Alberta snapshot: Fullerton loop.


I don’t recall such a snowy February here in Calgary…we’ve definitely got good snowshoeing weather at the moment.  The thing is, the risk of avalanches in the mountains is massive right now and sticking to safe terrain is crucial.  Fullerton Loop, outside of Bragg Creek, fits the bill perfectly: it’s a no-risk snowshoe trek, fast and easy and short (just over 6 kilometres). It’s fairly heavily trafficked right now, so if you don’t have snowshoes, you can simply hike it (and at this very moment, you probably don’t need microspikes).

We headed out there last Sunday morning and it snowed the whole time; in fact, Highway 66 wasn’t even ploughed when we arrived at the trailhead, beating the crowds that arrived later in the day.  For us, it was snow…trees…quiet.  Blissful.


  1. That spruce is rad! I have never seen any of the North American spruce in their natural environments. I do not even know which one that is. A few of them happen to live in that area. The firs are also excellent.

    • I’m not sure I have the ability to tell the different spruce species apart…I would need an ID guide with me in the field. I do have one and ought to pack it when I head out but I always forget to. On this particular trip, I was astonished by the amount of pines I saw – more than I’m used to seeing in that region. Seemed to be very localized and I want to do a bit more research.

      • There are probably more specie of pine there than spruce and fir, although I do not know. I do not watch pine much. We have only a few here, and they are so distinct from each other, and do not mix much. The Monterey pine lives in only three colonies, away from other pines. In our region, only the ponderosa pine and the knobcone pine mix, and they are very easy to distinguish. The ponderosa pine is very big, and the knobcone is rather small.

  2. do you ever snowshoe off trail into deep snow Sheryl? I used a pair of CDN army snowshoes.They were Algonquin in style & had magnesium frames with steel cord webbing.We use to joke that If I wanted to help start a fire all I needed to do was whittle off from the tail some shavings.
    I use to hike around Bragg creek.Out to the caves.

    • Those military-issue snowshoes sound amazing! I love the joke about their potential fire-starting capabilities! So fun! Mine are just lightweight aluminum frames, but I’ve had them quite a few seasons now and I’m pretty pleased with them. I don’t go too much off path into the deep snow but when the powder is just perfect, you absolutely cannot resist!

      Now I need to look up where the caves are in Bragg Creek because I don’t know…I’m going to Google this right now! Very intrigued….

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