As we say good bye to May, the rain is pouring and flowers are blooming. Trails around Calgary, Canmore, Kananaskis Village and Banff townsite are in great shape (but wet). There’s still snow at elevation, expecially in Peter Lougheed, Spray Valley and Lake Louise. Please take care and be avalanche aware as well as bear aware. I’ve tried to capture most of the closures and advisories, but conditions change quickly with the weather, so always check before heading out.
|Reader Rock Gardens|
|Reader’s Garden Cafe|
|Reader Rock Gardens|
|Silver Springs Botanical Gardens: Old Post Garden|
|Silver Springs Botanical Gardens: “Shakespeare Garden”|
|Silver Springs Botanical Gardens: Chartres Labryinth
(The labyrinth flowers were just starting to bloom and should be like this by mid-June)
|Badlands Trail, Dinosaur Provincial Park|
More Calgary Fun
Landmark Challenge: See how many Landmarks you can find in Calgary Parks this weekend!
|River Passage Art Installation
Check out the Landmarks in Calgary Parks post for more info.
Rainy Day Fun in Calgary: Indoor and outdoor fun including many FREE activities! The Calgary Police Interpretive Centre is on our bucket list!
Visit a Farmer’s Market for the freshest local produce, meats, and baked goods.
10 Fun Family Bike Rides in Calgary: Try a new one each week! Snack spots are included in these itineraries because every bike ride deserves a “good job treat”. Combine routes for a longer bike ride.
3 NW Calgary Hikes: Did you know the Douglas Fir Trail is open from the north side trailhead to the lookout? Or that Calgary has a Medicine Wheel? Visit Waterfall Valley in Bowmont Park too!
|Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Park|
May 25-28 Calgary International Children’s Festival Free and ticketed fun events for kids of all ages!
May 27 4 pm – 7 pm Springfree Calgary’s Birthday Bash Jump on trampolines, face painting, balloon animals, food and more! 6999 11 St SE
May 28 10 am – 5 pm 2nd Annual Bridgeland Cultura Festival Live music, beer gadens, family activities, local vendors. 1st Ave NE & 8 St.
May 29 Alberta BMX Day – BMX tracks open to the public (ages 4 & up)! & racing! Calgary, Okotoks, Airdrie, Cochrane and other Alberta towns/cities are participating.
The trails in Bow Valley Provincial Park and Canmore are in excellent condition with only a few seasonal closures in Bow Valley (Pigeon Mountain, Mount Allan/Centennial Ridge Trail, part of Stoney Trail, Wind Ridge – note that West Wind Pass is not affected by this closure). Trails will be wet due to all the recent precipitation, so biking paved trails is a great alternative to hiking right now. Tanya Koob has a great roundup of The Best Family Bike Trails in Canmore.
|Biking in Canmore, Alberta
Image Credit: Tanya Koob, Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies
In Peter Lougheed, I’m pleased to report that the bridges on Black Prince Cirque and Sarrail Falls (Upper Kananaskis Lake Trail / Rawson Lake) have been rebuilt!! Black Prince Cirque is good to go, but expect wet/muddy sections in the trees. Rawson Lake still has snow near the lake, so be sure to wear waterproof boots and gaiters.
|Black Prince Cirque, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park|
The Peter Lougheed bike path is snow-free, but there are several bear advisories in place (around Boulton Creek Campground, Lower Lake Campground, Lower Lake Group Campground and Interlakes Campground) so I recommend biking the Bill Milne Trail until those advisories are lifted. Bike from Ribbon Creek / Kovach Pond Day Use* to Wedge Pond. It’s 18 km return, but mostly flat (except for the last 2 km to the pond) so my 5 year old managed fine on her 16″ bike with no gears! This trail is even prettier than the Legacy Trail, is further off the road, and sees very little traffic, so it’s peaceful. I’m sure you will love it!
*Note: Kovach Pond Day Use opens April 29th each year. If the parking lot is full, park at Ribbon Creek.
|Bill Milne Trail, Kananaskis|
Kananaskis Valley Trails tend to dry out sooner than Peter Lougheed and Spray Valley trails. All are in good shape, but expect wet and muddy sections in the trees. Troll Falls and Hay Meadow can be hiked or biked, Mount Lorette Ponds have been stocked with rainbow trout, and the Bill Milne Trail is always fantastic. More information here: Top 5 Spring Things to Do in Kananaskis With Your Kids.
|Mount Lorette Ponds, Kananaskis|
Elbow Valley got quite muddy last weekend with all the rain. Trails and Powderface Trail (road) need time to dry out. Expect muddy sections on Prairie Mountain and possibly some snow. Fullerton Loop may be a better option as it gets more sun.
|Forget-Me-Not Pond, Elbow Valley|
|Prairie Mountain, Elbow Valley (in March)|
Banff National Park
Check out my Top 5 Things to Do in Banff in Spring and stay tuned for a summer version! We’re super excited about the gondolas (Banff and Lake Louise) being open. Banff Gondola has a stunning hike from the summit (about 1 km) and Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola has a few gorgeous hikes to choose from and amazing dining at Whitehorn Bistro.
Be sure to visit Banff’s Central Park Playground! It has a nature theme and the views are great!
Lake Louise trails are opening up – Hike to Lake Agnes or Fairview Lookout for lovely views. Bike the Great Divide Trail. Moraine Lake Road is now open but there’s still a lot of snow on the trails along there.
|Kicking Horse Viewpoint
(short hike from top of Lake Louise Gondola)
|Tunnel Mountain, Banff|
|Banff Central Park Playground
Image Credit: Dana Wheatley, Calgary Playground Review
Get Ready for Camping / Road Trips
Read my Epic Road Trips Series so YOU can have epic road trips!
Camping Trip Reports
- Backpacking to the Point Backcountry Campground, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
- Walk-in Campgrounds Near Calgary
- Backcountry Campgrounds Near Calgary
- Camping in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (descriptions of the various campgrounds and suggested activities in the park)
- Camping at Bow Valley Campground
- Exploring Dinosaur Provincial Park
- Firerock Campground, Cypress Hills Inter-Provincial Park
Have a great weekend!