March 7th Thur.The Canmore Seniors weekly cross country ski outing.This week for the first time this winter we visited Banff Springs Trail in Banff National Park.The trail head is past the grand old hotel to the traffic circle where the statue of Van Horne stands. Go through the arch,past the hotel parking and into the free trail head parking.This popular trail goes all the way to the Goat Creek parking at Whiteman Gap above Canmore.Most skiers prefer to leave from Goat Creek as it is down hill most of the way.I have previously done this 19km the wrong way which is all uphill. For a one way trip you will need to place a car at both ends, although with the new Canmore Roam Bus it is possible to catch the Banff bus down to Banff Ave and then on to Canmore.
We got lucky the National Parks track setter was ahead of us making pristine tracks.
The trail runs along the Spray river on a gradual uphill climb for about 5km
The snow conditions were perfect after about 5cm of fresh snow over night.The temp -4C at the trail head and 2C by noon.We decided to ski past the turn off for the loop back over the bridge back to the golf course for a further 30mins.Then turned around to come back to the picnic table for lunch.
After lunch, not wanting to walk up the steps back to the hotel from the Bow Falls parking area, we set off to return the same way.The pictures show the bridge for the loop back to the Golf Course.
The sign at the bridge will help you understand where you are.
Another fine day of skiing. The round trip with a stop for lunch was about 4 hours. The total distance 18km.