Last weekends snow storm appears to have favoured the West Bragg Creek trail system more than any other area in Kananaskis Country. There is anywhere from 18cm to 37cm of snow on the trails, depending on aspect, wind exposure and trail width. In general, there is more snow on wide trails and much less on narrow trails in the forest. At the present time, all trails are in great condition for snowshoeing.
The West Bragg Creek Trail system can be divided into two main parts. The portion south of the parking lot includes the majority of the XC ski trail network, as well as many new all-season trails. The section north of the parking lot has a great network of all-season trails, a few XC ski trails and some new logging haul roads that combine to provide an outstanding variety of loop options.
The logging haul road are not shown on the trail maps, but they are pretty obvious. The main one on the north side branches off of the Mountain Road, about 1 km west of the parking lot. It gently climbs up above Bragg Creek, then swings back to the east, crossing the Braggin Rights and Long Distance trails. Then it swings north, gradually climbing along the east side of Telephone Ridge until it crosses the Demi-Tel trail. From there, it descends to a junction. The left branch goes west to ridge-top and meets the Long Distance Trail a short distance north of the Demi-Tel/Reconnect junction. The right branch contours around a side valley and crosses Disconnect trail, before climbing up over the ridge to meet up with Long Distance again. This road opens up all kinds of possibilities for loops.
The 4.6 km Snowshoe Hare Loop is a good starting point. It can be extended by following Telephone Trail to Disconnect, then back along the logging road to Demi-Tel and back onto Snowshoe Hare. Make the loop even larger by following Disconnect up to Long Distance Trail and then back south along the ridge to Demi-Tel or Braggin Rights. If you head west along the Mountain Road, you can go up the logging road and return via Braggin Rights (short option), Long Distance & Braggin Rights (medium option), or follow it all the way to Demi-Tel for two longer options on the east or west half of Snowshoe Hare Loop.
If you head west via Braggin Rights or Mountain Road/Moose Connector, you can go up Reconnect to make a number of loops back to the trailhead. Follow Long Distance Trail south to Braggin Rights for the shortest version. Continue down Demi-Tel either to the logging haul road or Snowshoe Hare Loop for mid-length options, or go north on Long Distance to Disconnect Trail and complete the loop via the logging haul road or the east half of Telephone Loop Trail. Please note that trail repair work is being done on Telephone Loop with heavy machinery, so portions of that trail may be closed for periods of time. Also, Spray Lakes Sawmills will be clearing and transporting logs on the haul road at some point, so the road will not be suitable for snowshoeing at that time.