Big Elbow Little Elbow Loop - Trail, Bragg Creek, Alberta

Big Elbow Little Elbow Loop - Trail, Bragg Creek, Alberta

DESCRIPTION

This trail is a classic fire-road bomber in the Canadian Rockies complete with 20 minute climbs and 20 minute downhills. Begin at the west end of Highway 66 near Bragg Creek. Park the car and ride along the dirt road for a few hundred meters until you see a suspension bridge on the left...cross it. The loop is a swooping right-hand turn around a mountain massif totalling around 45km, or 27-28 miles. Generally you are on rough fire-road undulating over washouts, live creeks, gaining elevation, losing it, gaining massive elevation again only to bomb down one of the best roller-coaster rides I've experienced. Total single-track is in the 5-10% range but don't let that put you off, this ride takes you far into the back country and affords amazing views and deafening silence. As always in the Canadian Rockies, pack a shell. While changing a flat I've been caught in a short snow-storm In August! But it can get hot too! Times for me have varied from 4 hours as a novice to just over 2 hours when I was racing. I have run into people who have been riding for 4 hours and are just at the halfway mark, my fig newtons probably saved their lives.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-7 of 7  
[Sep 23, 2013]
tri777
Weekend Warrior

Do not attemp the loop unless you are prepared to spend 11 hrs. The trail is totally devastated after June 2013 flooding. You will exprience 3 soaking river crossings, a lot of hiking, more than biking, many washed out crossings with huge rocks, bushwacking to steep hills to get through, etc. We did this last night counter clockwise and the downhill to Tombstone camp ground was totally ripped of. Not cyclable al all. Good thing 5 of us made it with no trouble at all. No bike puncture, no mechanical problems, no injuries.

Customer Service

This Loop is not recommended for MTB

Similar Products Used:

West Bragg Creek

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 01, 2009]
kbrown35
Cross Country Rider

Great trail, good for getting the summer legs back and great for pushing your time in the mid season. If you are doing this trail from the guide book don't do it clockwise, go the other direction. Ive done both and the latter is better in my opinion.

Customer Service

Start on the fire road and slug out the gain then sit back and enjoy the single track down.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Dec 20, 1999]
RINO

Yep this is the one...
I mean it rides well, it is challenging enough when you race it, it is nice enough to tour it.
We too had some bad weather including snow, hail, and rain, but also sunshine up to 25 degrees. All this in one ride!!
The climb up to tombstone is a nice leg burner, the downhill a rimburner. Yes this is the one you definately should ride in Kananaskis. Lots of other bikers on the trail in weekends.

Customer Service

As described

Similar Products Used:

Jumpingpound!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Mar 29, 2000]
Greg

You get to fjord a few creeks along the way. T about the halfway point you come to a creek on your right. Stop and put your bike in the bush and follow the creek for about 1km. You have to walk through the creek and on some pretty steep terrain so be prepared to get wet, but then as you come around the last corner you know it was all worth it. A stunning 40-50 foot waterfall. WOW!!!!! This makes the trip worth it. Its perfect for a shower on a 30 degree + day. The second half is comprised of a few big hills and a few big drops. Nice trail.

Customer Service

Start out at the campground by crossing the suspension bridge and follow the trail home.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Oct 31, 2000]
Dave

I guess it depends on preferences, I like singletrack and didn't care for this ride too much. The elevation gain was minimal, the views only okay and there was way too much fire road. The singletrack cutting back onto Big Elbow is the highlight of this ride, but there just isn't enough of it. It's a 40 km ride, and I figure that it should feel like you've been beaten up after that long a ride, I didn't even notice this one. Do a shorter more demanding loop in the area and save your time.

Customer Service

Take the loop counterclockwise starting with the Little Elbow side.

Similar Products Used:

Sulphur Springs, Powderface Creek, Wildhorse

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
[May 04, 2001]
Jim Frederick

This was the first trail I rode when I got into mountain biking a few years ago, and I found it very challenging for a beginner who was in barely average physical condition. The few minutes of zooming downhill just didn't seem to makeup for the hours it seemed to take getting up those hills. It took us 6 hours, so bring lots of water and powerbars.

The fire road does get quite rocky for extended streches, which caused me many problems on my non-suspension bike. Bolts shook loose (bring tools), hands got numb (bring gloves) and tubes got punctured (bring at least two spares... the two of us had four flats!) My butt was tender for at least 3 days :)

We almost missed the entrance to the single trail because it was on a downhill slope where the fire road continues straight on, and we had some serious speed going. The single trail was a welcome change after hours of fire road riding, and I found to be medium in difficulty.

Once past the single trail and back onto a fire road, it flattened out for some nice higher speed cruising, slowing down only to cross some rocky but mostly dry stream beds.

Maybe it's because it was my first trail, but I definitely enjoyed the ride, the scenery, and the people we met on the trail.

Customer Service

Unsure, but I THINK (not 100% sure) we crossed the suspension bridge just before returning to our trucks at the end of the day.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Aug 19, 2002]
Eric

This trail has a little bit of everything, screaming descents, narly single track and open fire roads. You begin your trip at the end of little Elbow campground and head up some wide open fire roads, this section is a steady up and down climb till your reach an open meadow near the top. At the end of the meadow you will come to one of my favorite parts of the trail, a long and fast fire road downhill section, let go of the brakes and fly like the wind, i have reached speeds of 76 km/h, it is crazy fun. Then you will turn left at a yellow sign onto some single track and now your on Big Elbow, it is a nice single track to start and you go up and down for quite some time and soon your riding on the cliffs above the elbow river, it is amazing, continue on this trail and it will eventually widen out to some fire road again follow this till ya get to the bridge, cross this and the ride is finished, while riding this trail one evening in late july, me riding partner and i saw some deer, and a fox so you might be lucky if ya see some animals, bring a camera views are great. Go during the week in the evening as no one is there, however leave enough time so won't be riding in the dark. It is about 39 km's and took us for the first time exactly 3hrs, 49 mins. With numerous stops, so hae fun and enjoy this trail, it is quite easy.

Customer Service

start at the end of the campground, and make your up the fire road, till ya hit a yellow sign, turn left there, it is at bottom of long descent, and continue on the mixed single fire road and finish off by crossing the bridge

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-7 of 7  

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