The sun was out, the sky was blue, the temperature was heading up towards 20 degrees and my brain was saying “get ye away from this desk and off to the High Rockies Trail”. So that’s what I did. It wasn’t my first visit there. You may remember a post from November last year that took a “first look” at the “new” High Rockies Trail. This time I explored a different section of the 70km trail, and settled on a gentle, rolling, 10km out-and-back from Goat Creek with 339m of elevation. My turnaround was a couple of kilometres short of the Three Sisters Dam which is essentially where that “first look” began. While there was no obvious destination in mind, it was a great leg-stretcher, with some spectacular views along the Spray Valley and the Goat Range. There was also quite a bit of mud.
On Strava it all looked like this:
The route began at the Goat Creek Trailhead, about 15 minutes from Canmore, along Highway 742.
Goat Creek Trail is a popular destination for trail runners, mountain bikers and, in the winter, cross-country skiers. The trail runs along the foot of Mount Rundle and all the way to Banff. From there, you can join the Rundle Riverside Trail which takes you around the west end of Mount Rundle and back along the Bow Valley to the Canmore Nordic Centre. It’s around a 42km round trip.
To access the High Rockies Trail, follow the Goat Creek Trail for around 0.8km at which point you reach the boundary of Banff National Park:
Rather than follow the trail into the park, hang a left and head off along this trail…
… and begin your foray along the High Rockies Trail. Much of the trail between here and the point at which I turned around, before the Three Sisters Dam, is in the trees. It’s not particularly technical, just a gentle, rolling, at times muddy, dirt bound and occasionally rocky trail that throws up some incredible views along the way:
And, of course, the beauty of the out-and-back is that you see what was behind you which, on this occasion, was not too shabby either:
All in all, a nice little outing.