Yates Mountain via Prairie View Trail

MODERATE 24 reviews
#10 of 21 trails in

Yates Mountain via Prairie View Trail is a 12.6 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
12.6 km
ELEVATION GAIN
697 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wildlife

snow

This is a relatively simple hike and allows for an easy summit with only moderate effort. The trail starts in the large parking lot at the Barrier Lake dam. The trail is the road blocked by a gate, crossing the dam. The path is uninspiring as it really is just an old road climbing through the forest to the shoulder ridge of Barrier Mountain. The grade is moderate and the hike is easy and boring for the most part. If you make it to the point where the road becomes an actual trail you'll be rewarded with views Mount Baldy and Barrier Lake. If you've made it this far, don't stop as the trail finally starts to get interesting. The path will narrow and climb steeply to the top of some bluffs on a shoulder below the fire lookout. There are some interesting rock formations here, along with a brass cap. It's a popular place to sit and lunch. From the rocks you have the option of following the ridge to the south and making a loop out of your hike or continuing west up to the summit and the lookout. It's an easy ascent with great views towards Mount Yamnuska and the Bow River Valley. The lookout at the summit is comprised of a couple buildings, an outhouse and a helipad. From the peak you have decent views to the west towards Heart Mountain. Retrace your steps to return to your car.

22 days ago

I'd highly recommend doing the loop instead of out and back if you have the time. All in all a pretty great hike.

23 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

I did this hike today by myself and it was really nice! I didn't come across any snow but that could change really soon! I had trekking poles with me and it was nice having them for the last stretch up to the lookout station. There's also a couple picnic tables around the helipad and cabin which was perfect to sit down and eat lunch.

The views were really awesome in every direction from the lookout station, also being able to see YMCA's Camp Chief Hector just below was pretty cool as I spent many summers there when I was younger. (stand by the chain link fence and look below for the horse paddocks and riding arena, and the green roof of Hector Lodge)

Easy end of moderate. The trail is wide and super easy to follow. It would be a great trail for bikes or runners. Dogs and kids (depending on mileage capacity) would also do well. Many of the switchbacks have shortcuts if you want to ascend/descend faster. There's already some snow on it so it's slick and muddy in places. Well trafficked.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. I'd put it on the easy side of moderate for difficulty. Trekking poles will help with the final ascent to the fire lookout on Yates Mountain, especially if there is snow. Great views up top. Do the loop, not out and back. It's ~15km to the parking lot.

hiking
1 month ago

5 star, great trail with some awesome views. If you head all the way to Yates fire station there is great views of the foothiils and the mountains and Yamnuska.

hiking
1 month ago

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2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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2 months ago

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3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This was a great hike, with some very rewarding views in the end. Definitely on the harder side of moderate in certain spots, but if you take your time and be weary of your surroundings it is well worth the effort. My friend and I actually took a couple harder routes going straight through the switchback instead of following the trail so we had some steeper incline points.

Also, make sure to be careful if you follow those man made trails through the switchbacks! We ended up taking the wrong one and went an interesting way down the mountain. It was a tonne of fun, but I am glad I had GPS with me at that point.

Be weary of bears and make sure to make a lot of noise. There was a black bear and a grizzly bear at different points of the trail, and park rangers had to re route us.

Pros:
- Beautiful views
- Rewarding hike, well worth the effort
- Easy to follow trail (if you don't do what we did haha)

Cons:
- Very popular mountain biking trail, so VERY busy with lots of bikes.
- Certain spots were pretty steep, so make sure to watch your footing
- Active bear habitat, so be weary and make lots of noise.

hiking
3 months ago

this was my 2nd mountain hike experience and my first one in the rockies... my phone died where it indicated the end point but we walked back along the lake to our starting point.
i thought the scramble part would be harder but it was great and we had a very informative conversation with the forest ranger at the top. we took jewel pass on the way back which was a beautiful trail

unfortunately we did not experience the spectacular views of the mountains due to smoke from the BC wild fires. I can only imagine what they look like but I did see pictures others had posted and they truly are gorgeous.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail with amazing views at the top. We had lunch at the view point and came down through jewel pass and walked along the lake. A few steep patches but over all completely manageable and worth the hike!

hiking
3 months ago

Wonderful hike, only got steep towards the end but was worth the climb beautiful views!!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago

Great hike! Steady incline up to the viewpoint with a bit of a scramble at the end to get to the top but it was worth it! Great scenery at the top with tons of wild flowers to look at on the way up.

hiking
5 months ago

Very worth the hike! We started up Prairie View Trail, came up winding switchbacks (all uphill) and stopped initially at the first lookout! Looking around we saw people up Yates Mountain, and had to get there! Easy scramble, people with mountain bikes carried them up there. Amazing view from the top, lots of hiking people there around 1pm stopping for lunch. We came down jewel pass instead of returning the same way, and I'm so happy we did because it was gorgeous!! A few bridges, a small waterfall, and just lush dense woods. We came out at the right side of Barrier Lake, and walked along the trail there returning back. A great loop, 15km and 5 hours later.. We did it ! Definitely returning