Hiking Prairie Creek Trail at Elbow Falls near Calgary Alberta

prairie trail elbow falls

A week ago Saturday Yvonne and I went hiking on Prairie Trail and Powderface Trail at Elbow Falls.  Apparently the section we hiked was about 12.6 km.  The hike we did is in three sections.  You can see more photos and a topographical map here: Hiking Alberta

(The first photo is looking back along Prairie Trail about half way along the first leg.)

prairie trail elbow fallsWe had hiked about a third of the Prairie Creek Trail a few weeks ago and liked it so we thought we’d try the loop.  The first leg is about 6 km.  We were expecting it to be much shorter so it seemed longer.  The sun is coming in from the south and you are on a southern slope most of this section of the walk – in the cooler weather this was nice.  Most of the snow and ice was gone after the first bridge.  You have good views up the valley and there are several beautiful meadows through the last leg of that leg of the hike.  About 6 km in you hit Powderface Link. 

(The second photo is a couple of hundred yards before getting to the turn off for the second leg over the pass.)

prairie trail elbow falls

prairie trail elbow falls
There are a couple of bridges then another beautiful meadow – great place to stop and have a break or picnic.  One can go on to the longer loop but that is over 20 km total and we didn’t have the time (or the energy).  The Powderface Link was the toughest part for us as it is about 3 km – you are going over a small pass so entirely half is uphill and second half is downhill.  Problem was that our uphill climb was on the northern side and covered with snow and ice – made uphill hiking very slippery.  It is very closed in as well – not much to see as far as views of the mountains etc.

(The third photo is looking up the climb over the Link.  Not that high but slippery.)

I enjoyed the walk but next time I will go back along Prairie Trail – the same way we go in – instead of crossing the pass – it is more open and I found it much more pleasant as far as views.  The last leg is about another 3 km and is pretty flat – a few small hills – and quick. 

(The last photo is at the beginning of the last 3 km or so at the junction of the pass and the Powderface hike back to the road.)

Posted by Martin Jones

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