view from the Spray River bridge at 9K.

There is new tracksetting on Spray River East and Spray River West. 

Things changed after the Goat Creek bridge. The snow was occasionally wet between Goat Creek bridge and the bus stop(Spray East/West junction has a shelter that looks like a bus stop) at 13.3K. 

I made a right turn at the junction and took Spray River East to Banff. The trail conditions deteriorated as I got closer to Banff. The trail was alternately wet and icy. 

Spray River East

I made the correct choice to use my Fischer twin skins today. It would have been difficult getting any grip on the final 5.5k on Spray River East. We’re into waxless ski season with this warm weather. 

The steep downhills to the bridges are sketchy. The trails are severely dished and rutted but were still edge-able today. 

Goat Creek bridge at 7K

The air temperature at the Goat Creek trailhead at 1:15 pm was +3°C and the snow was -1. Later in the afternoon at Banff it was +6. 

Pipestone trails are trackset

The Pipestone trails have finally been trackset. Some of the trails are still closed, but the trail report is unclear.

As MaSid remarked on his comment, “Web site says check trail details, but then no details at all regarding any partial closure, other than saying abide by signage and closures. Couldn’t really get more uninformative as the site for public information.”

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  1. Sort of a negative post. Lake Louise was fantastic today, thanks Banff National Park for all the terrific free grooming.

    Negativity is in the eye of the beholder. If BNP improves their reporting, this posting will have brought positive results. If we don’t make them aware of their deficiencies, they’ll never do anything to correct the problems. Free grooming is wonderful, now let’s hope they can start reporting it accurately. -Bob

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