Galatea Lakes trail in Kananaskis Country was seriously damaged by June, 2013 floods.
Arguably, one of the most popular trail-heads in Kananaskis Country is Galatea on Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40) south of Wedge Pond. On the return drive to Calgary from the hike at Rummel Lake, a stop at the Galatea gated entrance provides the opportunity to hike the snow covered descent trail to the suspension bridge over the Kananaskis River.
The last time here was June 13, 2013, exactly one week before the disastrous June 20, 2013 flood. On that occasion, the Terrace Trail was hiked from the Galatea trail-head north to the Kananaskis Delta Lodge and back. Some of the last photographs taken of the Kananaskis Golf Course prior to its destruction may be in my portfolio. Today's short mission will examine the state of the trail junction on the opposite side of the suspension bridge.
Galatea Creek, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
The approach to the suspension bridge suggests little hint of damage. From the suspension bridge, an examination downstream reveals a the dry, rocky creek bed where Galatea Creek previously entered the Kananaskis River. On the far side of the bridge, Galatea Creek now runs perpendicular to the bridge. Suspension cable anchors on the west side remain in place but they are surrounded by significant damage and change.
The original trail, which led to the first bridge over Galatea Creek and the intersection for Galatea Creek Trail (left) and the Terrace Trail (right), is completely gone. Rock and lumber debris saturates the area. Water flow patterns are substantially altered. A new primitive trail branches to the left immediately at the west end of the suspension bridge. This rustic trail may be a temporary path for reconstruction teams to make repairs on Galatea Creek upstream.
A formidable rebuilding effort will be required before access to Lillian Lake, Guinn's Pass, and the Lower and Upper Galatea Lakes can be restored from the Galatea trail-head. The understanding is all the small wooden footbridges were destroyed along the steep course of Galatea Creek.
Images for this post were captured on April 29, 2014.