Moraine Lake Area: trails update
Where the scenery inspires and the land sustains
In 2006, trails in Paradise Valley were adjusted and the backcountry campground relocated to better separate people and grizzly bear use of the area. Potential trail adjustments to Eiffel Lake and Larch Valley were also assessed to this end. However, with a closer look at bear habitat in these areas, it became apparent that adjusting trails would not bring significant gains for people and bears. Instead, to help prevent surprise bear-human encounters, sightlines were improved along key sections of trail throughout the Moraine Lake backcountry. Improving sightlines involves thinning shrubs and small trees beside trails to make it possible to see farther down the trail. This gives people and bears a greater ability to detect each other’s presence and avoid a close, surprise encounter.
Sudden surprise encounters between people and bears are the main circumstance associated with grizzly bear inflicted injuries to people. Improved sightlines, along with hikers using standard bear safety measures, such as travelling in a tight group and making noise, will help bears and people more safely share the landscape. Our goal is to improve the visitor experience and conserve grizzly bears.
On-the-ground @ Lake Louise
Trail adjustments and sightline improvements are part of a series of
actions taking place in the Lake Louise area to improve conditions for
people and wildlife.
These projects comprise the Lake Louise Area Strategy under the park
New picnic tables in the eating area of the relocated campground© Parks Canada/Alex Taylor
What happened in 2006?
The Paradise Valley campground was relocated from the Horseshoe Meadow to an area of lower quality bear habitat near Giant Steps Falls. Separate campground sleeping and cooking areas will help ensure food odours that might attract a curious bear are not associated with the sleeping area.
The Lake Annette trail now provides sole access to Giant Steps Falls; the lower Paradise Valley trail is no longer maintained. Signs and bridges have been removed from the lower trail section. Hikers will find improvements such as new bridges, boardwalks and a short new trail segment to create a return loop in the upper valley.
The trail crew places new bridges in the upper valley with the assistance of a helicopter (out of image)© Parks Canada/Alex Taylor
New boardwalk by Giant Steps Falls© Parks Canada/Alex Taylor
What happened in 2007?
Sightlines were improved along key sections of trail to Eiffel Lake, Consolation Lakes, Larch and Paradise Valleys. Vegetation on trail edges was pruned or removed to make it easier for trail users to see down the trail.
Example of sightline improvements
BEFORE thinning: can you see the person standing at 25 m?© Parks Canada/Alex Taylor
AFTER thinning© Parks Canada/Alex Taylor