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Spray Valley Provincial Park

Located east of the Rocky Mountains, Spray Valley Provincial Park is an accessible, 98-square-mile wilderness area in the Kananaskis Country park system. The park, which sits along the Spray River in western Alberta, is surrounded by a cluster of parks, including Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Elbow-Sheep Wildlands Provincial Park, the Bow Valley Wildlands Provincial Park, and Banff National Park.

Spray Valley Provincial Park

Stormy weather atop Ribbon Falls. Dwayne Reilander / CC BY-SA

Nestled between the Goat Range and the Three Sisters Ridge, the park’s namesake reservoir, Spray Lakes, is encircled by imposing peaks, making it the ideal destination for hiking, camping, fishing, and paddling. Not to mention, several recreational areas are established on both shores of the lake, giving visitors plenty of outdoor recreation options.

There are 19 named mountains in Spray Valley Provincial Park, most of which are tucked within the Kananaskis Range and the Goat Range. The tallest and most prominent peak in the park is Mount Galatea, a 10,197-foot summit named after the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Galatea. Nearby, Mount Bogart, The Tower, Mount Engadine, Mount Kidd, and Mount Nestor all tower to over 9,500 feet.

Mount Bogart, the second highest peak in the Kananaskis range, sits on the eastern bank of the Canadian Rockies and is an iconic summit viewed from Highway 40. Mount Bogart was named after one of the first scientists to study the Rockies and is admirably known as the ‘triangle,’ due to its triangular summit.

Mt Birdwood and the Birdwood Lakes, taken from Smutwood Peak in Spray Valley Provincial Park

Mt Birdwood and the Birdwood Lakes, taken from Smutwood Peak in Spray Valley Provincial Park. Emma Schroder / CC BY-SA

Major Hikes and Attractions

West Wind Pass

West Wind Pass is known as one of the most impressive hiking trails in Kananaskis Country. This short and steep ascent climbs over 1,300 feet in just under 3 miles, taking approximately 3 hours to complete. Reaching the summit, hikers are rewarded with sweeping views of nearby Windtower Mountain and Spray Lakes.

Buller Pond to Spray Lakes

The walk from Buller Pond to Spray Lakes can hardly be considered a trail, but what this short footpath lacks in distance and elevation, it more than makes up for in beauty. The Buller Mountain Day Use Area also sits directly off the highway near the Mount Engadine Lodge, making it the perfect place for a picnic in the park.

Spray Lakes. Spray Valley Provincial Park

Brenda Takabe / CC BY-SA

Galatea Creek to Lillian Lake

One of the most popular trails in the Kananaskis region, the Galatea Creek to Lillian Lake trail climbs roughly 1900 feet in 8 miles. Not a particularly challenging trail, this scenic footpath offers river views as it meanders through the forest. At the end of the trail, however, hikers are greeted by the glistening waters of Lillian Lake. Several benches can be found along the shoreline. Adventurous hikers can also continue on to a number of higher-elevation alpine lakes and summits.

Two tributaries meet along Galatea Creek in Spray Valley Provincial Park

Two tributaries meet along Galatea Creek in Spray Valley Provincial Park. Dwayne Reilander / CC BY-SA

Major Cities and Resorts

Mount Engadine Lodge

Known as the jewel of Spray Valley, the Mount Engadine Lodge is a backcountry retreat that sits in a stunning alpine valley just outside of Canmore. Mount Engadine was built in 1987 and named after the renowned Mount Engadine. Open year-round, Mount Engadine can sleep 39 people comfortably and offers nine private rooms, five glamping tents, and a rustic yurt.

Mount Engadine Lodge. Spray Valley Provincial Park

No machine-readable author provided. Cszmurlo assumed (based on copyright claims). / CC BY-SA

Canmore, Alberta

Nicknamed the “Queen Town of the Rockies,” Canmore is often described as a picturesque mountain town enveloped by the majestic Canadian Rockies. Canmore offers unparalleled panoramic mountain views in every direction and boasts a number of popular lodges like the Falcon Crest Lodge, Stoneridge Mountain Resort, and Silvertip Resort. Visitors can not only access Bow Valley, Spray Valley, and Kananaskis Valley from Canmore, but can explore nearby summits like Ha Ling Peak, Read’s Tower, Sarrail Ridge, Mount Yamnuska, and Mount Lady Macdonald.

Canmore, Alberta

Jack Borno / CC BY-SA
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