Yates Mountain via Prairie View Trail

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Bow Valley Provincial Park

Yates Mountain via Prairie View Trail is a 7.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kananaskis Improvement, 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: 7.2 miles Elevation Gain: 2,293 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

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.

hiking
muddy
3 days ago

May 26, 2020 | This was my second hike of the day and I wanted something slightly easier on the legs. This one is steadily uphill the whole time, but the grade is 100% manageable. The trail is impossible to miss, and despite it being a rainy day, I saw tons of people on the trail. Views of Barrier Lake are incredible, and from the top of Yates you get stunning views of the TransCanada highway, Mount Yamnuska, the power plant, and surrounding peaks. I wouldn't suggest going on a warmer day because it would be absolutely packed, but it's a stunning hike through the forest with killer views of the lake with not too much effort.

muddy
3 days ago

hiked this yesterday with my dog. a bit mucky but was able to avoid those parts for the most part. Good hike... easy to follow trail... pretty much all in woods (which can be nice this time of year as it can get chilly if exposed during majority of the hike - I am a fair weather hiker lol) I would recommend going either super early or mid to late afternoon as it is a busy parking lots area (I arrived at 4 pm and got rock star parking but you could see cars from the morning that were parked all along the road. was a little disappointed at the amount of garbage I dragged back with me from other people :(

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful Hike. Highly recommend. Not too many people if you go early

hiking
muddy
4 days ago

Good start of the season trail. The grade is moderate and easy to maintain a good pace the whole way up. You'll see a mix of all levels of prepared on this trail. 1.2 hr up, 1hr down

hiking
muddy
4 days ago

May 24/20 Really busy and really muddy. Hard to maintain social distancing. The mud is worth the view! I have tons of stunning photos! It’s a great hike to get back into the season.

hiking
muddy
4 days ago

Great trail little busy and muddy but still well worth it. Views from the top of barrier lake were outstanding.

hiking
muddy
4 days ago

May 23, 2020 - Came down to do Barrier Lake trail and found ourselves hiking. It was worth the mistake. Great hike for beginners - trail is well marked. We went with first timers and they had a blast - there’s the first view point when you get up and most people stood there but you can summit and it’s a 15 mins trick to the top and it’s quite doable and it’s worth it.

We started super early to grab parking. At 7 am I’d say the lot had about 7 cars, by 4pm it was so full people had parked in the emergency pull over lanes on the highway. Please don’t do this, fire trucks and ambulances need these lanes!! Yates is a very popular easy trail if you come through the traditional side. We went left and started at Barrier lake side which seemed far less busy. We then broke off from the traditional trail and took Razors Edge to the scrambling route and climbed the cliff face up. The scramble I would rate as a 3.5. It is extremely steep, and not advisable to go down. There is a lot of stree and falling rocks/boulders as well. On this side there was not a single soul, just us for hours up the scree. There was no trail left at all, after we decided to take on the scramblers route from razors edge. We came prepared and downloaded the map, and brought a Garmin, this helped us an incredible amount. A moustachioed park ranger who lives at the top of the mountain informed us that we were the first to complete the scramble route this year. He was playing a ukulele as he spoke. Neat day.

muddy
4 days ago

completed may 23 2020- well defined trail, great for all ages, realtively easy walk up to the fire look out, and rocky look out point. fantastic rock features and quite a stunning view of the barrier lake ( when it's not hidden under clouds).

hiking
muddy
5 days ago

Absolutely stunning view and a very nice hike for this time of the year. we hiked this trail on May 24, some parts of the trail was muddy but it was not a big deal. Unfortunately the trail was overcrowded by a million people and the parking lot was packed and finding a spot to park was not easy. We were looking forward to have a nice and calm hike to enjoy the nature, WE WERE WRONG. People were extremely noisy, children were screaming and it was awful all the way to the view point. We managed to hike up to the Yates summit and the view towards Canmore was great too and we eventually found a spot to have our lunch. If you wanna enjoy the nature and escape from the crazy and hectic environment of the city, this hike on a weekend is not for you.

hiking
muddy
5 days ago

I did this today accidentally when I had set out to do Barrier Lake Trail, (and me in my current unfit state got quite a surprise). However, it was a pleasant surprise. Very easy trail with a gradual climb and not too much mud. Views from the top are OUTSTANDING. It’s a great hike if you’re a beginner or just trying to get back into hiking.

hiking
muddy
9 days ago

You can’t go wrong with this trail it’s not too difficult with a very rewarding view

hiking
muddy
10 days ago

Very muddy and slippery at the top after the overnight rainfall. Worth the mess!

hiking
icy
muddy
11 days ago

wicked hike! but it’s definitely a tough one. steep incline all the way up so i would definitely recommend proper shoes, poles even. but the views are totally worth it! keep following the trail up and it’ll take you to a rock wall you have to climb. the views are super gorgeous when you get to the top. there’s a crevice you can crawl into and it’s pretty cool too! not sure if it’s safe for the summer (the crevice) there was snow that filled it up so it was safe to crawl though. overall, a great trail!

hiking
icy
muddy
11 days ago

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
11 days ago

Nice hike to do in the spring. Completed this on Friday, May 15, 2020. Started at 945 AM and not too many people out at that time. Mostly dry for the first bit, but a lot of melting ice and mud as you continue on. Great lookout spots of Barrier lake and mountains to the East. To reach the top you head to the fire lookout. Up there you’ll see views towards the North and West. Still a fair bit of snow, so I would recommend poles and hiking boots if you’re venturing out there at this time of year, especially for coming down. Got back to the car at 130 PM with stops and lunch at the top.

hiking
muddy
12 days ago

Great hike. Definitely muddy and icy in some spots but hiking shoes did the job. Beautiful view from the top. We got to the parking lot at 9am and it was still pretty empty but by the time we left it was crazy busy and people were parked up onto the road.

hiking
12 days ago

Great sunrise hike! We went all the way to the fire watch tower. Beautiful! There’s lots of snow, ice and mud so micro spikes are best for going down.

Go early to avoid crowds, heavy tracked hike, dog and kid friendly. Nice views from the top of Yates of Barrier Lake

hiking
muddy
12 days ago

A great hike but definitely crowded for my liking, even though we went for sunrise. It’s a beautiful view at the first look out but still worth continuing to the summit. There was a group with 2 dogs off leash with terrible recall. Please be careful for your dogs well being and other peoples too. It’s not safe if someone is standing near the edge and your dog is going up and jumping on people. It’s also bear season and your dogs aren’t coming back when it’s called...

hiking
14 days ago

Beauty bluebird morning with fairly fresh snow on surrounding mountains. As expected, there was some mud, snow, and ice. Microspikes were helpful to have.

hiking
muddy
15 days ago

This is a great hike to start the season with! Has some challenging areas for beginner hikers, but most of the trail is fairly easy. The view from the top is spectacular! It can get fairly muddy during the spring time however, and our German Shepherd was not able to make it all the way to the top of the hike. Keep this in mind if hiking with dogs who are less experienced hikers, Well worth the hike, and a great introduction to the hiking season.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
snow
15 days ago

Hiked this May 13, muddy, icy, snowy in patches, was happy to have poles+spikes for the last steep bit to the fire lookout. hiked back out via Jewel pass to complete the loop, still snowy in the trees but easy going.

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