Ribbon Creek map-area lies within the front ranges of the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Alberta and immediately south of the Bow River. This area adjoins two previously mapped areas, these being Highwood-Elbow on the south (Allan and Carr, 1947) and Canmore on the north (MacKay, 1935). The area included in the map is slightly less than 150 square miles; only about one-half of this has been mapped geologically, however, since the principal object of the survey was to map the coal resources of the Mesozoic. General consideration only has been given to the Paleozoic formations. The map-area lies between longitudes 115 degrees and 115 degrees, 20 minutes west, and between latitudes 50 degrees, 40 minutes and 51 degrees, 5 minutes north. On the basis of governmental land surveys, the geological area mapped is located in ranges 8, 9 and 10, townships 21, 22, 23 and 24, all west of the fifth meridian. It straddles the Kananaskis River, which, draining northwards in these parts, divides the map-area into two more or less equal parts. Except for a small portion at the north end, the area is wholly within the Rocky Mountains Forest Reserve. The central part of the area is occupied by the Kananaskis Forest Experiment Station, which is operated by the Federal Government. The north boundary of the map-area is about five miles southeast of the coal-mining town of Canmore; the south boundary lies on the height of land separating the Bow and Elbow River systems. The area itself is about fifty miles due west of Calgary.
Trend throughout the length of the map-area is in a northwest-southeast direction, and has been determined by the attitude of the strata and by the direction of the strata breaks. These breaks are directed about 30 degrees west of north, and are directly responsible for the trend of the Rocky Mountains in these parts as elsewhere in Alberta. The east and west boundaries of the map-area parallel the average strike of the strata.
Although the area is situated on the south side of Bow river only a few miles from the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, there is no bridge at this point, and access to the area is obtained by way of Canmore or Seebe. The northern part is best reached by way of a road extending from Canmore to the mouth of Pigeon creek. From thence a pack trail leads to Kananaskis River via Wind, Pigeon, and Lorette creeks. The central part can be reached by a graded, gravelled road, which extends from the railway siding of Seebe southwestward along Kananaskis river. This road leads to Kananaskis lakes, but a few miles beyond Evans-Thomas creek it becomes unsuited to most motor vehicles. A pack trail extends southwards along Evans-Thomas creek into the region drained by Elbow River. Certain parts of the map-area adjacent to Kananaskis river have been timbered, and are readily reached by lumber trails. One such part lies between Ribbon and Lorette creeks. In most parts travel is difficult owing to the steep slopes, heavy timber, muskeg, deadfall or burned-over areas.
Crockford, M.B.B. (1949): Geology of Ribbon Creek area, Alberta; Research Council of Alberta, RCA/AGS Report 52, 77 p.