Fullerton Loop

This is a popular trail that takes about 2 hours to complete and although there are hills to climb it isn't all that hard. 7 km return, 213 m/692 ft elevation gain/loss.

Much of it is covered by a canopy of trees through a nice mature forest and there are some nice viewpoints along the way. At the far end a short trail leads to a lookout to Moose Mountain and the Bobcat trail. Much of the south leg runs along a cliff overlooking the Elbow Valley, the foothills, the Ranger Station and the Elbow River. You can also see large tracts of cleacut slopes on the far side of the river.

The flood of 2013 had a significant impact here. There are new bridges and a lot of repairs to the trail have been done. The trailhead used to be at the east end of the Allen Bill Pond parking, but it has been moved across the road to the north side of Hwy 66, adjacent to the Ranger Station. There is parking for about 15 cars there, but you can also park in the Allen Bill parking lot. The trail begins near the Ranger Station following a new cleared trail through the forest which leads to the river and hooks up with the original trail. This is actually the Elbow Trail which connects to the West Bragg Creek Recreation Area about 7 kilometres to the north.

The trail is wide enough for two to walk side-by-side. There are a lot of gates along the way to keep the cattle away from the southern leg. The cattle leave a fair amount of poop on the trail, so watch where you walk. The Fullerton Loop begins about .5 km from the point where the trail meets the river. There is a Y-junction. To the right is the Elbow Trail, to the left is the Fullerton Loop. Once on the loop, you can climb the stairs and do the loop clockwise or keep to the right and do the loop counter clockwise. I don't think it matters, you will climb the same elevation gain either way. The best views are on the southern leg (to the left). I've always been a "save the best for the last" kind of person so I go right (counter clockwise).

Bikes and horses aren't allowed on Fullerton Loop.

The Fullertons own a lot of land in Bragg Creek. Ernest "Jake" Fullerton was among the very first pioneers to settle here about the turn of the 20th Century. He opened a ranch here in 1914. They helped build and supply the fire lookout on Moose Mountain. They hauled logs and coal. Tom Fullerton allowed Mary and Catherine Barclay to open the first Youth Hostel in Canada on his land in 1933. Wayne was a Rockyview councillor around the turn of the 21st Century. They have a lot of history here. Mt. Fullerton is named after Jake.

Fullerton Loop trail photos

Hwy 66 bridge over the Elbow River near Allen Bill
Hwy 66 bridge over the Elbow River near Allen Bill
The abutment on the left of the bridge washed away in the flood of 2013. There were only two support posts before the flood. Transport Alberta built a temporay bridge for the summer of 2013, then built a third support and extended the bridge. Work on the bridge was finished in June of 2014.
  • Hwy 66 bridge over the Elbow River near Allen Bill
    The abutment on the left of the bridge washed away in the flood of 2013. There were only two support posts before the flood. Transport Alberta built a temporay bridge for the summer of 2013, then built a third support and extended the bridge. Work on the bridge was finished in June of 2014.
  • Old bridge over the Elbow River on Hwy 66
    In this photo, taken before the flood, you can see that there are only two supports and the bridge is shorter. Both this and the previous photo were taken on the trail leading to the Fullerton Loop.
  • Footbridge
    This one of the new bridges built after the flood. There is severe erosion all along the trail, but the trail itself is in good condition.
  • Which way?
    This is the east end of the loop. You can climb the stairs and go around the loop clockwise or keep to the right and go counter clockwise.
  • Moose Mountain
    At the west end of the loop you can follow a short trail that leads to a lookout to Moose Mountain.
  • North leg of the trail
    The trail is quite wide and in good condition. It is open in places and there are hills to climb.
  • South leg of the trail
    Most of the trail runs through the forest. This leg runs along the top of a cliff. There are nice views through the trees to an overview of the Elbow Valley. There are even a couple of benches where you can admire the view.

 

Trail locator map

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