Cataract Creek Adventures
Calgary snowmobile club
If you ever get a chance to check out Cataract Creek (Calgary Snowmobile Club) I highly suggest you do! My husband and I have been wanting to check out this area for a while now and it finally worked out for us to go! Cataract creek is located southwest of Calgary in the foothills of Kananaskis. Offering mountain views and tons of snow, this was a dream day out for us. We started out on Saturday with our three kids in tow. However, our eldest sons sled had some mechanical issues so we didn’t venture very far that day. (Only about 18km!!)
The next day my husband and I were able to get out and explore for the day on our own. There are two staging areas for you to unload at. We chose the first, Etherington Campground. However, you can continue down the road a few KM and go to Cataract Staging area. For our first time out, we weren’t very sure what to expect. The “upper trails” as I call them were awesome! Family friendly, easy going trails. They were a lot smoother and offered short distances between junctions. The “lower trails” we found a bit more technical in some areas. I would take my kids on them but be prepared for slow going in some areas. They were also a lot rougher and slow moving for us through some areas, although I’m not sure how long it had been since the groomer had been out when we were there. We were breaking trail through a good portion of them.
The lower trails offer some of the best views! If going, do not miss out on the Skyline summit trail. It pops you up on a ridge that gives you some of the most amazing views. We happened to be out on a cloudy, snowy day and it was still awesome! There are also tons of little meadows and places to play. We may have gotten ourselves stuck a few times on our adventure. (Remember to bring a shovel!!) For this outing, I knew we would be working and playing a bit more, so I decided to go with my less insulated gear the DSG Craze. My DSG (Triple 9 Optics) polarized goggles worked amazing on this snowy, cloudy day! The polarized lens has been a game changer for me. I have very light sensitive eyes and I find these polarized goggles help me tremendously.
There is only one warm up shack, so be prepared to have bonfires or head back to your vehicle to warm up. If you stage at cataract it is central to both the upper and lower trials making it a convenient pit stop. Both staging areas have signs and maps so make sure to grab one before you head out. One of the nicest things about Cataract creeks is that even though it is in Kananaskis, its location in the foothills means that there is no avy danger and packs are not required. (As long as you stay off the trail to Fording pass). Many of the people we have talked to don’t even realize this amazing trail system exists. Cataract creek has gone through some tremendous changes in the past few years. They have recently seen an increase in their membership numbers, which means more funding, which means the trails are better taken care of so people like myself and my family can enjoy them. So, if your heading out, buy a membership, or drop the club a donation. I’m excited to see what these trails have in store for them in the future!