Snagmore Snowshoe - Kananaskis - Hiking Alberta

 

Snagmore Trail is at West Bragg Creek in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.

 

Snagmore Snowshoe, Cananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Access to Snagmore Trail from the south is gained by new parking near the Ranger hut on the north side of Hwy 66 across from Allen Bill.  This day requires layering up for brisk winter temperatures before beginning the snowshoe on the Elbow Trail

A platform bridge crossing leads immediately to a short ascent through forest, then meadow and descent to trail beside the Elbow River where hoar frost sparkles in early morning sun above the partially frozen river.

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada The beginning of the Elbow Trail on the north side of Hwy 66 near Allen Bill in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Hoar frost along the edges of the Elbow River en route to Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada The partially frozen Elbow River along the way to meeting up with the Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada At the junction of Elbow Trail and Fullerton Loop continue right to the Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

After 1.1 KM of clear and frequently traveled path, the clearly defined snowshoe trail continues right past the junction for Fullerton Loop and an additional 200 m for a right turn from Elbow Trail onto clearly-signed Snagmore Trail.  The ascent proceeds up the hill where predominantly evergreen forest occupies the left and aspen to the right provides clear, sweeping views of the river valley.

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada The Elbow Trail junction with Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada A brief dip in the trail provides relief from the moderate uphill slope on Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada A Snagmore Trail view south across the flood plain to the Hwy 22 bridge over the Elbow River in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

The trail segways from scenic overview into dense evergreen forest before emerging into new views along the Elbow River Valley.  At the top of the first hill, a small and inviting log bench motivates a relaxing pause to enjoy a snack in the sun as time is taken to absorb the sweeping vistas and to examine an old 'North of 60' movie set directly beneath on the other side of the Elbow River.

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada An evergreen forest section on the ascent of Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada View to hills in the south past the Elbow River from Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada A long view south from Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada A view north east along the winding Elbow River from a rest stop along Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada An old 'North of 60' movie set beneath the rest stop on Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

 

As the moderate ascent continues to the high point at 150 m (490 feet) above the trail-head, there are several open areas commanding spectacular views beneath dramatic skies.  Snow cover is thin and rocks beneath are clearly evident.

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Continuing the climb to the top of Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Small clear cuts provide excellent views as we continue to gain altitude on Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Dramatic skies from Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore trail continues on relentlessly upward ascent, curling left to the hilltop where spectacular long views over the foothills are often bracketed by forest.

 

Snowshoeing on Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Sweeping views to the south along Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Distant views from Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

The predominantly forested loop descent is more gentle and there is a bit more snow on the north side of Snagmore Hill.  Frequently it is better to snowshoe beside the trail rather than on the trail.  Significant dead fall in the forest provides plentiful photographic opportunity. 

A small and sunny forest opening near the trail with two conveniently placed logs will provide seating for lunch.  There are more people on the trail now including riders on fat-tired mountain bikes.  After a satisfying lunch in the sun, the descent continues to arrival at the intersection with the Iron Springs cross-country ski trail.  Snowshoeing a short distance north on Snagmore trail leads to off-trailing a short down slope through forest onto Elbow Trail for the return descent along the edge of the groomed cross-country ski trail.

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Forest framed views from Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Snow-covered forest dead-fall provides photo ops on Snagmore Hill in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada At the lunch spot along Snagmore Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Migrating from Snagmore Trail to return on Elbow Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Elbow Trail is groomed but there is insufficient snow for a track set.  A few skiers pass the snowshoe trail along the edge of the groomed trail.  Soon the trip passes the intersection with Snagmore trail and continues on Elbow Trail past the intersection to Fullerton Loop.  Air temperature has risen substantially.  Snow is heavier and there are many more people beginning their day on the trails as the 8.0 Km (5 mile) snowshoe achieves completion on the final stretch along the Elbow River.

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Elbow Trail and the cut-line beyond in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada On the Elbow Trail past Iron Springs Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada The Elbow River looking south to the repaired Hwy 66 bridge near Allen Bill in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Snagmore Trail, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada A stash of logs on the Elbow Trail near the trail-head across from Allen Bill in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

This day which began with brisk temperatures is now warm and sunny.  The Snagmore Trail would be tackled in the opposite and easier direction (clockwise) on a subsequent mission.  Snagmore Trail is also accessible on a longer route from West Bragg Creek.

Photographs for this post were taken on Sunday, March 1, 2015 in Kananaskis Elbow west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Thanks for the blog Barry, I enjoyed it before my drive off to work this morning in Toronto.

Enjoy your day, Rob. It has been an unusual winter. Actually, here in Calgary, they are all unusual. Last year was brutal. This year, substantially more gentle...so far.

What a beautiful day spent in the great outdoors. I love the shots of the snowy elbow River.

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