Goat Creek to Banff- fantastic!

Peter and Barbara on Goat Creek

Barbara had excellent conditions for her first ever ski on Goat Creek and she thoroughly enjoyed it. Peter and I both agreed that it was one of the best trips ever. 

The sign at the Banff boundary directs the multi-use traffic onto the corduroy.

Goat Creek was trackset yesterday, and it’s so nice to ski it before it gets “loved” to death by all the multi-users. We encountered nobody but other skiers, a rare day indeed. 

Goat Creek bridge at 7K

To add to the fun, we encountered both Chuck and Helen on the trail. Had a nice chat with SkierChuck, but I was blasting downhill when Helen appeared and she motioned for me to keep on going while I had a full head of steam. If I had known she had cookies…

Now that it’s trackset, the signs are up at the boundary which direct the multi-user traffic onto the corduroy. Let’s see how it goes. It’s worked well for the two years that the new grooming configuration has been in effect. 

Starting up the hill from the Spray River bridge at 9K

We arrived at the Goat Creek trailhead above Canmore at 11:30 a.m. to a temperature of -12, a skiff of fresh snow, and no wind. We all used VR30(-10/-30) and it worked well enough that we didn’t have to herringbone anywhere.

Now on Spray River West at Km 9.5

The first downhill from the parking lot can be skied if you stay to the right. We didn’t see any rocks for the remainder of the 18.9K to Banff. 

The first 900 metres to the Banff boundary has reasonably good coverage and is skier-tracked. The tracksetting starts immediately at the boundary and as Craig reported, the tracks are a bit shallow for the first K but get progressively better. 

Excellent conditions on Spray River West

The steep hill down to the Goat Creek bridge was totally skiable today. That is, unless you are a high-risk individual and try to go too fast and realize too late that you have to make a sudden turn to negotiate yourself onto the bridge. Peter bailed at the side rather than end up in the creek. Barbara, who had never skied it before, had no trouble but she went s-l-o-w. 

Barb and her group were at the Spray Loop junction

The tracksetting on Spray River West was done on Jan 3 but it’still in nice shape. The skating lane was groomed yesterday. 

The only place where the trail was compromised was the final 2K into Banff where there was some tree debris on the snow. 

The Banff trail report indicates that Healy Creek and Brewster Creek were trackset today. 


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  1. We got dropped off at the Goat Creek trailhead on Canmore side then after lunching in the side lobby of the Banff Springs we took the ROAM for $1 (senior rate) to the Hot Springs for a soak . From the hot springs we took the ROAM right back to Canmore for $3. Quite a deal if you can get a ride to the trailhead.

  2. I have biked this trail during the summer, and would love to XC ski this, however how do you get back? Did you have two cars, so you could park at either end? Could you ski back on the trail?

    • We did a car shuttle for this trip. You could also ski back.

      • Alright thanks!

        • You can also take the public bus “Roam Transit” from Banff to Canmore. It used to be $5 and I imagine is still similar. It runs every hour and every 30 mins during peak weekday hours. Then you’ll only need to get from Canmore town up to goat creek trailhead (15ish mins drive above town). A taxi would do it if you can’t phone a friend. I’ve done it before and it works well 🙂

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