5 miles
1,742 ft
-956 ft
Avg time

Prairie View Details

  • Riding area
    Exshaw, Alberta
  • Difficulty rating
  • Trail type
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
    Popular direction shown
  • Climb Difficulty
  • Physical rating
  • Season
    May - November
  • Global Ranking
  • Land Manager
    Alberta Parks

This is an old school XC classic that's also incredibly popular with hikers on weekends. Weeknights are the best times to avoid dodging walkers.

The Prairie View trail begins at the Barrier Dam trail head, and follows a gravel road over the top of the dam and around the north side of the lake before heading up hill. At the top of the first short climb, cross the powerline trail and keep heading up the gravel. You'll eventually come to the junction with the Stoney Trail. Keep going up the very wide dirt and gravel path, and enjoy the 11 switchbacks. Side note: the last switchback is also the start of the Camp Chief Hector DH.

The first major viewpoint is not quite to the top of the mountain, but it's a good place to stop and collect stragglers. Follow the trail around to the right and ride as far as you can up the steep slope before doing the hike-a-bike up and over the top. Time to drop seats, tighten straps and check tire pressure before plunging down the other side! It starts off as scree and abruptly changes to roots of all sorts. Erosion has had its way over the years, and there's plenty of root steps, loose rocks and abrupt corners [it was originally a hiking trail], all of them taken at speed. Things start to level off at the bottom, and the start of the Razor's Edge trail is on the right. The end of Prairie View is at the junction with Quaite Valley and Jewell Pass trails. QV goes north to Hwy 1, and JP goes back toward Barrier Dam via Stoney Trail to close the loop.

Access Info

This trail is in Kananaskis Country. Take Hwy 1 to Hwy 40 turnoff, head south. The Barrier Dam trail head is a right turn off of Hwy 40 westbound.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Prairie View mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    786 ft
  • Altitude min
    4,521 ft
  • Altitude max
    6,061 ft
  • Altitude start
    4,526 ft
  • Altitude end
    5,312 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    3 miles
  • Distance down
    1 miles
  • Distance flat
    1,200 ft
  • Avg time
  • view trail stats
on Jun 3, 2018
Avg: 4 (7 votes)

view (549)
Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Directions to prairie-view trailhead (51.032620, -115.038550)
update trails status or condition

Prairie View Trail Reports

Jun 3, 2018 @ 8:45am
Jun 3, 2018
Surprisingly dry with the recent rains, just a bit tacky in places. Scads of people though, wait until a week day
May 24, 2018 @ 8:08am
May 24, 2018
Up Prairie down Jewell still perfect. Not sure if anyone has ventured down Lazarus and back yet, suspect that might still have some mud
May 19, 2018 @ 2:00pm
May 19, 2018
Perfect conditions
May 7, 2018 @ 10:12pm
May 7, 2018
Going up to the peak with the view is great (about halfway). The rest of the trail going down is reasonably ok until the last 1/4 where it is knee...
Oct 9, 2017 @ 1:41pm
Oct 9, 2017
Nice and tacky. Great conditions.
view all reports »


more »
52 |
Jul 29, 2018 @ 4:02pm
Jul 29, 2018
| 1 comments Prairie View, Calgary
84 |
May 22, 2018 @ 5:47am
May 22, 2018
Prairie View, My City
129 |
Sep 4, 2017 @ 1:15pm
Sep 4, 2017
Prairie View, Turner Valley
360 |
Mar 25, 2016 @ 12:24pm
Mar 25, 2016
Prairie View, Calgary

Routes with this trail

more »
Prairie View to Jewell Pass Loop featured
10 miles
razors edge loop from parking lot
11 miles
Bow Valley Extreme
162 miles
Quaite/Jewell/Prairie View/Razors
14 miles

Reviews / Comments

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more »
Prairie View ride with the Boys July 3, 2017
25:22 | 210 | Jul 8, 2017 , Exshaw

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