If you happen to’re after a brief, straightforward hike that’s like no different, definitely that I’ve executed in Alberta, take a look at the Coronary heart Creek Bunker path close to Canmore. The simple hike ends at a bunker constructed into the mountain beneath the slope of Mount McGillivray. It’s a principally non-descript, considerably noisy hike to get to the bunker, however as soon as there it’s extraordinarily fascinating.
The Coronary heart Creek Bunker goes by a number of names together with the Bow Valley Bunker, the Vault and The Chilly Struggle Bunker. The intent of constructing the bunker was “to offer a vault storage space within the occasion of some kind of catastrophic emergency.” Rocky Mountain Vaults & Archives Ltd., a defunct company since 1999, professed to have the ability to hold paperwork secure and dry inside practically 275 metres of limestone – a porous rock!
The bunker was additionally meant to be survivable with air exchanges and communication techniques simply among the deliberate issues for it. Now the bunker is only a minor relic of Chilly Struggle historical past – and a spot the place you may discover the odd rodent together with graffiti-covered partitions.
Coronary heart Creek Bunker path particulars
Distance: 3.8 km return
Elevation acquire: 94 metres
Problem: Straightforward and household pleasant
Canines: Allowed on a leash
Time wanted: Two hours with time to discover the bunker
Finest time to go to: A year-round hike
Route description for the Coronary heart Creek Bunker Path
Begin on the car parking zone by the Trans-Canada Path marker – the yellow one pictured beneath. This isn’t the trailhead for the Coronary heart Creek Path. That one is over by the outhouses.
Hike by way of blended forest with the stunning sound of Trans-Canada site visitors within the background, crossing a gravel-bed gulley in brief order. After mountaineering roughly one kilometre, cross one other gulley the place you’ll additionally see a number of development gear.
Proceed mountaineering by way of the forest to achieve an enormous hill. If it’s wintertime, you’ll most likely must put your microspikes on right here. Attain a junction signed with a Trans-Canada path marker. Go left. Proceed by way of extra forest for round 10 – quarter-hour to achieve one more junction. You may even see some pink flagging tape round too. Flip left once more and ascend all the best way to the cave entrance, roughly 200 metres from the intersection. Retrace your steps to return.
Notice that in winter after a heavy snowfall, there might in concept be avalanche hazard from above. Simply bear in mind and keep away from the world in occasions of recent, heavy snow.
The Bunker Creek Caverns
I used to be fairly shocked on the dimension of the bunker. The principle tunnel goes into the mountain greater than 55 metres. There’s one other aspect tunnel close to the doorway that’s 40 metres deep. Reportedly, that is only a third of the work that was executed to construct the bunker.
As one can think about, it’s pitch darkish within the bunker so that you gained’t get far with no flashlight. The bottom is uneven strolling, although not tough. We spent about quarter-hour inside exploring all elements of it. Search for vibrant graffiti on the partitions. Some individuals have spent a number of time on their work in right here.
We left making an attempt to think about how this damp bunker might ever be place to retailer delicate paperwork!
Households love this place. We noticed a number of youngsters having fun with the snow on the entrance and inside they could possibly be seen having enjoyable with flashlights. It’s the right outing in case you simply have a couple of hours. Ought to you have got extra time and vitality, mix it with one of many different quick enjoyable hikes close by together with Jura Creek or the Grotto Canyon, particularly in winter when elements of the hikes are ice walks.
Discovering the trailhead
The trailhead for the Coronary heart Creek Bunker path is similar one used for each the Coronary heart Creek hike and the Coronary heart Mountain hike. It’s signed on the Trans-Canada Freeway, not less than in case you’re driving west.
From downtown Calgary, it’s lower than an hour’s drive to the trailhead. Take the Trans-Canada Freeway heading west for 87 kilometres. Get off at exit 105 onto Vary Street 91A. Go left, cross over the Trans-Canada Freeway. Then you definitely make a bizarre left flip – to get to the trailhead which can all make sense and be apparent when you’re there.
Proceed straight to the Coronary heart Creek Parking Lot. This can be a enjoyable hike to do on the best way to or from Canmore because it’s fast and simple!
What to tackle the Coronary heart Creek Bunker Path
If you happen to’re mountaineering the path in winter, I would definitely advocate microspikes. The hills had been slick the day we did it in late January.
Everybody in your mountaineering group will want both a headlamp or a flashlight. Ensure that not less than one particular person has a really highly effective beam so you’ll be able to see the place you’re going.
Don’t neglect a couple of protein bars and one thing to drink together with the ten mountaineering necessities.
And in case you want extra concepts of what to see and do in Alberta take a look at my ebook – 125 Nature Sizzling Spots in Alberta.
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