The Goat Creek Trail begins near Kananaskis country at Canmore over an approximate 18km route south of Mt. Rundle to the Banff Springs Hotel parking lot. This trail is used a lot by mountain bikers. Hikers need to keep an eye and an ear out for bikers coming up behind them or down steep portions of the trail. To go the one-way from Canmore to the Banff Springs Hotel will take about 5 hours on a mountain bike and considerably longer if hiking. A map of the Spray River Loop provides an estimate of the trail location.
[1-Departing trail head]
The trailhead is at the Spray Lake Road parking area past the Canmore Nordic Centre where the first part of the trail is dirt. The trail drops about 291m (957ft). Many bikers and hikers have a ride drop them off here and pick-up later at the Banff Springs Hotel parking lot.
[2 - View from the trail - click to enlarge]
The trail makes its way through Engelmann spruce with Mt. Rundle to the north and the Goat Range to the south.
[3-Bridge over Goat Creek]
The footbridges at Goat Creek and Spray River are at the bottom of relatively steep grades and require awareness on the part of the hiker or biker. At the latter footbridge at about the 9 km mark cross over to the fire road which will go straight to the golf course at the Banff Springs Hotel.
[4-Goat Creek Trail
[5-click to enlarge]
[6-Goat Creek Falls - click to enlarge]
[9-View from Goat Creek Trail of Banff Springs Hotel]
[10-Goat Creek Trail - Golf Course]
[11-Bow Falls - click to enlarge]
PLEASE NOTE: The area of the Spray River Valley from its headwaters at Canyon Dam through to the confluence of Goat Creek and the Spray River. This area also includes the drainage from Sundance Pass south into the Spray River is CLOSED TO HUMAN TRAFFIC FROM APRIL 15, 2009 TO NOVEMBER 15, 2009. ACCESS IS FORBIDDEN AT THIS TIME.
ParksCanada Trail Condition Report
ParksCanada Bear Report
Moon Alberta: including Banff, Jasper and the Canadian Rockies (2007), Andrew Hempstead, p.194
Banff, Jasper and Glacier National Parks (2008), Oliver Berry, Brendan Sainsbury, p.122
Photo Credits: -dking CC=nc-sa-flickr.