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

Some of Canmore's best rock climbing areas will be off limits for trail and parking lot improvements

Photo by: Brandon Pullan of Zoé Desjardins

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

The Alberta government will be upgrading trails, investing in public transit and expanding Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park this summer. That means that access to Grassi Lakes, Ha Ling and EEOR will be closed starting on April 1. Cougar Creek has been closed for the past few years due to the building of a dam.

A press release from Alberta Parks sated that more than $4 million will be invested to upgrade the popular Grassi Lakes and Goat Creek day-use areas in 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 Route
-Reclaimer Mountain Bike Trail
-Riders of Rohan Mountain Bike Trail
-access to 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-breaking numbers of visitors are exploring Kananaskis Country and with increased visitation comes increased pressure on existing trails and facilities. These upgrades will ensure the sustainability 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 are discovering the wonders that the Canmore area has to offer, this new three-year pilot for a fare-free Roam Public Transit route connecting the town to Quarry Lake, Grassi Lakes and the Canmore Nordic Centre 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 thrilled that Environment and Parks is continuing to invest into these popular trails to improve the user experience and safety. These upgrades will support the increased usage and provide better access for decades to come.”

Quick Facts

-Alberta’s government 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 being used to provide services to visitors and support operations in the region.
-$994,000 from pass revenues is being committed to the Town of Canmore to support a regional transit initiative that is expected to launch in 2024. These funds will be used towards the purchase of a transit bus and to enhance transit stops, construct associated infrastructure and operate the service for three years.
-Effective April 1, the Grassi Lakes and Goat Creek day-use areas will be under construction. Albertans are encouraged to discover the hundreds of kilometres of nearby maintained 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 alternative hikes and areas to explore in the region.

The project will:
-expand and formalize the Grassi Lakes main parking lot
-refurbish portions of the Grassi Lakes trail
-formalize the Grassi Lakes overflow parking lot
-provide a road crossing and trail connection between the overflow and main lots
-provide separation and washroom facilities between the climber’s lot and the Smith Dorrien Trail
-expand and formalize the main Goat Creek parking lot
-replace two bridges on Goat Creek trail

Looking for more information, visit the frequently asked questions page which focuses on these closures. Visit here.

Ha Ling from Grassi Lakes area

 

Lead photo: Brandon Pullan of Zoé Desjardins