When you dwell in Bragg Creek you’re spoiled for selection in the case of mountain climbing. Thankfully for these of us who dwell in Calgary, all the trailheads for the Bragg Creek hikes described under are lower than an hour’s drive away. All of the trailheads are accessed off of Freeway 66, with the Fullerton Loop and Sugar Mama hikes the primary ones you attain, solely 15 kilometres southwest of Bragg Creek.
These seven Bragg Creek hikes are pretty – providing a mixture of ridge walks and mountains. However for a lot of, they gained’t substitute a visit to Banff Nationwide Park or the hikes off of Freeway 40 in Kananaskis Nation. Nonetheless you’ll be able to’t beat them for accessibility, particularly from the Calgary space. Many are family-friendly. All are dog-friendly (on a leash) and a few you’ll be able to knock off in only a half day.
When you’re planning on doing anybody of those hikes early within the season, take icers as a result of there’s nonetheless probably snow at elevation. A pair of poles and further clothes would even be sensible.
Don’t overlook your bank card so you may get a refreshment after the hike. There are a number of cafes in Bragg Creek which can be good for refueling stops (as soon as we’ve kissed COVID-19 goodbye), with the Cinnamon Spoon probably the most seen one from the freeway. There are a few fuel stations on the town too.
Earlier than you begin mountain climbing, learn The 10 Mountain climbing Necessities Everybody Ought to Carry. I’ve by no means seen a bear whereas doing any of those hikes however I’d nonetheless advocate carrying a can of bear spray.
The Fullerton Loop Hike
The Fullerton Loop hike is the proper straightforward, family-friendly half day hike. I prefer it in all seasons however summer season, when my private choice is to be excessive within the mountains.
Over its 6.7 kilometre size you expertise a mixture of hilly valley trails and a few pleasant ridge strolling. There are a number of choices to increase the hike into an all-day outing by combining with trails that begin within the West Bragg Creek day use space.
The Fullerton Loop hike begins on the Invoice Allen car parking zone, with signage pointing to it from the freeway.
Moose Mountain – probably the greatest views of the Bragg Creek hikes
For an excellent exercise and among the prime views within the space, do the 7.Three kilometre a method hike up Moose Mountain. The elevation achieve is a reasonable 473 metres (1552 toes), making this hike an awesome early season one. Ideally you need to do it after the gravel street to the trailhead has opened – normally in mid-Might. Permit 3.5 – 5 hours for the return hike relying in your pace.
Moose Mountain tops out at 2,437 metres (7,995 toes) with a 90 yr previous hearth lookout marking the summit. (Respect folks’s privateness up right here because it’s been a working lookout.) I heard rumours final yr you can now not hike the previous few metres to the highest – however don’t let that dissuade you from doing it.
To get to the trailhead drive simply previous the Paddy’s Flats Campground. Flip proper, if coming from Bragg Creek, onto the Moose Mountain Fireplace Street. Observe it to the car parking zone.
Prairie Mountain is my favorite hike to do from late fall till early spring. I’ve by no means hiked it in the summertime as I do know I can do that one within the lifeless of winter.
The hike begins throughout from Elbow Falls by the winter gates. It climbs steeply till you come out of the timber after which it moderates to the highest. In complete the path climbs 726 metres (2381 toes) in solely 3.eight kilometres. I discover it’s the center part by means of the timber that leaves you breathless. When you’re out of the timber, you’re rewarded with views that reach from downtown Calgary to Moose Mountain and a complete lot extra.
Permit 2.5 to Four hours to do the return hike. Icers and poles in snowy months (October – early Might) make all of the distinction, particularly on the knee-knocking descent.
The Nihahi Ridge hike
The Nihahi Ridge hike provides some nice views, pretty meadow strolling and a few rock scrambling which may get a little bit ethereal if you happen to go all the way in which to the highest. It’s roughly 10.2 kilometres spherical journey with a modest elevation achieve of 412 metres.
The path is hard to search out at first as there isn’t any signage till you’re by means of the Little Elbow Campground, accessed by way of a turnoff on the finish of Freeway 66. A couple of kilometre previous the barricade, on the finish of the campground, is an indication for Nihahi Ridge pointing into the forest. From there on, it’s largely straightforward to comply with – a minimum of till you get to a warren of trails by the ridge. I normally stick with probably the most closely used ones. Observe the bottom of the ridge till you could find a simple method to scramble up onto the ridge.
Views from the ridge are terrific, regardless that we didn’t do the ultimate scramble to the very prime. Two sizzling, thirsty canines vetoed persevering with.
It solely took us 90 minutes to get again to the car parking zone – and a chilly river to chill off in.
The Forgetmenot Ridge hike
The arduous a part of the hike isn’t the preliminary steep climb however discovering the trailhead. It took quite a few false begins earlier than my good friend and I have been positive we have been on target. As soon as we have been on the Wildhorse Path I knew we have been on our approach.
It’s a really steep begin on the Forgetmenot Ridge hike however when you clear the timber and get out onto a ridge, the views begin to unfold. Proceed on the plain path, rather less steeply, by means of timber combined with some grassy sections. There are steep facet trails as much as the Forgetmenot Ridge however you can even proceed on a well-trodden path to a cairn just under the ridge far on.
From the cairn on the ridge you will have a few choices. Go left (north) and comply with the ridge to an enormous cairn (and windbreak) overlooking the Elbow River at a top of two,240 metres. That is the plain turnaround level. Alternatively you’ll be able to proceed south on Forgetmenot Ridge to Forgetmenot Mountain, a a method distance of about 3.5 kilometres.
It’s about 5 hours round-trip as soon as you discover the path. The vertical achieve is roughly 700 metres over a a method distance of about 10 kilometres.
(Learn the weblog under for detailed directions on discovering the trailhead.)
The Powderface Ridge hike – one of many steep Bragg Creek hikes
The Powderface Ridge hike looks like Prairie Mountain initially. Over the primary two kilometres you climb 400 metres. However when you attain the meadows, the path moderates although it’s nonetheless roughly 700 metres of climbing to succeed in the col. From the col head proper to succeed in the Canada flag and cairn – together with nice views of Mount Glasgow, Cornwall, Outlaw and Banded Peaks.
There are a number of extra choices to do the total Powderface Ridge however I’d advocate a map and a few prior planning as you might have to hitchhike or prepare a automobile shuttle. (See the weblog under for a greater description.)
The common trailhead is on the junction of Powderface Path street on the finish of Freeway 66 simply earlier than you flip to go to Little Elbow Campground
Sugar Moma – Sugar Daddy Hike
The Sugar Mama – Sugar Daddy hike is a part of a loop that shares the identical begin because the Fullerton Path on the Allen Invoice car parking zone. There’s a lot to advocate it as a shoulder-season or perhaps a winter hike that delivers a exercise due to its size. You may as well bike it.
The complete loop is available in just below 14 kilometres. with 345 metres of elevation achieve. It’s made up of quick sections of six trails – the Elbow, Snagmore, Unusual Brew, and Bobcat trails together with 4.zero kilometres on the Sugar Daddy path and three.Three kilometres on the Sugar Mama path.
The Cox Hill hike
Though Cox Hill isn’t one of many true Bragg Creek hikes as a result of it’s not on Freeway 66, I wished to incorporate it as you may get to it from the Powderface Path.
Most individuals entry this hike from the Trans-Canada by way of the Sibbald Creek Path (Freeway 68). It turns into a dusty, grime street and ultimately the Powderface Path – which finally hooks up with Freeway 66. The trailhead for Cox Hill is in your left if you happen to’re coming from the Trans-Canada Freeway, and it’s signed.
The Cox Hill hike is 12.Four kilometres spherical journey with a 914 metre (3000 toes) elevation achieve. It takes you to the best level on the Trans-Canada Path.
The path is simple to comply with although I’d advocate that you simply learn my weblog put up on it to get actual particulars for the beginning of the path. In summer season there are some pretty sections rife with wildflowers. And as soon as on the prime there are good slabs of rock to laze on and luxuriate in a picnic with a view.
This hike is just not as well-known so that you most likely gained’t see lots of people. On the prime take pleasure in nice views of Moose Mountain. When you’re feeling energetic proceed to the Jumpingpound Ridge Path from the summit, an extra Three kilometres away.
Which considered one of these Bragg Creek hikes would you most love to do?
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