hikes in Bragg Creek and Sheep River
We love hiking in the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies, SW of Calgary. This area, which includes Bragg Creek and much of the Sheep River, has some great, and very quiet hikes. The are of these front-ranges are popular daytrips from Calgary, and you'll mostly find locals from Calgary exploring these great hiking trails.
Hiking the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains is a special place, as it’s not that busy but still has some beautiful hikes. These hikes generally provide great views of the Rockies to the west and prairies to the east without a huge amount of work. Terrain varies between grassy, wild-flower filled meadows to thick forests to rocky exposed ridges.
This area near Bragg Creek and the Sheep River is also great for shoulder season hiking, as it doesn’t see as much snow. Some of our favourites here are hiked all year long. The town of Bragg Creek is also a charming village with a couple of great restaurants. This makes a great break after a long hike. Other authentic towns such as Turner Valley, Black Diamond and Millarville make this area a unique opportunity to explore life in the Canadian Foothills.
SW Alberta is a wonderful region for beginners as well as experienced hikers, and there are many great hikes within the area.
- ForgetMeNot Ridge (24.5km, 944m, 7-8h): Great views without a ton of work? Sign me up! This walk up Forget Me Not Mountain gives great views of the surrounding peaks, the elbow river valley, and gravel fields.
- Moose Mountain (14.7km, 573m, 4.5-5.5h): This long but rewarding hike starts in the trees and bring us to the fire lookout at the top of Moose Mountain. This is really popular shoulder season hike just 45 minutes from Calgary.
- Nihahi Ridge (10.0km, 706m, 3-4h): This hike has it all, starting in the forest before traversing a beautiful grassy meadow then gaining elevation in the alpine as climb the ridge. The views are spectacular throughout the hike.
- Volcano Ridge (18.7km, 659m, 5.5-6.5h): This is a relative low effort high reward hike up a grass topped foothill of the Rockies just west of turner valley. From the top we have great views as the foothills turn into the towering peaks of the Rockies.
- Mesa Butte (3.5km, 229m, 1-2h): At only 3.5km round trip this is a short and easy hike that is perfect for after work. Mesa Butte is a mid elevation hill with tremendous views of the surrounding area. The fire pit at the top it also made for a great picnic.
- Powderface Ridge (14.3km, 656m, 3-4h): Powderface Ridge is a popular early or late season hike at the end of Highway 66. There are several variations of the trail, all with decent views, making it suitable for a variety of fitness levels.
- Foran Grade and Windy Point (12.5km, 454m, 4.5-5.5h): Foran Grade and Windy Point Ridge are two smallish peaks in the front ranges providing great views of the surrounding ranges to the west and the prairie to the east. The views are gorgeous, especially considering the limited elevation you gain at just over 305m.
- Mount Ware (14.5km, 603m, 4.5-5.5h): This mid-length moderate hike has us summit Mt. Ware. As our final elevation takes us above all the surrounding foothills we are afforded great views of the surrounding area, including the impressive Bluerock Mountain to the west.
- Praire Mountain (6.9km, 699m, 3-4h): While this is not the most scenic of hikes until you reach the summit, it can be done year-round (no avalanche risk) and is one heck of a workout.
- Canyon Creek Ice Caves (13.7km, 285m, 5-7h): This hike is more about the destination than the journey. The first 6.0km is more of a walk along a forestry road before things get good, with a steep 1.0km hike before we reach the cave.
The best hikes in Bragg Creek and Sheep River
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