Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in Kananaskis Country west of Calgary is now open and the State of Local Emergency for Kananaskis Improvement District has been lifted.
Flooding, which began on June 20, forced the park’s closure. The Alberta government has made significant progress on repairing damaged parks areas and roads.
The successful reopening of Highway 40 into Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and the rebuilding of the Evan Thomas bridge restores safe access to the area. All major front country campgrounds are open. However, some trails and facilities remain closed for safety and reconstruction.
“While Kananaskis Country has been seriously impacted by the flooding, the vast majority of our provincial parks are ready to welcome Albertans,” said Dr. Richard Starke, Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation. “Travelling in our diverse and breathtaking province is an easy and immensely satisfying way to contribute to the recovery from this disaster. This is the time to explore our own backyard and remember our neighbours.”
Road reconstruction and recovery has been continuous in this area since the flooding. A week after the critical reopening of the TransCanada Highway, Alberta Transportation opened 20 km of Highway 40 from the intersection with Highway 68 to the Wedge Pond Day Use Area in Kananaskis Country. Now, another 22 km of gravel and paved road will take motorists as far as the winter gates at Peter Lougheed Park. As an innovative solution, a temporary prefabricated bridge was installed to allow one-lane access over the Evan Thomas bridge. Work continues in the months ahead and motorists are encouraged to obey speed limits in construction zones.
An online map is available for a complete picture of areas that are open in Kananaskis Country and areas that remain closed. Visitors to Peter Lougheed Provincial Park are reminded that while trails may be open there is a good chance that some may have been altered and to exercise awareness and caution while hiking.
Due to closures because of the floods, Alberta Parks will offer full refunds for campground reservations cancelled between now and the end of July. Campers must call 1-877-537-2757 to request a refund. Refunds will not be processed online.
The vast majority of Alberta’s provincial parks and campgrounds are open. For a complete listing of advisories, notices and campground availability across the province, visit AlbertaParks.ca, follow @Albertaparks or join Alberta Parks on Facebook.