West Bragg Creek is a popular place, especially in the winter months. The Bragg Creek trails offer excellent opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, and hiking in the wintertime. A stone’s throw from Bragg Creek town, West Bragg Creek a great spot to get outdoors, before exploring shops or grabbing a bite to eat.
Winter is slowly coming to an end, but there’s still time to enjoy the Bragg Creek trails. Alberta boasts some of the best cross-country skiing in the country, so why not give it a shot before the snow melts away?
If you’ve never been to West Bragg Creek, the Moose Connector Trail (among others) is a good place to learn. However, many Bragg Creek trails include some steeper sections requiring skill to ascend and descend. But if you have basic XC skiing know-how, this is a decent place to advance your skills.
About Moose Loop
Location: West Bragg Creek Day Use Area
Distance: 12 kilometre loop
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult (long with steep sections)
Elevation: 180 metre gain
Time: 3 – 3.5 hours
Dog-friendly: Yes but dogs must be kept on-leash.
Features: West Bragg Creek features 13 trails of various lengths, with several ups and downs, and the longest trail is over 20 kilometres. If you enjoy skiing through evergreen forests, Moose Loop is a good choice. Along the way, there are also nice views of the meadow and mountains off in the distance.
Finding West Bragg Creek Parking
If you live in Calgary, one of the best things about West Bragg Creek is its proximity to the city. For example, I can reach the West Bragg Creek Day Use Area in about 50 minutes from my home in the city’s southeast. But its closeness to Calgary isn’t the only thing going for this spot (that’s for sure).
Bragg Creek trails include 13 different routes to choose from of different lengths and difficulties, but most are considered moderate due to the challenging hills. Before you head out, find trail conditions on the Bragg Creek Trails website.
The Moose Loop trailhead and the West Bragg Creek parking area is very easy to find. Once you reach downtown with gas stations and shops, head west on the West Bragg Creek Road until the very end to find the parking lot.
XC Skiing West Bragg Creek Trails
West Bragg Creek trails offer the chance for you to choose your own adventure. There are some easier, green trails near the parking lot, with more advanced intermediate and difficult trails as well. This time I decided to ski Moose Loop as it offers distance at a total of 12 kilometres, it’s a dynamic trail with ups and downs, and it offers some nice views.
From the parking lot, I hopped on the Moose Connector trail which eventually connects to Moose Loop. Bragg Creek trails are well-maintained and marked, with maps placed throughout. There are a few picnic tables scattered along the trail, so it’s possible to rest and perhaps make a hot cup of cocoa.
When Moose Connected meets Moose Loop, you can choose to go clockwise or counterclockwise. I chose the latter.
Know Before You Go
It’s important to know that West Bragg Creek has gotta be one of the busiest areas around, especially during the winter months. People flock from all over to enjoy skiing and other outdoor fun in this place. So try to visit at non-peak times, like during the week or later in the day.
Remember to bring your parking pass. This year, for the first time, you will need to purchase a parking pass from Nordiq Alberta. This pass is for all Kananaskis trails and covers the cost of trail maintenance this winter.
Lastly, remember to bring right winter gear (layer up!) to be comfortable outside for the day.
Watch my Moose Loop video to see what the experience is like:
Have you been to West Bragg Creek? What’s your favourite trail? Drop a comment below. Thanks for reading!