Looking for a Not-So-Strenuous Summit Hike in Bragg Creek?
Back in 2010 when I started hiking, I had heard about Moose Mountain. I can’t remember exactly what information I received, but I put it on my list as a strenuous hike that one day… some day… I would complete. Fast forward a few years with many intense hikes to my name, and Moose Mountain is still a summit I had not conquered. And it turns out it isn’t too strenuous at all! Hmm… makes me wonder why I had not completed it sooner.
On Saturday a few of us drove out to Bragg Creek. Our goal? Spend time outdoors, chat and catch up, all while hiking to the Moose Mountain fire lookout where we would have a wonderful lunch at the summit. And with the September weather being absolutely spectacular, the hike was perfect. At first there’s a long hill to descend, and take note because after 6 hours of hiking, you need to ascend that hill to get back to the parking lot. Overall, though, the incline throughout the hike isn’t too bad, and there are beautiful views of forests, meadows, the rocky hike ahead, and mountain tops all around. It’s a great feeling to reach the helicopter pad at the fire lookout and revel in one’s accomplishments. The lookout is a private residence where important fire-y and weather-y information stuffs are gathered, so be respectful. I’m not sure of the gentleman’s name who is currently stationed at the lookout (he stays for 5 months of the year), but Robbie accidentally detoured and scrambled up the one side right onto his front porch and had a very nice conversation with him. Apparently the lookout is constantly hit by lightning, which would be quite something to see. Also, I’ve read of hikers ascending to Moose Mountain on the summer solstice in June to watch the sunset and hiking back during the twilight hours. I think I’ll add that to the “Things-to-do” list.
To get to Moose Mountain, pass Bragg Creek and drive along highway 66. After the sign for Paddy’s Flat, turn right onto the dirt road and continue for about 7 km until you reach the trailhead. There’s a well-worn path all the way to the summit. With 473 metres of elevation gain and a 14.2 km round trip, I’d give this hike about 6 hours to complete. It’s a great day hike in close proximity to the city.