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  1. #1
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    Bragg Creek trails

    My wife and I are spending a couple weeks riding this summer in Alberta and BC. We have a number of spots we are thinking of riding. One of those is Bragg creek.
    Here's the question. There appears to be a lot to ride in the Bragg creek area. What are the must ride trails?
    We really enjoy flowing single track with some technical challenges. Last time in BC we really enjoyed Keystone standard basin and Moonraker trails in Golden. We are from Ontario and ride in north bay and buckwallow regularly.

  2. #2
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    There is so much to ride in the area west of Bragg Creek that it's hard to make a recommendation without knowing more about your preferences (or more importantly, your wife's).

    How long do you typically like your rides to be (time and kms)?

    How much climbing do you like to do on a ride? Most of the rides around here include significant climbing (generally between 300-800 meters). Knowing how much you do (or don't) like to climb will help whittle the trail list down.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  3. #3
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    Bragg Creek trails

    Our home trail starts with a 200 meter climb. So climbing isn't a big issue. Although climbing at altitude might be. We are generally pretty good to ride for three hours or so. But that has a lot to do with the length of trails available to us. So longer is not out of the question. One of the other trails we plan on riding is seven summits in Rossland.
    We are planning on riding Bragg creek for three or four days (our travel plans are pretty loose).

  4. #4
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    West Bragg is a must ride, the strange brew DH alone is worth the trip. Powderface long loop is a classic and jumpingpound ridge/cox hill is world class. I also like Baldy Pass, prairie view/jewel pass...... this list goes on and on

    Based on your description I'd say it's the perfect location for you.

  5. #5
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    deleted due to database error double-post
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  6. #6
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    Based on what you say, just about anything west of Bragg Creek you should find to your liking. There are limitless ways to link trails together for different kinds of loops that include climbing and downhills. Curbhuck's suggestions are good (although I always ride Strange Brew in the reverse, uphill, direction as part of a loop).

    It would be easy to exceed the word limit on the forum and only scratch the surface, but one suggestion I'll make that would be a great way for you get your legs in the area, is a long (43 km), classic ride that offers non-stop amazing mountain views, with the option of a side trip to a hidden mountain lake that's like a mini Lake Louise, 650 meters elevation change (but around 1,000 meters cumulative climbing when you include the ups and downs). Pack a lunch and turn it into an epic day ride, or hammer it (if that's your inclination). I'm referring to the classic Elbow Loop, which combines the Big Elbow and Little Elbow trails into a ride that circles a mountain range and over Tombstone Pass (detour for a short side trip to Tombstone Lake and have lunch there). This ride has a little bit of everything, including a nice flowing single-track section through the forest, but what I like most about it is that it's a nice change from most of the single-track in the area in that you aren't hidden in the forest all the time but actually get to enjoy stellar views for 90% of the ride as you climb to the top of the pass. I recommend it for your first ride in the area (ride it counter clockwise), and then head for the more technical single-track trails in the West Bragg area after that.

    You can read a trail description at Bike Pirate HERE, and view a short video that gives a nice idea of the types of trails and views you will encounter on the ride (about 3/4 double-track and fire road and 1/4 single-track). It's a great first ride for you to 'get your legs' in the area and thoroughly enjoy the mountain environment before moving on to the more difficult, classic trails closer to Bragg Creek.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  7. #7
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    Ditto on the bike pirate - good resource. Some of my favorite XC loops are "Southern Flow Loop", Northern Flow Loop + out and back on Long Distance, Pneuma/Moosepackers/Ridgeback, Powderface/Prairie Creek, and I haven't done it yet, but Jumpingpound Ridge / Cox Hill is a classic.

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    I just rode a favorite loop of mine this morning... before the rains hit. From the Allen Bill Pond trailhead, counter-clockwise... Snagmore-Boundary Ridge-Strange Brew-Sugar Mama. I recommend you give this one a try when you come out (16.5 km, 650m elevation change). You can also ride it clockwise, but in this case 100% of the elevation gain occurs on the first leg up Sugar Mama to Ranger Summit rather than over the succession of climbs and downhills you get in the opposite direction. Plus, you need to know where the Sugar Mama trail head begins (signed at the top but not at the bottom).

    You can download a couple of trail maps of the zone closest to Bragg Creek at Trail Maps for West Bragg Creek ? Kananaskis Country
    Last edited by BrentP; 06-17-2013 at 05:29 PM.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  9. #9
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    Hope you all made it out safe.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the advice. Still have a few weeks before my vacation starts but eager to get out there.

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  12. #12
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    Saw a pic on FB of TDub ,...wow. Report was of 3 feet of water coming down the trails.

  13. #13
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    All of the downtown of Bragg Creek and the Redwood Meadows area is apparently under water.

    Here's shots of before and after Cougar Creek in Canmore on the East side of the highway, up above the spot where Cougar Creek washed out Highway 1
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bragg Creek trails-fullscreen-capture-6202013-62812-pm.jpg  

    Bragg Creek trails-fullscreen-capture-6202013-33428-pm.jpg  

    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  14. #14
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    Bragg Creek trails

    Wow.

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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by rocks'r'friends View Post
    My wife and I are spending a couple weeks riding this summer in Alberta and BC. We have a number of spots we are thinking of riding. One of those is Bragg creek.
    Here's the question. There appears to be a lot to ride in the Bragg creek area. What are the must ride trails?
    We really enjoy flowing single track with some technical challenges. Last time in BC we really enjoyed Keystone standard basin and Moonraker trails in Golden. We are from Ontario and ride in north bay and buckwallow regularly.

    Cross Bragg Creek, Elbow Valley and the rest of K country off your travel list. Those trails are completely gone and the roads are wiped out . Highway 66 and 40 are closed . There won't be access to any of those areas for a year as the tight wad provincial government won't have repairs for that area on a priority list. As for the locals...enjoy road biking and sell your MTbs. This region sucks for MTBing as the weather is always crap and the season is so short .I don't know why anyone would vacation here.

  16. #16
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    Canmore, Highline Trail creek overflow

    Canmore, Highline Trail Creek Overflow - YouTube

    Town of Bragg Creek flooded

    Bragg Creek Alberta Floods 6-20-2013 - YouTube
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisnameisused View Post
    This region sucks for MTBing as the weather is always crap and the season is so short .I don't know why anyone would vacation here.
    Here's a suggestion... stay away from the area, enjoy sipping your soy lattes on the couch, and let us enjoy one of the best mountain biking areas on the continent without having to listen to your drivel.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  18. #18
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    banff, and lake louise are both MUCH dryer, and still have good riding
    good ski/bike deals at www.mntlion.com

    My life is better than your vacation.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentP View Post
    Here's a suggestion... stay away from the area, enjoy sipping your soy lattes on the couch, and let us enjoy one of the best mountain biking areas on the continent without having to listen to your drivel.
    It's all closed it ain't drivel. Quit your crying and face the facts. The season is over unless you want to drive three hours every time you want to ride.

    "hey dude..where did you put that highway"

    "it's moved to Medicine Hat you moron"

  20. #20
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    Bragg Creek trails-flood-damage-4.jpgAnyone going to ride the Moose this long weekend?


    Maybe next year...!!!!!

    Bragg Creek trails-flood-damage3.jpg

  21. #21
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    You really are a dumbass, aren't you? I was riding Moose Mountain yesterday - Tom Snow, Ridgeback, Sulphur Springs, and Snagmore/Boundary Ridge back to my car. If you knew anything, you'd know there is also access to everything in the area from the West Bragg trail-head parking lot, and the drive time from the city is the same. Access from Highway 66, where the bank leading up to the bridge was eroded away, is a bonus but it isn't necessary (the bridge is still 100% intact, but they'll probably need to bridge the new gap rather than fill it in).

    So... you've made three lifetime posts on MTBR just to talk smack about something you know nothing about. Why don't you just go away until you have something of value to contribute to the forum.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  22. #22
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    Road and trail info from the CBMA.

    After the Flood | CMBA - Calgary Mountain Bike Alliance

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    A couple of corrections to that report based on my experience yesterday...
    There is no restriction getting across the bridge to West Bragg Creek. Traffic is flowing normally and road conditions are good all the way until you almost get to the trail-head parking lot and encounter what looks like an unofficial (poorly constructed) road block. I merely parked my car there and rode in, no problem, and I wouldn't be surprised if the road block has been removed by now. I'll know tomorrow when I head out there to ride again. The cycling trails are in better condition than I expected, but stay away from the main nordic ski trails. It should dry up nicely over the next few days.

    The other thing I keep reading that is erroneous, is that the bridge is gone or washed away. I took a look at it yesterday and filmed it, and the bridge itself looks completely undamaged and intact. What happened was that approximately 40' of embankment and road that led up to the bridge deck was eroded away by the flood waters. The bridge was undamaged. The exposed steel piles you see are at the east edge of the bridge deck and were previously driven into the embankment and couldn't be seen, with the road paved up to that point (it looked similar to what you still see on the west side). They will either need to fill in the gap and re-pave on top of it to the edge of the bridge deck (as was done originally), or they'll need to span the gap with an additional section of bridge deck.
    Last edited by BrentP; 06-25-2013 at 08:26 PM.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  24. #24
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    Lol only a dumbass like yourself would drive through a road closure into a closed area.

    You obviously have no concept of engineering if you think the bridge on 66 will be repaired quickly. The whole bridge deck may have to be replaced 60 feet of concrete isn't meant to hang unsupported. Can't wait to see all the fat downhillers try to ride their bikes up Moose from Westbragg creek when it does open. You really are a heartless bastard driving through west Bragg Creek into a restricted area after the devistation that community experienced.
    Enjoy the long drive around Powderface Trail if and when it opens this year. It took them 8 weeks to repair it in 2005 and the damage was minor compared to now.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisnameisused View Post
    Lol only a dumbass like yourself would drive through a road closure into a closed area.
    Perhaps you should brush up on your reading comprehension. I said the road block looked homemade. When I rode in, there appeared to be no reason for it, and, as I suspected, it has since been removed and last night there were about a dozen cars from other riders that were parked by the west Bragg trail head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thisnameisused View Post
    You obviously have no concept of engineering if you think the bridge on 66 will be repaired quickly. The whole bridge deck may have to be replaced 60 feet of concrete isn't meant to hang unsupported.
    There is nothing unsupported about the bridge as it stands now. The piles at the east end of the bridge are still intact and supporting the bridge, as they are supposed to. What got washed away was the fill that was supporting a short section of road leading up to the bridge. I imagine what they'll do is add fill and rebuild the missing section of road up to the edge of the bridge, as was originally done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thisnameisused View Post
    You really are a heartless bastard driving through west Bragg Creek into a restricted area after the devistation that community experienced.
    West Bragg Creek isn't a restricted area. It's fully open and accessible right to the end of the road where the trail head is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thisnameisused View Post
    Enjoy the long drive around Powderface Trail if and when it opens this year. It took them 8 weeks to repair it in 2005 and the damage was minor compared to now.
    Why would anyone drive down to Powderface when they can ride from west Bragg the same way as always?
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  26. #26
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    TRAIL UPDATE: As of June 26, 2013

    I've ridden a lot of the trails in the west Bragg and Moose Mountain area this week, and they are all in surprisingly good condition, with a few wet spots (as can be expected), but it's drying out quickly.

    Access is via the west Bragg trail head parking lot. The restricted access closure immediately following the flood was lifted earlier in the week. There was what appeared to be a homemade road block about a kilometer before the parking lot, early this week, but that has been removed and it is possible to drive all the way in now. They don't want cars going over the small stream crossing bridge at the entrance to the parking lot, so cars aren't allowed into the lot. You'll need to park on the road and ride in the last 50 meters or so.

    If riding up the Tom Snow fire road to access the Moose Mountain trails at Station Flats via Ridgeback, be aware that there are some sections of deep erosion on the steep sections of the fire road where the water channeled down. It is still rideable to the top, though, by keeping to the edge of the road. Ridgeback is in very good condition with some minor wet spots after the rock garden as well as a few on the lower two sections. The usual bogs on the lower sections of Tom Snow are worse than usual (surprise, surprise) so stick to Ridgeback and stay away from lower Tom Snow.

    Sulphur Springs is in good condition, with the usual boggy sections, but otherwise in good shape, as is Pneuma. From Sulphur Springs last night I dropped down on Pneuma then rode up the Moose Mtn. access road and onto the fire lookout trail at the top. I've never seen it as rocky on the lookout trail in the section that drops down to Moosepackers, as it was yesterday (but I haven't been up there for a few years so I can't say for sure if it was due to the storm). Moosepackers is in stellar shape and you wouldn't even know there had been rain in the area except for a few small wet spots near the bottom. I saw tracks in a couple of spots indicating a number of riders have been through there since the storm.

    Boundary Ridge and Snagmore are good, with a few boggy spots in the usual early season places. The big problem, as we found out earlier in the week, is that Snagmore/Boundary or Sugar Mama can't be accessed from the south side without serious bushwacking (which we did but won't do again), because the course of McLean Creek has been diverted and now runs over the trail that used to take you from the Allen Bill parking area to the trail heads. The only way around it is to climb a ridge on the left and go around (not recommended). From the west Bragg parking lot, however, you can ride Boundary Ridge and Snagmore and turn it into a clockwise loop back to the parking lot by climbing up Sugar Mama to Ranger Summit, and from there either ride back to the parking lot on Ranger Summit or Strange Brew.
    Last edited by BrentP; 06-27-2013 at 05:26 PM.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  27. #27
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    Thanks for the informed update, Brent.

  28. #28
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    TRAIL UPDATE: As of Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    SOME EXCELLENT NEWS

    Repairs to the approach to the McLean Creek bridge on Highway 66 are underway, and heavy equipment is presently working to rebuild the washed out embankment of the east bridge approach. I had a good talk today with one of the Volker Stevin workers, and he told me they expect to have the bridge open with a temporary fix in one to two weeks. He said the only thing that might delay the bridge opening is whether or not they discover the span has been overly stressed, as the steel piles supporting the east end of the bridge deck apparently dropped slightly in the flood. That probably won't impact a partial opening, but if they discover the eastern most span has been overly stressed, they will replace it before fully opening the bridge. At the moment, though, expect the bridge to be partially open again within two weeks. Let's keep our fingers crossed that all goes according to plan.

    Viewing the bridge work from the Snagmore trail, I couldn't tell whether the equipment in the river was pulling rocks out to rebuild the riverbank, or whether they were moving rocks around to tray to squeeze off the diversion that is now flowing where the access road (the Elbow XC ski trail) connected from the Allen Bill parking lot to Snagmore, Fullerton Loop and Sugar Mama trails. There is essentially a new tributary about 300 meters west of the main river course, which has overrun the connecting trail and completely cuts off Allen Bill from accessing the trails to the north (without some serious climbing and bushwacking around it). It would be great if they are trying to close off the new tributary so they can re-establish access to the trails to the north, again.

    Volker Stevin is also working to repair the erosion around the stream crossing at the entrance to the West Bragg Trailhead parking lot. You can no longer get over the small bridge due to the work, but today they built a temporary stream crossing to allow riders and hikers to cross the stream (to the left of the bridge). The worker I was speaking with said they were really surprised at the volume of riders and hikers that were accessing the area, so they brought in materials to create a stream crossing today after they started work.

    All the trails in the area, as expected, are in excellent shape, with a small number of erosion areas in a few spots that require negotiation (Snagmore stream crossing and Tom Snow fire road climb). After the recent rain they are firm, but not muddy (with the exception of a few scattered, small wet spots). The main fire road/XC trails like Elbow and Iron Springs are extremely boggy, however, and not worth using even as a short cut.
    Last edited by BrentP; 07-10-2013 at 09:15 AM.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  29. #29
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    Bragg Creek trails

    On our way from Ontario. Wondering how the trails are and if there are any places/ trails to avoid or be cautious of. We should be in the area Thursday August 1. Any camping recommendations? Please note we do have a camping trailer.

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    It's very hard to get current information on whether campgrounds have been opened, or even if the access road closures on Highway 66, Powerface Trail, and Highway 40 have been lifted (everything on the web seems to be quite old). Your best bet as far as determining what trailer campgrounds are open is to call the Elbow Valley Visitor Centre (re: Highway 66 region) and the Barrier Lake Visitor Centre (re: Higway 40 region). If I'm not mistaken, the McLean Creek campground is open on Highway 66 west of Bragg Creek, just before the bridge that's under repair (I haven't been out that way for about 3 weeks, so I don't know if they have bridge access yet to the areas west of McLean Creek). The small Gooseberry campground seems to be open too, according to this page.

    As far as riding goes, all the trails accessible from West Bragg Creek are in excellent shape, and there are lots of ways to create different loops of different lengths and elevations. I'm heading out there this afternoon, as a matter of fact, for the first time in a few weeks.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  31. #31
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    Bragg Creek trails

    We've had a great couple days riding in west Bragg. Hit up the southern flow loop for our first ride yesterday and then the northern flow today (made it out before the rain really hit hard). Not sure about tomorrow(Monday) will have to see what the weather has in store. Might check out moose mountain as the bridge on 66 is open.

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