It didn’t take long to construct a new bridge over Lost Horse creek, thereby enabling Redearth creek trail to reopen today to hikers and bikers. Please note, the Banff trail report indicates that the bridge is still out. Disregard it. I was there and saw it with my own eyes.
I encountered the work crew from Shadow Lake Lodge who had been constructing the bridge for the past two days along with the mini-backhoe which was slowly making its way back to the trailhead. Brian said I was the first one he’s seen on the trail since it re-opened. I guess I was the guinea pig that had to cross the new bridge and make sure it was solid.
All things considered, the damage to the trail was minimal all the way to the warden’s cabin. Some significant erosion occurred for about a 400-metre stretch in the vicinity of the Lost Horse bridge, but the trail has been reconfigured and now goes through some new territory. There are a few places where silt and gravel have been washed onto the trail.
Lost Horse creek carved out a completely new channel for itself. The old bridge was swept off its moorings and now is just sitting off to the side. I’ve crossed that old bridge numerous times on many memorable occasions, mostly ski trips. Sad to see it looking so forlorn and covered with rocks and debris.
Brian said they hauled in supplies today for the re-opening of the lodge tomorrow. The lodge offers accommodation and delicious meals for guests, but you are also welcome to stop in for tea if you’re just doing a day hike.
I biked the trail today and had to ride through a few puddles but nothing difficult. I crossed eight bridges in total and think it’s amazing that only one had to be replaced. Incidentally, the Pharoah creek bridge is still standing albeit with a bit of debris on the deck. It’s no problem to get across.
Lins and I did the Elk Lakes Cabin with M in a chariot last fall, hiking in through the PLPP XC ski trails and then down the powerline road. I’m not sure what post-flood access to PLPP is (going to be) like, but that was a good option and I would say that you could do either bike or hike (though there were some steep climbs where you’d be pushing the bike).
Bob: any thoughts on Chariot biking up the Cascade Fire Road?
The steep hill near the beginning would discourage me. The bridge over Cascade river has been destroyed by the floods, but you could still go about 6K to that point. I biked to the warden’s cabin a few years ago on a hardtail bike and almost rattled my teeth out. -Bob
Very helpful, thanks! Rather that you are honest than encourage us to go on what could be, as you say, a difficult trip with toddlers! Interested to hear if anyone has done it…will keep checking in!
I have found your website really helpful in my research to find a place to hike into for my young family – my husband and I with our two young daughter who are almost 3 and almost 18 months. We would be looking to go to Shadow Lake Lodge and are wondering about biking and/or hiking in. The photos that you have here seem to be conducive to pulling a chariot trailer behind a bike and /or pushing a chariot stroller. Would you agree that we would be able to take the trailer/stroller the whole way to Shadow Lake Lodge?
Thanks for your help!
The silt and gravel which has been washed onto the trail would make it difficult, not to mention there are some very steep sections(430 metre net elevation gain). The trail is also uneven in places which would make the chariot want to tip over. On the final 3k the trail can get pretty narrow in places and bikes aren’t allowed on that last portion. Sorry to sound so discouraging, but it could be a difficult trip with 2 toddlers. If anyone reading here has done it, please let us know how it went for you. -Bob