Dogs at West Bragg: The facts

The vindication of Steve Riggs

Comments continue to pour in to the Post which I made on Jan 2 entitled Dogs. Duane left a comment today which finally motivated me to get to the bottom of this.

Furthermore, I don’t mean to belabor this subject, but I did some investigating and thought this was relevant and important, seeing as how popular West Bragg is with dog-owners, and the confusion which seems to surround the issue.

Dogs ARE NOT required to be on leash on the West Bragg ski trails.

Dogs ARE required to be on leash in the West Bragg parking lot.

West Bragg Creek ski trails are classified as Provincial Forest Lands and you can read the rule right here:

The rule states, “we recommend that it be leashed at all times.”

Recommend and required are two very different things.

The West Bragg parking lot is classified as a Provincial Recreation Area, and dogs are required to be on leash.

I, and others took Steve to task when he said that dogs are not required to be on leash. He was about 95% correct.


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  1. Regardless of the regulations, do a bit of research on the area before letting your dog off-leash. Legal ‘trap lines’ still exist in Kananaskis Country. A year ago a Malamute went missing just adjacent to a trail near Elbow Falls, he was later found dead in a snare. Your dog buddy deserves an educated guardian.

  2. I was so excited to hear Bob talk about the real dog rules at Bragg Creek this morning. It was so surprising and unexpected in this age of rules and more rules that I thought I might have mis-heard him so came to this site to check. I would love to have a place to ski (or hike) with my dog while he runs…. and of course I will be responsible, pick up after him, etc. etc.

    I can appreciate some folks may not like it, but to be fair they have all the trails in all the National and Provincial parks, all the trails in Wildland Parks, in Recreation areas, all the trails within towns and cities to choose from where dogs are leashed or many cases not allowed at all. Nice to have a FEW less rule-bound areas.

  3. Really, it’s quite simple:
    -If you don’t agree that dogs should be on ski trails, either relax a bit and accept the fact that you will encounter them at West Bragg, or go elsewhere, there are plenty of dog-free options.
    -Skiers with dogs, such as myself, need to be responsible and ensure that their dog, whether leashed or not, is not a problem for other skiers or wildlife.
    It was interesting to note in Bob’s report from Nipika a few weeks back- that dogs are very welcome there. You would think that if dogs really presented such a hazard to skiers, and are wrecking the trails, as some would say, that a business operating a for profit trail network such as Nipika would be the first to ban them.
    Food for thought.

  4. Oops

    I meant to thank Shane, not Jeremy for his polite suggestion.

  5. Feedback is welcome, but just a reminder that you can disagree without being disagreeable. Your comments say a lot…mostly about you. The comments which are thoughtful, polite, and respectful will be the ones which ultimately earn the most credibility from readers.

  6. dogs are safety hazard, period !!!, same as walkers, horses and other non skiers

  7. Hi Darin

    Perhaps you wouldn’t resent other peoples sentiments towards dogs if you’d read the well presented thoughts of Duane, Cindy, Steve and Bruce in the original thread on dogs. There are very good reasons why dogs don’t enjoy the same freedoms as people in a public, and in this case wilderness, space.

    And thanks very much Jeremy for your constructive suggestion that I not use West Bragg, but I decline.

  8. I frequently take my two dogs out to West Bragg and encounter other people with dogs (mostly off leash). I have my dogs hooked up to me with a double skijouring set-up which both me and my border collies fully enjoy. I’ve never had a bad experience with dogs off leash and always love seeing other people and dogs on the trails.

    Why do those without dogs have such strong feelings? Does it bother you so much when another person who isn’t very skilled gets in your way? What about small children or a big bulky pulk/chariot? Part of what I love about skiing is the people I meet on the trail who always seem to be enjoying themselves (dogs included). I really resent the sentiment that dogs shouldn’t be allowed the same freedoms out on the trails and wish that others could lighten up a bit.

  9. Comment from Bruce Barker:

    As Chair of the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association Ski Committee , I would like to thank Bob for setting the record straight on dogs in West Bragg Creek. We are working with K-Country to set up trail etiquette signage so that recreational users have the proper expectations when using the trails here. Dog owners have the responsibility of maintaining control over their pets, on or off leash, respecting other trail users, and cleaning up after them. Non-dog trail users need to appreciate that this area is dog-friendly, which had wide public support during our public consultations on the All Season Trail Plan, developed in conjunction with all Stakeholders who use this area. We should all respect the rights of each trail user, and hopefully can get along with each other.

    As groomers and trail boosters, we are happy to see the popularity of the area with dog and non-dog users alike.

    Horses on the ski trails are another matter. We are increasing signage to ensure horse riders understand they are not permitted on the ski trails. If caught, they can be fined for damaging the trails.

    The trails suffered through the Chinook of the last few days, and are hard packed and icy. Nothing 4 inches of snow won’t fix up.

    Have a great weekend.

  10. Indeed, 2wheeler you’re rather broad with your paintbrush assumption of “the rest of us”.
    What we need is more rules hey, excellent. Hey, how about this, make some ski tracks in provincial recreation parks, provincial parks and national parks then all those nasty critters have to be on leash.
    Now that would be such a great idea, know any areas like that 2 wheeler and Jeremy?

  11. Teresa;

    Horses can seemingly run roughshod anywhere and everywhere, even where they are not allowed, and can defecate with impunity. Why do we have to tolerate this double-standard?

  12. Too bad, looks like its back to the status quo!

    And don’t worry Jeremy, that’s a typically rabid response from dog owners if you question why the rest of us have to put up with their snarling darlings.

  13. Dogs are the least of your worries in West Bragg today. Did part of Iron Springs Trail and between ice and horses it was truly not enjoyable. The horses have completely ruined the trail between their hoofs leaving craters and their excrement.

  14. Jeremy – As someone who keeps her skiing dog on leash, I find your comment extremely unhelpful.

    If you really find dogs so awful, ski somewhere where they’re not allowed. THAT would ensure a better skiing experience for all. Imagine that.

  15. Perhaps its time to change the rules out of consideration for safety but also for those making the effort to groom and properly maintain track (easier said than done!) Requiring leashed pets would invariable lead to fewer ones on the track and a better skiing experience for all. Imagine that.

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