Yates Mountain via Prairie View Trail

MODERATE 44 reviews

Yates Mountain via Prairie View Trail is a 12.2 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
12.2 km
ELEVATION GAIN
722 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.

5 days ago

Great walk for a beginner like me. Tough at the end but the view at the top was well worth it.

hiking
10 days ago

I went June 7 morning. Only a few cars there on a Thursday morning. Good hike. Pretty easy walk up the fire road. Nice views at the top and the lady at the lookout is super nice. She said I was about the 1000th person up there this year and my dogs were like 51-52. Met a lot of groups as I was coming down, this is a very popular trail.

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike and awesome view at the top! Try to get there before 11 am as it does get busy and parking becomes limited. Read the comments from other hikers for directions to the trail.

hiking
19 days ago

Great hike. Not too hard and has great views.

23 days ago

It was a mildly moderate hike. Pleasing to see mom's and little toddlers on the trail. Best to be there before 8 am, as it will be harder to find parking space. more suitable for bigner hiker and children.

hiking
26 days ago

My friend and I hiked this trail last weekend (May 19th). It had been awhile since either of us had hiked, and this trail was a great (re)start to our hiking adventures. The trail is wide and easy to navigate. The views at the top are amazing. Be sure to go beyond the first lookout to get even better views!

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

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.

7 months 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.

hiking
7 months ago

A beautiful fall day meant over an hour at the summit. Made it into a loop on the way down. No snow up there today, met some great people, a German couple touring in a motorhome, and descended with two guys who made for some awesome company

hiking
7 months 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)

8 months ago

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
8 months 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
8 months 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
9 months ago

hiking
10 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
10 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
10 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
10 months ago

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

11 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
Monday, June 05, 2017

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

hiking
Saturday, May 20, 2017

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.

hiking
Thursday, March 16, 2017

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.

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

Load More