Albertawow

Prairie Mountain Hike Alberta

  Ratings:    Ratings 3 Star
Level: Moderate Time/Dist: 3 to 4 hours / 7K return Elevation Gain: 701m

Trailhead: Park next to the #66 highway 200ms past Elbow Falls 35 minutes west of Calgary Alberta. During the winter highway closure, park on the north side of the highway opposite the Elbow Falls entrance.

Description: Locate the trail junction next to the east side of Prairie Creek. Continue straight up on a well worn trail leading through lodge pole pine and spruce forests. Work your way past the halfway south view point then a few steep sections ending at the start of the ridge. Follow the ridge for another 10 minutes or so until you reach the summit and a large cairn. Your efforts will be rewarded with nice views of Moose Mountain, Mount Glasgow, Mount Cornwall, Outlaw Peak and Banded Peak. The summit also offers a classic transitional view of prairies to mountains with the city of Calgary visible on the eastern horizon. You can also see the entrance to Moose Mountain Ice Cave when looking north towards the valley below. Don't try to descend the northeast valley towards Moose Mountain, there is a surrounding cliff band near the bottom. Descending the northwest side is possible by following the ridge a short distance then dropping down on a marked trail west towards Prairie Creek. This route will add another hour on your return. Prairie Mountain is a perfect year round hike for keeping your summer legs in shape. Due to it's close proximity to Calgary the trail can be crowded. Prairie Mountain can be compared to Vancouver's Grouse (Grind) Mountain which seems to have more of a workout feeling than a nature getaway.

Near Here: Local campgrounds include Goose Berry campground, Little Elbow, Beaver Flat campground, Paddy's Flat campground. Trailheads to Elbow Falls, Forget Me Not Ridge, Moose Mountain, Moose Mountain Ice Cave, Nihahi Ridge, Powder Face Trail, Elbow Loop and Forgetmenot Pond day use picnic area are all located near here. You are in bear country.

 

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Moose Mountain  Moose Mountain Ice Cave
   
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