Banff AB –Cycling and day hiking opportunities abound in Banff National Park for the Canada Day weekend, says Parks Canada in their latest flood recovery update. The most severe flooding damage occurred in the more easterly parts of the park. Further west to Lake Louise, and in Yoho and Kootenay National Parks, conditions improve significantly. Most trails west of Castle Junction are in good shape; however, please be aware that early season trail conditions still apply.
Although water levels are dropping, fording remains dangerous. Horse riders should be advised that there have been major changes within stream channels and former fords should be treated with caution. Many backcountry bridges have been washed away during the flooding.
OPEN & RECOMMENDED FOR CYCLING
Asphalted Roads or Trails
• Bow Valley Parkway (Fireside to Castle Junction & Lake Louise to Baker Creek)
• Golf Course Road (to the sewage treatment plant)
• Sundance Canyon Road(between Cave & Basin and Sundance Canyon Loop Trail)
• Tunnel Mountain Road and Tunnel Mountain Drive
• Vermilion Lakes Drive & Banff Legacy Trail WEST of town (connector to Bow Valley Parkway)
Important Closure: The Banff Legacy Trail beside the Trans-Canada Highway remains closed from Rocky Mountain Resort to the Banff National Park East Gate, due to impassable sections. Cycling on the Trans-Canada Highway is not a recommended alternative at this time.
Mountain Bike Trails
• Cascade Trail to 4-Mile bridge
• Healy Connector to Brewster Creek, to within 2km of Sundance Lodge
• Redearth to Lost Horse Creek
• Spray River East side to Spray River Bridge
• Tunnel Mountain cycling trails (see brochure)
• Upper Stoney Squaw
OPEN & RECOMMENDED FOR DAY HIKING
• Boom Lake
• Bourgeau Lake
• Bow Glacier Falls
• Bow Summit Lookout
• Eiffel Lake
• Glacier Lake
• Ink Pots
• Johnston Canyon (Lower and Upper Falls)
• Lake Agnes
• Lake Louise Shoreline
• Lake Louise Tramline
• Louise Creek
• Moraine Lake Shoreline and Rockpile
• Plain of Six Glaciers
• Rockbound Lake
• Twin Lakes/Arnica Lake/Gibbon Pass
• Sulphur Mountain Trail (Banff)
• Tunnel Mountain and Hoodoos Trails (Banff)
Overnight backcountry camping opportunities in Banff National Park are limited by high water and loss of connecting bridges. Expect early season conditions: wet and muddy sections, snow at higher elevations. The following areas are accessible for backcountry camping (Wildernes Permits required): Glacier Lake, Norman Lake, Paradise valley, Shadow Lake (via Gibbon Pass only), Skoki Valley, Spray River (via Spray East connector trail only), Taylor Lake, and Twin Lakes; check at Information Centres.
Access Note: The popular backpacking areas of Egypt Lake and Bryant Creek did not suffer significant damage but are inaccessible due to road closures in Kananaskis Country and on the Sunshine Road. Egypt Lake is also currently not accessible from Redearth or Pharoah Creek due to the loss of bridges. Mount Assiniboine is not accessible via Mount Shark, Sunshine, or Simpson River Trail.
Check Parks Canada website for the latest information: www.parkscanada.gc.ca/Banff-update *http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/banff/ne/neuf-news.aspx) Easy access to Banff National Park's Twitter feeds and Facebook page are available from this site.