West Bragg Trails in Great Shape for Snowshoeing

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.

West Brag Snowshoe

Logging road between Disconnect and Long Distance trails.

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.

 

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4 comments… add one
  • Alf Skrastins Nov 12, 2013, 4:51 pm

    The area immediately around the West Bragg Creek parking lot is a Provincial Recreation Area and is managed by Parks (Tourism, Parks and Recreation). Parks are generally anti-dog, so dogs must be on leash while in the small bit of Parks land.
    Once you get a few hundred meters past the parking lot, you are on ESRD land (Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. This department manages public land for logging, grazing, oil extraction and hunting…so they really don’t care about dogs.
    Courtesy would suggest that you keep your dog under control, but the West Bragg Creek trails are a dog friendly place. Just make sure your pet is on-leash in and near the parking lot.

  • sheila murphy Nov 12, 2013, 1:58 pm

    Hello: Just wondering if you could clarify the on leash/off leash issue for x-country ski trails at Bragg Creek. I know that all dogs are to be leashed in parking lot but what about the trails? Thanks for the info,

  • Tyler Nov 10, 2013, 5:40 pm

    Had to experience West Bragg for myself today. Alf ‘s pictures and report of his outing was too good to pass up. Did a loop consisting of Braggin Rights and Long Distance with a little bit of Reconnect thrown in. Took the shoes off on Braggin and a bit of Long Distance as the shoes were scrapping the bottom of the trail. Once I got back to the car, I left the shoes behind and hiked back up Braggin , then Long Distance, Demi-Tel and Snowshoe Hare. All other trails ( including the lower part of Braggin in the valley ) had a good enough base for the shoes. I was ever so tempted to head down the logging roads as there was some good snow there but relented in the end.

  • Tyler Nov 9, 2013, 7:26 am

    Thanks for the detailed report Alf. This area provides a very viable option indeed. For myself, being that the terrain I frequent is under high avalanche risk right now, I might have to head out to that area tomorrow for a warm up trek.

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