A popular hiking trail in western Alberta won't be open this summer

May 24 2023, 4:41 pm

Hikers will have to find a new mountain to conquer if they were hoping to hit up a popular hiking trail in western Alberta this summer.

An advisory posted by Alberta Parks says the trail area of Prairie Mountain will be closed all summer, opening back up on October 1.

The temporary closure will be in effect for the areas between Highway 66, Prairie Creek Trail, and Pistolero Trail.

“Otherwise the closed area is 400m on each side of the existing trail tread and summit,” the notice added.

Highway 66, Prairie Creek Trail, and Pistolero Trail will remain open.

Alberta Parks

The closure is due to the redevelopment of the main trail from base to summit, including formalizing east and west access routes and the addition of trailhead kiosks, wayfinding signage, information and safety signage, and viewing benches.

A full closure of the area will be in place to reduce danger to hikers as the contractors work on the mountain.

Prairie Mountain Trail is an approximately 3.3 km out-and-back trail (6.6 km round trip) located in the Kananaskis Public Land Use Zone (PLUZ), in the Elbow Valley, across Highway 66 from Elbow Falls Provincial Recreation Area

This trail is being developed to address increased year-round use of the trail, ongoing environmental degradation, and increased public safety incidents in the area. Trail work will improve safe and sustainable year-round use of the trail.

Another popular hiking trail and waterfall in Alberta will also be shuttered this summer and won’t reopen until June 2024.

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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