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

Great quick hike you can do after work on a weekday with a rewarding view. I hiked up for 1.5 hours and down for 1 hour. I did it alone and without poles, it was fine but poles would have helped for sure. There are about 3 areas with a very steep climb, but no need to scramble. Excellent workout for sure !

The start of the trail isn’t marked, I parked in the lot where there was a sign for beaver lodge, cross the street and turn right. There’s a little path marked with pink flags.

It was a bit Smokey today you can see it in part of the sky and you can smell it in the air. It was still great regardless.

Bring a lot of water ! I had two bottles and was still thirsty at the end.

Solid hike, but start of hike not marked.
Trail starts on north side of 66, east of elbow falls parking lot - start on elbow valley trail which has some pink flagging tape. After a few metres you will make a sharp left turn up to start prairie mountain trail before crossing a culvert that would continue down the elbow valley trail east. Really straight forward after that!
Good leg burn with great views. Poles would’ve been nice! 3 hours.

Great hike. Has beautiful views both to the mountains and to the prairies. Definitely a leg burner and a bit sketchy coming down even with grippy hiking boots. We unfortunately got stormed on at the top so we took cover in the trees ! Great hike for dogs as well :)

Super Smokey when I did the hike but the landscape at the top was still very beautiful! Can only imagine the view when it’s clear. It’s not a long hike but the incline is extreme. If you want to skip leg day for the next month I recommend, just be warned your legs will probably be out of commission for the next few days

We spent 5 hours there for that 13km trail. It was a great hiking with views, shades and creek. Highly recommend! Will come back again.

We went clockwise and had an amazing time. Total time was 3.5 hours. There were some funny moooing cows in 1 of the meadows that my daughter loved. Our 3 kids 9, 11, 12 got a little tired a the end but they also enjoyed it very much. Highly recommended, so many spectacular views throughout the hike.

I did this 2 days ago with my 10 year old dog. He needed to stop and rest a lot, as it is very steep and a hard workout! We brought one big thing of water but it was gone before we reached the peak. Bring extra water! The top was so stunning and worth it. However I have been 8/10 pain in my legs for two days now, with difficulty doing stairs (I'm medium fitness level, walk a lot and run). Make sure you stretch! I personally wont be bringing my 4 year old on this one, but I did see kids.

Love this trail for getting in some km’s. Like others have said the signage is bad. If you go clockwise always make sure you take a right when you get to the sign post where the sign is on the ground.
Lots of places to get some trail running in as well if you are into that. The top is scenic and somehow I always have a beer and some snacks in my pack to enjoy when you get there.

Decent trail but signage was very poor. Turned right at the fork where there was a blank/fallen sign. Thankfully it was the right way to go!

This is a great hike summer or winter or midnight! You can start at the west or east location and you are on top under 1 hour. Fantastic views and great at night when you can see Calgary’s lights.

great hike and fairly easy until the last 1.7km. we went a day after rainfall and There were tons of bugs and we got stung a few times by beee despite strong repellants. In the end, Frozen lake has tons of fish, so bringing your fishing gear... it's a rewarding hike!

hiking
9 days ago

We did the hike on August 4 2018, and I added to "my favourite hikes" list.
After crossing the river you have a few other trails mark, and it's easy to get lost. Just follow the left ones until you have to cross a small river again (it's no deep or wide like the first river crossing)
The trail is not very steep, but they are few steeper sections, once you start getting closer to the chains.
We followed the trail record and continued straight, and ended in a no end where we had to do a hard scramble. Don't follow that, and take the right where the "barricade" is. We added more things to the barrier to make it more visible (see the photos)
The chains were my favourite part, and I believe is the only reason why this trail is consider "hard".
The lake is beautiful and amazing, you have tons to see and enjoy. Next time I will camp there for sure.

Super workout and yes it’s really steep! They view at the top is worth it though. Did the hike solo without poles.

We hiked it for the first time today. An exhilarating climb. Steep in sections but worth it at the top. Bring lots of water and snacks.

Good quick hike, I did it solo on a Friday after work and it took me about two hours. Had the place entirely to myself. Nice walk through the trees to start and then it’s a good incline with switchbacks to the top.

hiking
10 days ago

almost all straight up the side of the mountian but the veiws are totally worth the burn!

Great, short hike but probably would not recommend for small children. I took my three kids and they were unable to make it to the top comfortably. Otherwise, really neat terrain and an alright view for the little elevation. There is also a really cool "fairy tale" feeling waterfall right where the trails separate.

Has anyone ever camped on the other side of prairie mountain ?

Did this one solo in 2.5 hrs (but I was cruising, outrunning some weather... did not want to be up there in a storm). Good shoes highly recommended, some loose rock but found it easy overall. I would do it again!

Hiked this the other day with my kids. Easy, beautiful Hike. Pack a lunch and enjoy the lake when you get there. Campsite where clean, well taken care of.

hiking
13 days ago

Great work out and views.

backpacking
14 days ago

Trail starts off nice and gradual. Around 2k into the hike you do have to cross a river, so be prepared. We found that if you hike up the river slightly there is a shallower section to cross. Once you've passed the river the hike does incline a bit. After about 8-9k you will reach the top of the forest hill and come to the mountain meadow. From there, you travel up the side of the mountain to the base of the waterfall. Be warned that there are a few sections where you ha e to climb up a chain. Once you're past the chain you'll be at the top of the lake! It is VERY windy as you get to the lake until you get around to the small wooded area across the lake towards the bc border.
A fantastic hike with incredible views. Would highly recommend.

Just did this after work today! It was a good leg burner! Did it in 3hours , with a break for a snack. Got caught in a thunder storm at the top that was intimidating, but actually kind of fun!

All incline, but so worth it when you get to the top

Great views. There is a tree that hangs over the edge 3/4 of the way up that is easy to climb and a great place to take pictures and look out over the scenery.

Awesome hike. A workout with a great scenery.

Beautiful trail! Last KM is a pretty tough vertical but well worth the climb to this pretty blue lake.

Great trail with a beautiful ending.. tricky last bit which is quite steep (the part up to frozen lake) but the view you get is definitely spectacular!

backpacking
16 days ago

A beautiful hike that includes all the goodies: brush, shale, waterfall, climbing, fishing and a pristine lake. The trail up is a steady climb, and a super wide path. The chains at the top were challenging but not terrifying if you are comfortable with heights; just don’t let go of the chain. It took us 4 hours to get up and about 3.5 to get down with packs. Enjoyed the overnight stay, but it seems to be in a weird weather vortex so prepare for all the elements. It would be too long of a day hike for me, I recommend a one nighter to have time to enjoy the lake ☀️

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