The Bighorn Backcountry is a vast area of mountains and foothills immediately east of Banff and Jasper National Parks and west of the communities of Nordegg and Sundre. While less well known than the mountain national parks, the region contains superb wilderness hiking opportunities and a large network of trails designated for non-motorized use.
On behalf of the Alberta Hiking Association I sit as the summer non-motorized representative of the Bighorn Backcountry Standing Committee, a group of user groups including commercial operations, equestrian users, hunters and ATV and snowmobile users.
A map of the region and new detailed hiking maps for the area are available at http://www.srd.alberta.ca including popular hiking areas such as Coliseum Mountain and the Cline River area. A new hiking trail is being blazed up the eastern flank of Coliseum Mountain by local volunteers. The local municipality, Clearwater County, is partnering with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD) to plan for separate trails, maps and signage for non-motorized and ATV use around the community of Nordegg, and Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation is developing a concept plan for a recreation area at the Bighorn Damsite to better manage random camping and ATV use. On behalf of the AHA, I continue to advocate for resources be invested in opportunities and signage to also enhance use by hikers.
It is important that AESRD are aware of the use of the Bighorn Backcountry by hikers. If you visit the area, please take the time to contact the Government of Alberta with your comments on positive experiences and any concerns at: http://www.srd.alberta.ca. Alternatively, I am happy to raise any issues on behalf of the hiking community if you contact me directly.
Alberta Hiking Association Representative
Bighorn Backcountry Standing Committee