Ghost River Wilderness Area

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Ghost River Wilderness Area
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Map showing the location of Ghost River Wilderness Area
Map showing the location of Ghost River Wilderness Area
LocationBighorn No. 8, Alberta
Nearest cityCanmore, Alberta
Coordinates51°21′12″N 115°23′50″W / 51.3532403126°N 115.397148559°W / 51.3532403126; -115.397148559Coordinates: 51°21′12″N 115°23′50″W / 51.3532403126°N 115.397148559°W / 51.3532403126; -115.397148559
Governing bodyAlberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation
Ghost River Valley, Alberta (1970)

The Ghost River Wilderness Area is a provincially designated wilderness area in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta.[1] It was established in 1967 and it, as one of the three Wilderness Areas of Alberta, has the strictest form of government protection available in Canada. All development is forbidden and only travel by foot is permitted. Hunting and fishing are not allowed.[2] The other two Wilderness Areas are White Goat Wilderness Area and Siffleur Wilderness Area and together the three areas total 249,548.80 acres (100,988.82 ha).[3]

Situated west of the city of Calgary and bordering Banff National Park, the Ghost Wilderness spans the area north of the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains up to the Red Deer River.[4] It lies just slightly north of Lake Minnewanka.[5] Mountains rise to 3,353 metres (11,001 ft). The area has rugged mountains, glacier-carved valleys, mountain lakes, and alpine meadows. There are two distinct vegetation zones. Above 2,100 metres (6,900 ft), the tree line, are grasses, sedges and wildflowers. Below that are subalpine forests of spruce, fir, and lodgepole pine. There are many rare species of butterflies. Animals include Bighorn Sheep, deer, moose, mountain lion, bear, wild horses, and wolves.[1] The area is a world-class venue for ice climbing.[5]

The area was also a filming location for the Academy Award-winning 1994 epic drama film Legends of the Fall.


  1. ^ a b "Ghost River Wilderness Area". Alberta Parks. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
  2. ^ Hempstead, Andrew (1995). Alberta: Including Banff, Jasper & the Canadian Rockies. Berkeley, CA: Perseus Books. pp. 333–334. ISBN 978-1-59880-371-6.
  3. ^ "Alberta's Protected Areas". Bragg Creek. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Ghost River Wilderness Area". Protected Planet. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Ghost River Wilderness Area & Don Getty Wildland Provincial Park". Government of Alberta - Tourism, Parks, and Recreation. Retrieved 14 July 2011.

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