Yates Mountain via Prairie View Trail

MODERATE 13 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 is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until September.

12.6 km
876 m
Out & Back



nature trips







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.

10 days ago

16 days 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.

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

- 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.

22 days 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.

24 days 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!

24 days ago

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

25 days ago

1 month 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.

2 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

2 months ago

Nice walk with great views. Well kept trail. Most people stop at the Prairie View so continuing up to the Fire-watch affords a bit less ttraffic.

5 months ago

One of my favourite hikes and a perfect choice for a hiker making the move from beginner to intermediate.

Views from both the prarieview and yates lookouts are phenomenal.

Trail quality does degrade somewhat once you depart from the official Prarieview trail, including a steep section that can be slippery when conditions are wet.

We were able to complete this with kids aged 4, 7 and 11.

10 months ago

11 months ago