January 13th 2017
The Spray River Trail starts from behind the Banff Springs Hotel. Go around the traffic circle and through the arch. Continue passed the hotel parking to the trail head parking. Friday is always a good day to ski as the parks always groom trails before the weekend. This held true today. The outward bound track set was nearly worn out in places but the inbound track had just been groomed. The snow depth is very shallow and in places and gravel and dirt were showing. Conditions were good and a green wax worked well. I would guess the temperature was -10c to -14c. The sun was spectacular on the Rundle Range and the views down into the Spray River were wonderful. It is 5.7 km one way from Spray River West to the Spray River Bridge. At the bridge there are signs indicating that the Spray River East Trail is for Fat Bikes and Snowshoeing. Upon inspection a single track had been freshly set. In the passed the trail has always looked very rough but today it was in perfect condition. A few rocks had been turned out by the track setter but nothing that could not be missed. We did a bit of rock removal along the way. The only down fall of doing this loop is the walk back to the car from the golf course bridge at Bow Falls. It is 5.6km bridge to bridge. A great afternoon ski with views of mountains, rivers, ice climbers and hotels.