Cascade Creek

It used to be called the Cascade River--until it was dammed in 1942. Then, it used to dry up over the winter and had a little bit of water in the summer. But following the 2013 flood, Parks decided to let a little water through the dam to keep the creek running all year. I was curious where it flowed upstream from Minnewanka road, so parked there there and hiked up the river bed, past an equipment dump arrayed with iron girders, garbage bins, piles of gravel, and old signs. The river bed has all sorts of markings on it, probably having to do with river flows at different times of the year. But at this time, it was mostly frozen over, with the creek running beneath the ice. A kilometer in and I noticed some rusty iron straps which looked like seaweed. Farther up, there was a rusted pipe, a stove, and more iron straps wrapped around tree trunks. This must have been at the south end of Bankhead, so I kept on making my way up the creek until it opened up to the slack heaps.

I climbed them again to get a feel of how big they are, and walked along a ridge to the end where I could see the former river bed. They say 16 times more water flowed before 1941 than it does now. I'm not sure its path when it reached the highway, but it may have headed across the fenlands to the Bow river at that point, instead of heading around the north side of Tunnel mountain. It would be nice to see what it would look like if the Cascade river was restored to its full flow. Of course that can't happen because the current river bed couldn't handle it when it heads under the legacy trail. But it makes me wonder what it would take to restore things back to pre-1941.