With cousin Lesley & Dale in town, and Mom & Dad visiting for my brother’s birthday, it was a great excuse to go explore the Elbow Loop out by Bragg Creek. I rode the Elbow Loop with Sean and Cam last year, and we had a wonderful time, so I knew exactly where I wanted to take the fam. It turned into quite the little adventure…
For those not familiar with the Elbow Loop, it is a 42km loop that starts at the Little Elbow Campground. The loop can be completed one of two ways…either counter clockwise (most common) which starts with a long climb up a gravel road up to an old warden’s cabin and then down a single track to the old creek bed. The alternative is clockwise which means winding your way through the old creek bed and up the technical single track.
Unfortunately neither birthday boy Adrian or I remembered which way you started the counter clockwise route…so we ended up going clockwise. Oopsy! (For reference, to start the loop counter clockwise (which is smart because otherwise you are running into the majority of the traffic coming downhill) you have to ride straight through the campground past the gates. To ride the clockwise route, cross the bridge and go left right away).
Being that we were going “upstream”, it made for a tough slog. Lesley and Dale (new mountain bikers) did amazing, but we were all pretty wiped (well maybe besides Adrian the mountain goat) by the end of the ride. None the less, the views were as amazing as I remembered them and it felt great to be outside with some family members celebrating my favorite (and only) brother’s birthday. Happy birthday Adrian!
If you’re looking to do this ride, I’d 100% recommend going counter clockwise. Even if you are a technically strong rider, the clockwise route means lots of sketchy spots with the chance of running into those setting a blistering pace down the single track (with not much room to get out of the way).
Happy riding and exploring ;).
P.S. Dale – did I miss anything. Congrats on making your first brookecampbell.ca blog post. Hopefully you’ll make many more :).