Explore the most popular lake trails in Bow Valley Provincial Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Amazing views with an amazing hike! Definitely worth the hike up and around!

9 hours ago

Lovely views! A “harder” easy trail.

Great trail best done counter clockwise

Great hike. A bit of a grind at parts but a wonderful view at the fire lookout. Went straight back down rather then taking the loop

Pretty easy, liked that it was along the lake. Lots of spots to start, we got onto the trail at the boat launch area.

Cyclists said you couldnt do the 14 km loop yet without seeing snow however going up taking your first right there was no ice or snow in sight.

Easy quick hike with a pretty view. The trail is covered by trees for most of it, so the view is just at the top! Great for a quick outing!

Easy walk with a beautiful view!

May 16, 2018.

Forgiving trail with a mild to moderate slope up, nice and shady as you go up to the lookout. However, doing the loop will take you about 4-5 hrs total and although you get to walk beside a lake for a few kms, its definitely a much longer walk than going straight back down the same route. Jewell Pass is heavily forested and there is a small waterfall along the route. If you're wanting to do a quick hike, don't loop. The snow is pretty much melted so no worries about that. Great prairie views on Barrier Fire Lookout and the view of the lake at the top is gorgeous, the lady manning the lookout was also very friendly and told us more about the surroundings. It gets busy mid-day so do try to get out early.

My friends and I did this trail yesterday. Nice wide trails, gradual slope up. Was a nice challenge, but nothing too crazy or difficult. The panoramic views at the top are beautiful and breath taking. Not too far out of Calgary, was only about 50 mins from out of the city. Would definitely recommend this hike.

We ended up just hiking to the Prairie View summit and back down, but I would have loved to have done the entire loop. However, it was really warm (29C) when we did this hike, and the trail isn’t terribly shaded. Would have enjoyed this even more on a cooler day, rather than battling with the heat as well.

Did this hike May 13, 2018. Good conditions. Great pick for an early season half day hike which is always worth the views. We did the ascent on the Barrier Look our trail and was in good condition - 1 hr 15 mins. Descent down the Prairie View/Jewel Pass good condition but a few snowy spots - 3 hrs. Nothing which took away from a great half day capped off with a pic-nic over looking the lake. Busy with lots of families and dogs out (including ours!)

Really nice hike! Not too difficult! The view was beautiful from the summit, and alongside the lake walking down Jewell Pass. Perfect conditions right now.. only a little bit slippery walking down Jewell Pass.

A great start of the season hike. The trails are mostly dry with only a very few muddy or snow patches. Very busy this May 13 with lots of families with kids and dogs out.

Nice hike with a great view at the top. A bit muddy on the last bit of Prairie View Trail, and Jewel Pass Trail was fairly snowy on the way down. Took about 4 hours round trip with a 15 minute stop at the top.

Did this hike yesterday (May 6). Stunning views at the top, make sure you go all the way to the fire lookout and say hi to Flocka the dog! Hike up through the woods was pretty uninteresting, trail is mostly dry until you get up to the top. Poles would help but we were fine without them, spikes not needed anymore.

The trail on the way up was great, with barely any snow on it and just some mud. However, on the way down via Jewell Pass, most of the trail was covered in snow, some points being snow up to our knees. Most of the snow was compacted from previous hikers but quite slippery. If you’re looking for an extra challenge definitely take Jewell Pass down. It took us 4.25 hours with a 15 minute stop at the top for lunch and plenty of water breaks.

I did the barrier lake forestry trails? Anyways, still quite a bit of snow in some spots and icy in some areas as well. A lot of mud and some snow up to my knees a bit deeper into the trails. Was an ok hike. The views are here and there peaking through the trees. Lots of picnic tables and areas to rest. My dog enjoyed it...he had to jump over a lot of downed trees

Definitely recommend ice cleats! Did it this weekend, worth it for the views and seeing the helipad and fire lookout cabin is pretty cool!

Great hike! Pretty slushy on the way up to Barrier Lake, but worth the view. Definitely recommend to keep going too, there’s a little scramble up to the higher viewpoint near Yates Mountain, but it’s a beautiful view of the prairies/flat land. The hike up to see the helipad and fire lookout definitely needs ice cleats, but worth the extra effort up that way too! Really cool seeing the highway and the different mountain ranges. We carried back on down the rest of the Prarie Trail and ice cleats really helped with the slush skidding. You go by a frozen waterfall and different scenic parts, it is quite long but is all good for a solid hike! Took us 6 hours to do the whole loop, and to check out the helipad, and for a few breaks. Popular hike so get there early!

It was a great hike but got a little turned around as the trail was still partially snow covered. Great for the kids and dogs. Beautiful scenery.

Great views at the top for such an easy hike! However, it is quite a long trip to take the Jewell pass on the way down. The map on the trail is a bit deceiving. If you’re looking for a shorter hike, I would go back down the same way. Really pretty walking along the lake though!

1 month ago

Great hike, beautiful views. No snow shoes needed, used poles !

Great hike, easy to the top of Barrier Lake Look out. Recommend snow shoes from top of Barrier lake to jewel pass and back to the parking lot

3 months ago

It was a awesome hike and the view was awesome!!!

Awesome views! Trail was nicely packed down. We had spikes on, but could have easily done it just in hiking boots. We hiked up Prairie View Trail, then once at the top we took the Barrier Lookout Trail to the summit of Yates Mountain to the fire lookout station & heli pad. Well worth it!! Came back down and descended on Jewell Pass.

A great winter hike route if you are short on time. I did this in 21/2hrs while stopping to take photos and appreciate the views. Right up to the fire lookout/helipad. Could be a good sunrise/sunset hike. Will do it again perhaps in the Fall and follow Jewell Pass this time to make it alittle longer.

Did it on 18th Jan 2018, trail covered with snow but packed down due to high traffic, no snowshoe needed but only micro spike and poles.

Windy around the lake and at summit, but warm in the trees. Brought snowshoes in case but didn’t end up needing them, the trail was pretty packed down. Amazing hike, will definitely do again!!

Alrighty then....went up a roughly compacted prairie view trail. We were on snowshoes but others had beaten up the trail with just walking on it. Great hiking through the trees. Was super windy so it was nice to be protected in the trees. Had to kick off the old snowshoes to climb up the trail as it went up behind some steep rock. Came out on top and needed snowshoes as it got deep. There were some signs with arrows at that point, that helped showed us the way as the winds had blown the snow over the trail. Once we went passed the amazing 360 view, there were two arrow signs and that was it. Unfortunately it took us off the trail and was very confusing as to where to go. There needs to be better marking at the top and on the whole prairie view trail until it meets Jewell Pass trail. Thankfully we had AllTrails app that helped us find the loop out. There were no other tracks or markings to find the trail. Another gal was lost and found our tracks in the snow. Was so beautiful coming down through the trees on Jewell Pass trail as the trees were still covered with snow. Definitely needed snowshoes to do this Loop as it got really deep after the top. You should be able to find the trail from our tracks, as long as it doesn’t get blown over again. Awesome hike. Harder to snowshoe in all the foot holes from boots. Was like walking on a fluffy cloud after the top.

Great winter trail! - if you don't mind walking through lots of trees: only a few areas open up for a view but it is definitely worth the wait!
Completed December 8 in 3 hours, definitely doable with ice cleats - pretty much solid ice up the switchbacks on the east edge!
Excited to come back in the summer!

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