Fullerton Loop Kananaskis Hike near Bragg Creek Alberta

Fullerton Loop trail near Bragg Creek in Kananaskis Country is an easy day hike if you are driving from Calgary. What I love about this trail:

  • Beautiful Elbow River views
  • The elevation gain gives me a decent workout
  • There’s plenty of parking at the trailhead

 

View of Elbow River from Fullerton Loop hiking trail in Kananaskis AB Canada

View of Elbow River from Fullerton Loop hiking trail

 

About Fullerton Loop trail Kananaskis

Looking for good solo hikes near Calgary I found Fullerton Loop on the AllTrails app. I wanted to do two hikes so I chose Fullerton for the morning hike.

A short drive to Bragg Creek for lunch. Followed up with a hike at Brown Lowery Provincial Park on the way back to Calgary.

What a wonderful way to spend a day in beautiful Kananaskis Country Alberta.

 

Butterflies enjoy the warm sunshine on Fullerton Loop trail

Butterflies enjoy the warm sunshine on Fullerton Loop trail

 

Fullerton Loop is open year-round and it would be a nice winter hike with ice cleats (crampons) or snowshoes if there’s plenty of snow on the trail.

 

Parking lot at Fullerton Loop trailhead in Kananaskis Alberta

Parking lot at Fullerton Loop trailhead in Kananaskis AB

 

Trailhead and parking area for Fullerton Loop trail

The parking lot is on Ranger Creek Road, just off of Hwy 66. There is parking on both sides of the highway and it’s worth walking across to view the Elbow River at Allen Bill Day Use parking area.

At the trailhead there are washrooms and garbage and recycling bins as well as a map of the trail. Before starting any hike I like to take a photo of the trail map in case I want to review the trail route while I’m hiking.

 

Fullerton Loop trail map Kananaskis Alberta

Fullerton Loop trail map

 

Getting to the loop portion of the trail takes around 20 minutes. Look to the right for views of the Elbow River and once you get into the forest area the trail crosses a stream.

 

Stream near the beginning of Fullerton Loop hike in Kananaskis Country AB

Stream near the beginning of Fullerton Loop hike

 

Beginning the hike at Fullerton Loop trail

Beginning the hike at Fullerton Loop trail

 

Stairs at the base of the loop – choose your path

Once you get to the loop portion of the trial you will see a set of wooden stairs to the left and regular trail to the right. This is where you choose which direction to do the loop. Right is easier and left (stairs) is more difficult.

If you take the stairs there is quite a sharp incline and pretty much all of the elevation gain is at this portion of the trail.

 

Stairs at Fullerton Loop trail are the more strenuous route

Stairs at Fullerton Loop trail are the more strenuous route

 

Some people prefer to take the right side of the trail and avoid the quick elevation gain. Also this leaves the views for the latter portion of the hike rather than near the beginning.

 

Uphill portion of Fullerton Loop trail near Bragg Creek

Uphill portion of Fullerton Loop trail

 

I prefer the opposite. I enjoyed the workout at the beginning of the loop and took it easy the rest of the hike. This is also why I enjoyed Ptarmigan Cirque hike so much.

 

View of the valley and mountains from Fullerton Loop trail in Kananaskis Alberta

View of the valley and mountains

 

Enjoy views of the Elbow River and mountains in the background from Fullerton loop. Much of the hike is through the forest. There are a meadows with wildflowers.

 

Forest at Kananaskis Fullerton Loop trail in Alberta Canada

Forest at Kananaskis Fullerton Loop trail

 

 

Wildflowers along Fullerton Loop trail in Kananaskis Country

Wildflowers along Fullerton Loop trail in Kananaskis Country

 

Fullerton Loop is a busy trail so you’ll likely see other hikers along the way. It’s a great trail for hiking alone. There is bench in a shaded area which would make a nice spot for a picnic lunch.

 

Shaded bench at Fullerton Loop trail

Shaded bench at Fullerton Loop trail

 

Halfway mark along Fullerton Loop

 

Shortly after the bench you will see a sign marker for Fullerton Loop pointing to the right.

 

Fullerton Loop trail marker

Fullerton Loop trail marker

 

A map of the trail is located roughly at the halfway mark of Fullerton Loop.

 

Halfway mark on the map at Fullerton Loop hike

Halfway mark on the map at Fullerton Loop hike

 

Another map of Fullerton Loop trail is a little further along the trail. The map (shown below) is from before the trailhead changed to its current location. Before the 2013 flood the Fullerton Loop trailhead began on the Allen Bill Day Use parking lot and crossed under Hwy 66.

 

Fullerton Loop hiking trail map

Fullerton Loop hiking trail map

 

It took me 2 hours to complete the hike with a few stops to take in the views and several stops taking photos along the way.

 

Bright pink and yellow blooms of Alberta wild rose - the official flower of Alberta Canada

Wildly blooming Alberta wild roses

 

Visitor info Fullerton Loop Trail Kananaskis

Location of trailhead

Alberta Hwy 66 near Bragg Creek Kananaskis Alberta T0L 0K0

Facilities

  • Washrooms
  • Garbage bins
  • Recycling bin

Type of trail

Loop

Hike length

6.8 km (4.2 miles) including approx 2 km (1.2 miles) to get to the loop portion of the trail

Elevation gain

213 m (692 feet)

How long to hike Fullerton Loop?

Allow 1.5 to 2.5 hours

Are dogs allowed on the trail?

Dogs are allowed but must be on leash at all times

 

Starting out at Fullerton Loop hiking trail - Elbow River view

Starting out at Fullerton Loop hiking trail – Elbow River view

 

Getting to Fullerton Loop from Calgary

Depending on what part of Calgary you are in the options are:

From North Calgary

Take Hwy 201 Stony Trail to Trans-Canada Hwy 1 West. Take exit 161A for Hwy 22 South toward Bragg Creek. Follow Hwy 22 for 21 km (13 miles) and turn right onto Hwy 66. Continue for 11 km (7 miles) and turn right onto Ranger Creek Road.

From downtown Calgary

Follow 6 Avenue to Bow Trail SW and continue on Bow Trail SW to the Crowchild Trail S exit. Take Crowchild to exit 1 Glenmore Trail West. At the roundabout take the 3rd exit to Hwy 22 South toward Bragg Creek. Follow Hwy 22 for 21 km (13 miles) and turn right onto Hwy 66. Continue for 11 km (7 miles) and turn right onto Ranger Creek Road.

From South Calgary

Get on Hwy 201 Stony Trail to Hwy 22 towards Bragg Creek. Continue  west on Hwy 66 for 11 km (7 miles) and turn right onto Ranger Creek Road.

 

Enjoy hiking in Kananaskis Country, one of the best places for hiking in Alberta.

 

Hiking Fullerton Loop trail in Kananaskis

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 4 of living a nomadic life, roadtripping around the USA and Canada and writing about her experiences. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

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