Panorama of the Prairie Mountain hike near Kananaskis and Canmore
Panorama of the Prairie Mountain hike near Kananaskis and Canmore

Prairie Mountain hike

Bragg Creek and Sheep River
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Panorama from the Prairie Mountain Hike from Bragg Creek, KananaskisViews from the Prairie Mountain Hike from Bragg Creek, KananaskisDense forest along the Prairie Mountain Hike from Bragg Creek, KananaskisTrail going up on the Prairie Mountain Hike from Bragg Creek, KananaskisMountain view on the Prairie Mountain Hike from Bragg Creek, KananaskisBeautiful mountains on the Prairie Mountain Hike from Bragg Creek, KananaskisViews of the Prairie Mountain Hike from Bragg Creek, Kananaskis

Prairie Mountain hike

Distance: 4.3mi
Elevation: 2,293ft
Time: 3-4.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
8.8 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

While this is not the most scenic of hikes until you reach the summit, it can be done year-round (no avalanche risk) and is one heck of a workout.

Prairie Mountain hike Map

Getting there

Take Highway 66 to elbow falls. 656ft past the falls just before the winter gates there is a small parking lot on the south side of the highway.

I’ve done this 18 people have done this
I want to do this 57 want to do this route

About

When to do

Year Round

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

No

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Poor

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Out and back


Prairie Mountain
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Prairie Mountain

Leaving the parking lot, the hike starts on the right (north) side of highway 66 just past the winter gate. There are several routes up the steep hillside from the road and the first you come to is the steepest; if you’d like something more gradual just continue along the road another 30 seconds or so and you’ll see another trail.

From there the trail climbs steeply, becomes relatively level, and then becomes very steep for quite a distance before emerging from the trees near the top. From here simply turn right (north), follow the ridge for another 10 minutes to head for the summit. While the views on the way up were limited, you will now be treated to great views of the prairies, the City of Calgary to the east. To the west you are treated to great views of Kananaskis including Moose Mountain, Powderface Ridge, and Banded Peak.

Insider Hints

  • Outside of summer, you'll need some sort of traction device for your boots as most of the ascent is icy or compacted snow. We used Kahtoola Microspikes from Mountain Equipment Co-op and they were fantastic, and many of the others we passed were using them too.

  • It will likely be windy as you break the treeline, be sure to pack an extra layer.

Comments

mallorykirzinger 1 year ago

This hike is great for springtime getting in shape because it's just so freaking steep for the entire time and it's south-facing, but for this much effort, I'd rather be IN the mountains. Not that I dislike it, but the view is somewhat distant and it's tough on the body. Keep at it in the early season but otherwise, one of the other amazing hikes in the area might be better in terms of effort and reward.

6.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
JohnCan 1 year ago

Prairie Mountain offers plenty of views to enjoy.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
3h 00m Time Taken
Greenlife 1 year ago

It was a real challenge. I was quite exhausted during the ascend, but the views were fantastic.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
4h 00m Time Taken
LyleM 2 years ago

Spending your time with this trail will be worth it. Difficult but really stunning at the top.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Soli Petravron 2 years ago

Difficult but rewarding hike. I was really exhausted by the time I reached the top. But man! The scenery is just too bewitching.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
havedogwillhike 2 years ago

honestly i just use this as a spring conditioning hike. it dries out faster than anything else in the early season, but it's a literal stairclimber for hours with an okay but not fantastic view. ill keep grinding it out to get in hiking shape but if you're just out for a daytrip, maybe choose one closer to the action.

SebClyde 2 years ago

It gets steeper as we went further, but it's worth it.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Donald J. 2 years ago

Average hike with nice views.

10.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
Gregory J. 2 years ago

It was a moderate hike. Pretty challenging trails with pleasant views.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
noraliu 2 years ago

The snow made the place look like heaven.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
14 Comments Show all

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