Sugar Momma-Fullerton Loop not quite there yet

On the holiday Monday Allen Bill Pond parking lot was overflowing and Fullerton Loop was jam-packed with family groups with dogs and with people who looked like they had never ever hiked before.  They certainly weren’t seasoned hikers:  they passed us by silently without saying the mandatory “hello” or responding to our ”hellos.” Maybe they were too much out of breath to even gasp out “Hi,”  like the young women we saw, eyes plastered with makeup, being pulled up the hills by their boyfriends. It was quite a sight, but good, of course, that everyone was out for excercise.

It would be nice to spread people around more, onto Snag No More trail for instance, though the bikers might disagree.  So I am happy to report there is a third alternative to these two trails: the Sugar Momma-Bobcat, Ranger Ridge Connector and Fullerton combo. The 9.5 km or 9.3 km  loop,depending which way you go around Fullerton Loop,  is not quite ready for the masses as the Bobcat section is still only flagged.

Sugar Momma

Trail crossing a meadow on lower Sugar Momma.

Sugar Momma starts only 30 metres beyond the turnoff to Fullerton from Elbow trail. As you can tell from the name, Sugar Momma is a bike trail and the only trail not  included in the official West Bragg network of trails despite it being a crucial S-N link.  One day …Anyway, Sugar Momma is a beautifully routed and graded  trail that winds up a south-east ridge of Ranger Hill. At 2.4 km two other hikers caught us up.  They were going down the cutline access road to the east leg of Fullerton. Returning that way makes a loop of 6.4 km. We carried on to the summit of Ranger Hill for lunch, en route NOT finding where Bobcat took off down the west ridge.  That’s because there was no trail and all the flagging had been removed. Then I remembered the red flags I had seen lower down the trail, so we backtracked for 900 m and set off following the little red Telus flags across the head of Fullerton Creek valley onto upper Ranger Ridge. And much to our surprise down the ridge. Going south? A flurry of flags indicated a junction from where  Bobcat went  over  the edge of the western escarpment and headed back north on a very long traverse across a steep side hill to gain the west ridge.

Back at the junction, we headed south down the Ranger Ridge Connector on the now shortened hiker’s only trail that is a pleasure to walk. At the top of the big meadow step, we took in the view, then followed  the new route through the aspens down into the pines. And so down the usual way to Fullerton Loop which was like entering another world on a holiday Monday. We returned via the east leg through the valley. The west leg along Ranger Ridge is much preferable for the views and is 200 m shorter.

Sugar Momma-Fullerton map

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4 comments… add one
  • Gillean Daffern Apr 23, 2012, 6:56 pm

    I think you’re describing Race of Spades, a DHS bike trail. It starts from Moose Mountain Road quite high up. I decided not to put it in the K C trail guide as a hiking trail because the upper part is quite steep and technical, and the risk of an accident between hikers and bikers is too high. It’s marked on the map on page 59 of volume 2.

  • Maria Haines Apr 23, 2012, 6:15 pm

    About 3 weeks ago I started out to do Diamond T Loop, I stopped at the map that shows Tom Snow to the right, Diamond loop left but when I turned around I saw a trail well used and snow packed and not giving too much attention I found myself on a trail unfamiliar to me, it was steep but kept on going. At one point I was facing a bike jump if that is what they are called, I kept going and there was an other one and an other one, so cool! Would you know the name of that trail? I went back on Sunday Apr. 22nd and for the life of me I could not find that trail again. The snow had melted leaving no trace. A little disappointed but went on to explore an other new trail. Thank you for any info you could give me. Maria.

  • Gillean Daffern Jan 7, 2012, 1:31 pm

    Hi Rosemary. Yes, Sugar Momma would make a brilliant snowshoe trail should we get snow! Half of it is written up in volume 2 of the KC TG page 36. I would combine it with Ranger Summit trail (in this blog Bobcat and Ranger Ridge Connector— the names keep changing and am not sure whether they are settled on yet) and the east valley leg of Fullerton. Like you, we are waiting for snow so we can see how the new trails snowshoe.

  • Rosemary McGowan Jan 7, 2012, 12:23 pm

    I am one of your many followers. I use your guides as my bible when organizing outings. I especially am interested in West Bragg area but spend my winters more so in Kananaskis due to snow conditions. I am big into snowshoeing and take beginners and intermediates out. I am with Slow and Steady Hiking Group. We do easy to difficult without the rush.
    I like the sound of this trail and should we get snow in the Sugar Momma area would you recommend it as a good trail for snowshoeing? Fullerton with its south slope is always iffy and too short. I don’t have your books with me but I don’t recall this trail being listed. Thanks for any advice to May offer. Rosemary

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