Cascade Valley…the conclusion

We went back to Cascade Valley to complete the trip which we started yesterday. Perfect weather today with sunny skies, no wind, and a temperature of -8(perhaps even warmer at mid-day). The snow was still cold, however. At the Cascade River bridge it was -11, but the tracks were surprisingly fast for Peter, Cheryl and me as we skied to the end of the tracksetting which is 14.5K.

After skiing for 14.5K, time for a cup of hot tea. This location is where the tracksetting ends.

There was a nice packed trail leading to the warden’s cabin, so we meandered through there on the way back.

If you decide to go to the cabin, take the second turn-off; the first turn-off at 13.1K is not packed and you’ll be struggling through deep snow as you go down a steep hill. It’s fine to return to the main trail on that one, though, and it is much shorter.

Nice to see we’ve got some new trails being groomed in PLPP. Tracksetting on Pocaterra has now come within 2K of the hut. Lynx, Amos, Woolley, Come-Along, and Stroil have all received their first grooming of the year.

As reported by Jeff on the Trip Reports page, Ribbon Creek has its first tracks of the season, with Kovach and Terrace completing the loop.

Dog-friendly trails

I get a lot of emails through the winter about this next question. Donna was wondering…

“I have friends who want to take up X-C skiing but they want to take their dog with them. Where can I find a list of dog-friendly trails for them. Thanks very much!”

No actual list exists as far as I know, so let’s create one. If I’ve missed any, leave a comment or send me an email. At all times, dogs are supposed to be leashed. The exceptions are West Bragg Creek and Nipika.

  • West Bragg Creek – dogs are allowed to run off-leash on the trails, but must be leashed in the parking lot.
  • Mount Shark
  • Ribbon Creek
  • Lake Louise – Pipestone trails, Bow River and Campground loop, Lake Louise Shoreline
  • Yoho – Yoho Valley road, Lake O’Hara fire road(this trail is not trackset but is usually well-packed)
  • Nipika Mountain resort is totally dog-friendly

I’ve added this list to the main menu under the heading “Resources.”


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  1. As a dog owner and someone considering entering the sport, I went looking for areas to go with my pet before spending any money on equipment, and I’m so glad I did.

    After some time spent online reading blogs and trying to find pet friendly trails, it seems to me that the majority of skiers are anti-dog. This is based on the many negative comments on this site and other similar sites. Even some discussions with local ski shop pro’s were less than welcoming to a pet owner.

    With the lack of pet friendly trails, I have to ask myself if I want to invest in a sport that will force me to leave a part of my family behind. The answer is simple, I won’t.

    The anti-dog people of the sport win. The local ski shops, ski clubs and other related business won’t get my money. The sport won’t get my support when there are club requests for fund raising or volunteers for events. Instead, the money and support will go elsewhere.

    As a very active member of other organised sports, I struggle with such negative responses towards what is considered a family sport.

    Thanks to those that chose to take the high road and remain open minded about pets.

  2. Once again Bob you could be a tad more accurate with your description of the dog rules at West Bragg. The rule is dogs are “recommended to be on leashed at all times” and the expectation is that they be under control at all times. To present that West Bragg is a place where “dogs are allowed to run off leash” is somewhat misleading. Also important to note is that dogs must be leased in the parking lot and on the Mountain Road Trail.

    You had to go and start this again eh! Somebodies got to keep you honest!

    I’m aware that the first three hundred metres on Mountain Road are considered a Provincial Recreation area and dogs are required to be on leash. I’m appointing you as the dog policeman for that stretch of trail. Ski it back and forth all day this weekend and make sure no one is breaking the rule. 🙂

    My goal is to give accurate information. I didn’t make the rule that dogs are allowed to be off-leash. Here it is:

    The simple fact is that you will find skiers at West Bragg with dogs running off-leash. If this annoys you, you’d make yourself and the dog owners a lot happier by skiing someplace where they’re not allowed.

    We’ve been through this before, with many excellent comments. I suggest that all West Bragg Creek skiers who aren’t aware of the rules to read the posts and comments from last year. and -Bob

    • Bob,

      First of all I want to thank you for an amazing website. Secondly, thanks for the links to previous discussions. I’m new to this site and wasn’t aware of the previous discussions. There were a number of good points made by many and some ranting. I apologize if my post was a little ‘rantish’ as I do enjoy meeting friendly dogs on a ski, even though I’ve suffered some fearsome encounters and am building up confidence and trust when it comes to meeting dogs. I think attitude is important with both dogs and people.

      I thought of something else too – if I encounter scat and/or paw prints from a wild animal on the trail I usually think it’s great! A near wildlife encounter! But if it’s from a dog, it’s an irritant. I should probably consider an attitude adjustment…

      When my wife and I ski the trails at Bragg, I will make sure to let her know that she will encounter dogs on the trail and we will respect the fact that they are co-users of the trail. I’d rather see a dog getting exercise with their owners than sitting indoors and getting fat and unhealthy.

      Hopefully those with skijoring set ups will consider lending them to us for some of the more challenging climbs!


  3. As far as (Greater) Kananaskis PP goes (including PLPP, Spray, etc.) my understanding is that anywhere that is NOT trackset is ok for canines (on-leash of course). Also Boom Lake in Kootney NP (actually anywhere in Kootney NP again is my understanding – on-leash) is ok. Please clarify if this info is not accurate!

    Matt I can understand your frustration (you should have also mentioned the snowshoers and walkers/hikers to be fair – as they should know better, when dogs most likely do not)… Please keep in mind that there are many more non-dog friendly trails to choose from. Unfortunatley you may not be able to ski those with your freinds that have dogs… A bit of a compromise & understanding is necessary in your situation, I suppose…

    • Agreed on all counts. I totally accept that on non-groomed trails you’re not going to get exceptional kick in the ski set tracks anyways, so dogs don’t make that much of a difference. Some smarter dogs know not to get in the way of a skier with a command or an accidental tap in the nose from a ski tail. Unfortunately, my friend’s golder retriever is a few bricks short…

  4. I’m a cat guy, not a dog guy, but I have skied with friends who bring their dogs. I like these dogs and appreciate their company, but they are constantly getting in front of me on the downhills or stepping on my tails when I kick on the flats. Not to mention their paw prints in the trackset reducing the contact area between the ski’s grip zone and the snow. Am I the only one that is irritated by these dog/skier conflicts to the point of ruining a nice ski?

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