Biking at West Bragg Creek

Long Distance biking trail at West Bragg Creek

The most impressive sight I saw today was on Long Distance when I reached my highest elevation. I encountered a sea of beautiful native grasses waving in the breeze, with a surreal backdrop of mountains silhouetted against the smoky sky.

Starting out on Braggin Rights

I only scratched the surface today, but am impressed with the bike trails which were recently created at West Bragg Creek. I started out on Braggin’ Rights, a trail which even this sissy mountain biker could enjoy. At the intersection with Telephone Trail, it was my good fortune to encounter Ty and his happy, energetic dog Sky. 

Ty and his dog Sky at the Telephone – Reconnect – Braggin’ Rights intersection

This would be a good time to mention that dogs can run offleash on the West Bragg trails, but are required to be leashed in the parking lot. 

Ty, obviously a veteran biker at West Bragg, gave me some good advice on which trails to ride. He was on his way to Merlin, but rode with me until I was safely onto Reconnect.

Most of the rocky sections were on the climb to the high point

I had to climb a few steep sections where protruding tree roots had me dismounting a couple times on Reconnect, then turned onto Long Distance where I reached the high point of the day, a net gain of 200 metres over 5.5K.  With all the ups and downs, the total ascent was 270 metres. 

Descending on Disconnect

Ty mentioned the downhill run on Disconnect and Telephone was very enjoyable and flowed nicely through the forest, not too steep but still a bit challenging. Now that I’ve experienced it, I would totally agree with his assessment. Disconnect had minimal protruding tree roots which made it nice. The 3.4K section of Telephone Loop which I took back to the parking lot is wide, easy and pleasant. 

The after-work crowd was setting out when I got back

When I reached the parking lot around 5:15 pm, the after-work crowd was showing up and setting out. What an amazing new parking lot it is! This winter, vehicles shouldn’t have to line up for 2K along the road in order to come skiing here. You could almost get lost in the parking lot, it’s so big.

Map of West Bragg Creek(click for larger image)

I encountered a grand total of two bikers and seven hikers on the trails. I imagine it would be a different story on the weekend. I like it when the trails are quiet, but I would have enjoyed seeing more dogs. The trail signage is excellent. 

The temperature at 3 pm was a scorching +32°C. After today’s appetizer, I’m looking forward to going back and doing more of these trails. We could also be skiing here in three months!

You may have noticed that I’m completing the changeover from SkiHere to SkierBob. The two handles caused some confusion, so no more identity crisis. If your bookmark is still SkiHere, no problem, as I will keep that URL and it will continue to take you to this website. 

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  1. I’m glad that you finally came out to West Bragg Creek and tried some of the all-season trails. As you noted, they are great for mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding in the snow-free seasons, but they are also great for snowshoeing, fat-biking and winter hiking during the winter. It is this attractive alternate trail network that minimizes the number of non-skiers on the groomed XC ski trails in the winter.
    You should also be aware that the Trans-Canada trail connects all the way through from Bragg Creek to Canmore-Banff and on to the High Rockies trail. In fact, there are two parallel versions of the Trans-Canada Trail through the West Bragg Creek area. The “high route” goes from Range Road 54, up Iron Creek and Boundary Ridge to the West Bragg Creek parking lot, then continues on Braggin Rights, Merlin View, the new Kestrel trail to Tom Snow trail. The “low route” is the groomed XC ski version. It follows Iron Creek, Iron Springs, East Sundog, Mountain Road, Moose Connector and north Moose Loop to Tom Snow Trail.
    Plenty of reasons to visit West Bragg Creek again in the future!

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