Popular Hike but brought a bike.

Quick Stats

  • Distance: 11.23Km
  • Height Gain: 737m
  • Round Trip Time: ~2h
  • Surface Type: Snow / Ice
  • Weapon of Choice: Fat Bike
  • Resources: Gillean Daffern’s Kananaskis Trail Guide
Prairie Mountain is an extremely popular hike. This is because it is close to Calgary, relatively short and is a very steep grind so it is great for training and conditioning. You can hike Prairie Mountain year-round and will almost certainly have company. When I heard a friend of mine was going to ride a bike down this mountain, I signed up. What a terrible but fantastic idea!
How do you get bikes to the top of Prairie Mountain in the winter? Pushing. There are only 1 or two spots where the grade is flat enough to ride a bike. For the remainder, you are hauling the bike up the mountain all 700 plus meters of elevation.
And when it gets really steep, you put the bike over your shoulder and carry it up the steepest grades. You also need to put micro spikes on your shoes to maintain traction on the snow and ice.
I still prefer pushing the bike over carrying it. This is the heaviest bike I have and keeping it on the ground seems better to me.
About halfway up we take a well-deserved break to enjoy the view. Note the size of the tires on the fat bike. They are 4.5” wide and have metal studs to help with traction on the snow.
And more bike pushing. It just keeps going!
A look back at our bike tire and footprints as we near the summit. The views are great, you can see why this is a popular hike.
And on the summit! It takes about 1.5 hours to reach the summit when pushing and carrying a very heavy fat bike.
It is windy on the top, which is normal. One last thing to do before we start a wild descent back down the mountain….
Traditional summit selfie!
Rich looks back at me as he is pumped for the ride down; let’s go! I didn’t take any pictures but can assure you it is fast and an absolute riot to ride down in the snow. The brakes on the bike smelt like burning and when snow hits the metal brake rotor would make a sizzling sound and boil off.


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