Prairie Mountain Trail is a 4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Bragg Creek / Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Prairie Mountain is usually harder in the spring due to conditions left over from the winter. The trail gets easier to hike from mid-summer to early fall. The trail will turn into a small creek during an heavy rainstorm and some parts will become slick from the mud. Hiking poles are highly recommended. I have heard of people hiking the trail in the winter. As well, night hikers will enjoy the view from the summit, especially during a full moon.
Some guides indicate that this is a 3.5h out and back, and that beginners may need 5h or more. I suggest that, for anyone physically capable of making the climb without having a heart attack, no more than 2.5h is necessary. Also take spikes in winter, or you will probably bail on the way back down.
Great aerobic workout due to steepness. Gorgeous 360 views of the front ranges with a Canadian flag on the summit cairn. 2 hrs up and 1.5 down.....poles are definitely needed, especially on the way down!!
Great hike! Definitely a leg killer at some spots due to steepness. Beautiful 360 views at the top and well worth the climb!
Great hike, loved it. challenging and great views. short hike but really enjoyable.
It's a grind, but the views are so worth it! Perfect early season hike.
this is my first hike ever with 4 buddies, well, i started mountain biking in 2013 and it helped me a lot. i recommend this trail to beginners a good start. but after the hike, every muscle i used during that hike was so sore for 3 days, didnt take meds for the pain :-), just fluids and protein to fastly heal it. i rate this as beginners' ish trail. 5 stars from me because it is between easy and advanced hike.
22Jan2017 Sunday -6C to -8C at around 10am arrived at the parking lot (well, we parked the vehicle just side of hiway 66 and trailhead (N 50 52’ 18.10”
W 114 47’ 46.10”). Started the hike at 1015am, and reached the top at 12:15pm with like dozen pit stops :-) . Took some souvenir photos again, ate chocolate cracker & banana, and drunk up. Then walked down at 12:35pm, finished at 2:00pm. It was a clear sky from bottom up to the summit. Snow packed on top of about 3-5cm of ice just showed up after 30min-hike (20% of total distance). First time didn't use the spikes or crampons, but bring yours, it is slippery up there. I was using the sides of the trail, bushwacking, more grip with 3cm-7cm snow, you know what I mean :-) . Til next time.
This is a great hike to start off the hiking season as I like to call it!
A good hike. Quite steep. A good work out with beautiful views.
This is one of my favorite trails. It's an awesome challenge on the way up, and spectacular views that make the work getting up there worth it! I agree with most people that maybe not a beginner hike - unless they are ambitious. Hiking shoes required, some might be inclined to use poles but is doable without. Bring snacks and water!
By far, one of my favourite hikes. It's a great one to do if you want an intense work out in a quick climb. An early morning exerciser or even a quick outing after work during the week.
I usually go after work. I leave Calgary at 5, at trailhead by 6, an hour up, enjoy the view, and about 45 mins down.
It's probably not a good trail for a beginner, it might be discouraging because of the steep incline.
A lot of people hike it with their hiking poles and hikers using running shoes need not apply!
Great photo op at the top with the flag! Beautiful views if the weather is nice and the sky is clear.
Can't wait to do this in the winter!!!
And this app wouldn't allow for check-in at the trailhead; just in case you like to check-in using the app.
Pretty hard, but very good to get back on shape
We knew it wasn't going to be an easy hike, and the comparisons to the Grouse Grind are appropriate.
I wouldn't recommend it for beginners or people who are out of shape. The entire hike is a slow grind straight up, but there are 2 steep sections that can seem endless as you're working your way up.
The summit is great, a nice big open meadow, and gives you a chance to rest your legs for the descent.
Be extremely careful on the way down, it's steep and hard on the knees.
We will do this hike again, but mainly to gauge how good of shape we are in.