Winter conditions remain in Banff National Park, officials say

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Parks Canada says visitors should check for avalanche advisories before heading out on trips into the mountains this spring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

While we haven't seen snowfall in Calgary for a few weeks now, anyone who ventures into the mountain parks might be noticing something different.

Parks Canada officials say a heavy snowpack and cooler than average conditions in Banff National Park has "extended winter" in the region and that's resulting in avalanche hazards for some trails.

According to a release, guests are advised to check the trail report before they go out and avoid the following areas because of risky conditions:

  • Teahouse trails to Lake Agnes and Plain of Six Glaciers;
  • Mount Fairview Trail;
  • Saddleback Pass;
  • C-Level Cirque near the town of Banff; and
  • Stanley Glacier in Kootenay National Park.

Officials say other areas may also be under an avalanche hazard, so it's important to check the report before planning your visit.

MORAINE LAKE ROAD REMAINS CLOSED

The snow and avalanche risk has also led officials to postpone the opening of Moraine Lake Road.

Parks Canada says the road will remain off-limits to drivers until it is no longer dangerous and it can be properly plowed.

Cyclists will be able to ride the first eight kilometres of the stretch, but officials say they must be aware of passing snowplows as well as inclement conditions on the road.

"Visitors are asked not to proceed beyond the plowed section of road due to lingering avalanche hazard and to permit plows to operate safely," officials said in a release.

There is no timeline on when the road will be opened.

All shuttle trips that were reserved between June 1 and the opening date will be refunded automatically.

The poor weather has also affected some campgrounds in Lake Louise because the facilities cannot be supplied with water at this time.

Parks Canada says it is also providing refunds to any campers who had booked sites prior to June 10.