Where has all the water gone?

Start at the buffalo.
Twelve Mile Coulee

  • Parking: On the street
  • Washrooms: None
  • Dirt path

After yesterday's daring adventure into Kananaskis country, I was craving something close to home and familiar.  So I headed down into Twelve Mile Coulee, a path we visit often, hopping over the creek as it criss crosses the path.

Dry creek bed.

But today, the creek was dry - a first in the seven years I've been visiting the area.  It was unnerving to walk along the dry stones and watch bugs swarm the the pockets of mud where there should be pools of water.  I suppose that I had already known that we are in a drought, but today's walk really brought it home.

We started at the buffalo statue, and descended the wooden stairs into the valley.  Creek or not, the Coulee is still teeming with life, including birds,coyotes, deer, the occasional lost moose and a very healthy population of mosquitos!  Aspen trees and silver leaf dogwood dominate most of the area, although there's a dark patch of pine by a tall rocky outcrop near the south end of the trail.  

The path winds through a variety of ecosystems.

You can stick to the main path by the creek bed or explore the many little side paths along the way.  Keep an eye open for wildflowers and berries, and make sure to come visit next spring when the creek will hopefully return in all its glory!

Some of the colors along the path.

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