Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Prairie Mountain, Kananaskis AB

Across from the Elbow Falls parking lot, south of Bragg Creek, is the trail head for this hike. The hike quickly leaves the roadside and creek as you start your accent up the mountain. The majority of the hike is spent following the creek below at a steady gradual climb. As you reach the end of the hike, just prior to the top of the tree line, the trail becomes very steep and can be slippery as it is a pretty well worn trail. Despite the trail being worn it is important to stay on the path, this protects the flora around you, preventing further erosion. During the summer the trail can become slippy and sandy as the season progresses but during winter months it can also be quiet slick. As the trail is south facing ice will build up making cleats/spikes an asset on the hike. Once out of the trees the trail flattens out and you are left with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains as well as views of the foothills and prairies in the distance. From the summit you can see the city lights as Calgary takes up the majority of the distant horizon. The hike is about 6.5 km and just under 700 m elevation gain round trip so it can be tough for a beginner. The hike takes between 4-5 hours depending on the conditions and the time spent at the summit.

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

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