Climbing at Grassi, Ha Ling, Cougar Creek and EEOR Lakes Closed for 2022

Some of the most popular rock climbing areas in the Bow Valley will be off limits in 2022 due to trail upgrades and major construction projects.

The Government of Alberta will improve trails, invest in public transit and expand Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park this summer. This means that access to Grassi, Ha Ling and EEOR lakes will be closed from April 1. Cougar Creek has been closed for a few years due to dam construction.

A news release from Alberta Parks says more than $4 million will be invested to upgrade popular day-use areas at Grassi Lakes and Goat Creek in the Kananaskis Country. These upgrades will address public safety issues and parking congestion while protecting the environment and enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities.

Trail closures include:
-Grassi Lakes Trail
-Junkyard Trail
-Ha Ling Trail
-Miner’s Peak Trail
-Goat Creek Trail
-East end of Rundle Road
-Reclaimer Mountain Bike Trail
-Mountain bike trail of the Cavaliers du Rohan
– access to the High Rockies trail from Goat Creek

Climbing area closures include:
-Grassi lakes climbing area
-Ha Ling climbing area
-East end of Rundle climbing area

Record numbers of visitors are exploring the Kananaskis Country and with increased visitation comes increased pressure on existing trails and facilities. These improvements will ensure the longevity of some of the region’s most popular trails while conserving the landscape and protecting the environment.

Sean Krausert, Mayor of the Town of Canmorem, said, “As more and more people discover the wonders the Canmore area has to offer, this new three-year pilot for a free Roam transit route connecting the town at Quarry Lake, Grassi Lakes and the Canmore Nordic Center will help manage traffic congestion while maintaining access to these popular areas.

And Nancy Ouimet, Executive Director of Friends of Kananaskis Country, said, “We are delighted that Environment and Parks is continuing to invest in these popular trails to improve user experience and safety. These upgrades will support increased usage and provide better access for decades to come.

Fast facts

-The Government of Alberta launched the Kananaskis Conservation Pass on June 1, 2021. To date, the pass has generated $12 million in revenue.
-Revenues from the Kananaskis Conservation Pass are used to provide visitor services and support operations in the area.
-$994,000 from pass revenue is committed to the Town of Canmore to support a regional transit initiative slated to launch in 2024. These funds will be used to purchase a transit bus and to improve transit stops, build associated infrastructure and operate the service for three years.
– Beginning April 1, the Grassi Lakes and Goat Creek day-use areas will be under construction. Albertans are encouraged to check out the hundreds of kilometers of nearby groomed trails that are ready to be explored. Albertans can visit albertaparks.ca/parks/kananaskis or call the Kananaskis Information Line at 403-678-0760 to find other hikes and areas to explore in the area.

The project :
-expand and formalize the main Lacs Grassi parking lot
-renovate portions of the Grassi lakes trail
-Officialize the Lacs Grassi overflow parking lot
– provide a road crossing and a trail connection between the spillway and the main lots
-provide separation facilities and washrooms between the climbing terrain and the Smith Dorrien Trail
-expand and formalize the main Goat Creek parking lot
-replace two bridges on the Goat Creek Trail

For more information, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page which focuses on these closures. Visit here.

Ha Ling from the Grassi Lakes area

Virginia F. Goins