Cataract Creek (AB) IV

For detailed post flood run report see: http://paddlingabc.com/blog/cataract_creek_post_flood

A classic Calgary area creek run full of waterfalls, canyons and drops. The nice thing about Cataract Creek is that major drops can be walked around fairly easily. The first few kilometers are fairly dry and boring, some swifts, current and minor rapids. You will reach a place in the river where a large rock wall juts out and there is a noticeable horizon line. Please try to paddle this for the first time with someone that has been before as you do not want to accidentally run Hercules. This is Hercules and Titan. Pull out on river left to scout or portage. Hercules is not run very often and is graded a Class VI I believe because of the sieve like nature it has. You can seal launch into the pool below Hercules and run Titan which is a 25ft+ waterfall, recently there is a boulder in the landing on river left now and a more challenging lead in. From this point on the pace picks up and there are numerous ledges, holes, and general class II-III paddling. The next horizon line is Zig Zag a 10ft waterfall with a tricky entrance. Scout and portage on river right. More class II-III paddling follows until you reach a chute in a small canyon called Box Canyon. Normally a straightforward drop with a hole at the end. Scout and portage on river left. Leviathan is up next, a solid Class V drop that can get very exciting at higher water. Scout and portage on river right. After Leviathan there are 4 or 5 ledges that range in size from 2ft to 4ft, at higher water these can pose a challenge. The last of these ledges is the end of the run and it is a short paddle to where Cataract Creek joins the Highwood River and your takeout is directly across the Highwood along the highway.

River Alerts

If this space is blank there have been no alerts posted for this specific river.

Map

The symbols can be clicked on and provide some simple explanations of why they are there. You can also use the symbols to get directions from Google Maps to the put in/takeout. A handy thing!

Run Information

Takeout

Drive S through Black Diamond to Longview –> W on HWY541 –> 5km east of the HWY40/HWY541 junction is Sentinel picnic area your takeout.

In the summer it is possible if you are coming from Banff/Canmore to drive S on HWY40 to Cataract Creek. be aware that this highway is closed until late into the spring.

Put In

Continue west to the junction of HWY541 and HWY40. Turn S onto HWY940 (gravel) –>Drive 13km along HWY940 until you cross a bridge over Cataract Creek, parking is on your left.

In the summer it is possible if you are coming from Banff/Canmore to drive S on HWY40 to Cataract Creek. be aware that this highway is closed until late into the spring.

Character

Pool drop creeking

Length & Time

14.5km, Full_Day

Gradient

Unknown

Flow Information

Primarily fed by snowmelt. At some points latter in the summer rain can make Cataract Creek navigable. Cataract Creek is usually paddled in May/June. Low water is 4cms, highwater is 10cms. Be aware that at higher water levels the creek can change drastically.

Gauge

Media

Other Resources

River Alerts

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