Interactive Elbow Valley and West Bragg Creek Trails Locator map
As an Information Graphics Designer at The Montreal Gazette I made lots of maps. That was before Google Maps. But, there will always be a need for specialized maps, focusing on a unique territory, that contains relevant information. That is the case with this map of the Elbow Valley and West Bragg Creek.
There are hundreds of kilometres of trails – it’s a chaotic tangle of lines. The official Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association map shows part of the territory, it’s very large and there is almost too much information. I wanted a map people could use to choose a trail on their smartphones while driving out to Kananaskis for a day on the trail.
My map took years to produce. Drawing all the contour lines for the elevation of terrain alone was a chore. The first version had the original trails, built when K-Country was created back in the 1970s. Then the GBCTA and CMBA built a whole new tangle of trails in the 2010s. I used several different maps as reference with several different sources of information. Some trails I measured with a ruler on a printed map to find the length.
This is by no means an exact rendering of the trails. Don’t expect to find your way home using this map. But, if you want to explore and lose yourself in the wild lands of Kananaskis, this may help. This map shows the entire Elbow Valley from the Little Elbow Recreation Area to the hamlet of Bragg Creek.
The extraordinary thing about this map is its interactivity. Roll your mouse over, or tap on a trail and you’ll see the name and length of the trail. There’s more than meets the eye. Click/tap the map or the link below to see more.
McDougall Memorial United Church
The first Protestant church in Alberta was set on fire and burned to the ground on Victoria Day weekend. Luckily, I had some photos. Read the history here:
The Banded Peak Challenge was a fund-raising event for Easter Seals Camp Horizon. It was held annually from 2002 until 2016 in the Little Elbow Recreational Area, located at the end of Hwy. 66, in Kananaskis, 30 km west of Bragg Creek, Alberta. The Challenge began near Forgetmenot Pond. Participants cycled 13.5 km to the Mountain Base Camp, then hiked 5 km to the top of Banded Peak. Total distance (return) 37 km. Height Gain 1,416 m.
The event provided a significant contribution to the camp which allows special needs children a chance to do things they could never imagine possible. Thirty guides, bike mechanics and emergency medical personnel were on the route, providing assistance.
Here you’ll find how the event was run, photos, a video of the event, a guide to help you do the adventure yourself and some materials to help others develop a similar event.
Looking for somewhere to take your family or your friends in Kananaskis?
Please have a look at this feature on the great places to recreate around Bragg Creek
The flood of 2013 had a devastating effect on many of the favoured picnic areas and trailheads like Allen Bill Pond and Elbow Falls. But there are many other places to take your family and friends when you visit the Elbow Valley and West Bragg Creek.
Day Use Areas
People of Bragg Creek
See more people
Bragg Creek Tour – 2017
Take a tour of Bragg Creek to see what it it’s like to live, work and play here. We live hidden in the forested foothills of the Rocky Mountains, 40 minutes west of Calgary, Alberta. The community has an interesting history, influenced by the Elbow River and the wild lands that surround us, providing a venue for outdoor adventure that sustains us and those who come to visit.