Jura Creek Walk.

With my work schedule, free weekends are in short supply around here – it’s fortunate the mountains are a short drive west and the daylight hours have increased, so we can get out for some exploring during the week.  A couple of Tuesdays ago (before spring came along and all the nasty weather with it), my hubby and I headed out to Jura Creek, just outside of the town of Exshaw.  It’s about an hour’s drive west of Calgary on scenic highway 1 A – or you could do as we did and take the faster route via Highway 1, turning off at Bow Valley Provincial Park.

The day we went there was a strong Chinook wind and it was so warm you could smell the fragrance of the junipers and the spruce trees and the earthy odour of the thawing ground.  The path leading up to the creek bed was a muddy mess (memo to self:  buy some rain boots already, you need them for gardening anyway).   Once we got to the creek, the first few metres in front of the canyon were dry and bare.  We tried to determine whether or not the area had gotten damaged in the floods of last June and it’s a safe bet it was:  the sides and bottom of the gravel bar had obviously been pushed around by heavy machinery, but there was no sign of broken trees or other debris littering the banks.

For anyone looking for a good workout, Jura Creek doesn’t offer any sort of challenge; the creek bed is pretty much level and it was an easy walk through the canyon.  The scenery is marvellous, though!


View of the dry creek bed, looking back from the canyon mouth.  The trailhead lies south, about a kilometre away (to the left of the scene in the photo).

IMG_8638Plenty of snow cover here.  You can see how narrow the walls of the canyon are in spots. 


The creek on the other side of the canyon.  We found open water in some areas.


Lots of moss.


Trees budding in the snow.


I did use ice cleats on my boots, but there was actually a fair amount of snow cover and they were only really necessary in a few spots, mostly when we exited the canyon and headed further along the creek.


Wonder what is in that cave?  On second thought….


Back through the canyon.

IMG_8662That’s a serious slab of rock just balancing there. 

I read somewhere that you can hike above the canyon, but I don’t know where that trailhead begins.  It would be interesting to see it from above.

No outdoor adventures planned for this week – the weather is not co-operating whatsoever!  Tomorrow night our community garden group and the local horticultural society are presenting an information session about raised bed gardening, and I’ll venture out for that – it should be interesting.  What are you up to this week?


  1. What magnificent scenery, but very chilly. it sounds very challenging walking .
    As chance would have it I am going to be making raised beds for vegetables later this week. I hope you will be able to tell us something about the talk.

    • Thanks! It was definitely worth the trip – the scenery is remarkable. There is another canyon fairly close by called Grotto which is even more interesting – it has old pictographs on the rock faces. Many people climb there as well – apparently it’s a good place for beginners. (I don’t intend to take up climbing anytime soon, so that’s beyond my reach!).

  2. The kind of place that I love, lots of trees, mountains, water and other beautiful things. These pictures are absolutely fantastic sweet Sheryl. I can only imagine who wonderful it must have felt walking along getting these amazing pictures. Thank you for sharing them! Hugs

    • Thank you so very much, that’s kind of you to say! It was such a great day and a wonderful place to explore – I hope to get out more often this year. Things get busy and weeks pass; it’s nice to take a break and see something new! 🙂 Have a wonderful rest of your week!

  3. Great scenery. I can’t think of the last time we were able to hike rather than snowshoe .

    Will you be writing a post about the raised bed information session? That is how I grow veggies in Red Deer and Pender. Any tips you get would be great.

    • Oh boy, I think we’d be snowshoeing if we went out there today…yikes, do we ever have a lot of snow piling up again! And it’s still coming down….

      I will create a post about the raised garden beds…picked up some interesting info last night that I’d love to share.

    • For winter in Alberta, it was actually quite balmy that day – I didn’t even need my mittens! 🙂 But the Chinook cloud makes it look really chilly and of course, there was all that ice and snow…. 🙂

  4. Looks like it was cold in that canyon Sheryl – great scenery though. Too cold to work outside at the moment, but maybe it’ll warm up again here by the weekend. Enjoy your garden talk!

    • It was nice and sheltered from the wind inside the canyon – not so much when we got out into the open creek bed. I actually saw my first insect of the year that day – some sort of fly. I was astonished. Haven’t seen any bugs around here, that’s for sure! Hopefully you’ll get some nice warm weather yet this week so you can get out and enjoy the sunshine in your garden!

    • It was great! Glad I had the cleats for the icy spots, though! Apparently some intrepid hikers walk the creek bed in the summer wearing hiking sandals or aquamocs – I don’t know how deep the water gets (I can imagine in the spring it’s a rushing torrent) but I’m sure even in the heat of July and August that it is icy cold! Not for me…. I’m really interested in hiking above the canyon instead, will have to get out there again.

    • Thank you – I’m really glad you enjoyed! I had a bit of a look at your site this morning – your woodworking is incredible! Absolutely beautiful pieces. Will do some more browsing when I have more time. Have a great rest of your week!

  5. Geez that just looks like a little slice of heaven. The natural rock formations are just so interesting and who knows how that giant slab found it’s way there to balance for eternity. I suspect we wouldn’t have wanted to be around for that event LOL. I’m drooling over all that moss….garden basket lining, Fairy Garden. I suppose it wouldn’t be good if everyone who hiked there snitched some, but very tempting. You’re cave comment made me laugh……wise indeed. “Nothing to see here, just keep walking”….LOL

    • LOL that moss would indeed be amazing in a fairy garden! It was so refreshing to actually see some green!

      That cave still seems tantalizing/deliciously scary to me…I really do wonder what is in it. It’s actually not that high up over the canyon and I imagine some intrepid climber has reached it at one point. I wish he or she would write to me and tell me what they found up there. 😉

      Have an amazing week! Do you start your new job right away?

      • eeeek, you obviously are way more adventurous than most. I would suggest the cave snoopers have a handy can of bear spray and tuck pant legs into tight socks. I guess you wouldn’t have to worry about bats, mice or snakes too much at this time of year. Just big, furry bears with pyjamas on.

        Hey, ha ! Did you see this before? So clever.

        Thanks for that Sheryl and yes, today is my first day at the new job. I’ll usually be there in the evening or weekend but I’m getting some training today…so fun.

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