New start up Exshaw Creek, Prospector Trail etc

The starting point for Exshaw Creek has changed.

Going west along the Hwy. 1A, turn right after Exshaw Creek bridge and follow Mt. Allen Drive to a parking lot just beyond the fire hall on the right. From here cross  a footbridge over Exshaw Creek into meadow. On the east bank follow one trail or another to a closed piece of paved road and turn left. Join Windridge Drive and go left, following the road around to its end at the second  footbridge where we used to park. For the usual west bank trail up Exshaw Creek to Mount Fable and Exshaw Pass cross the footbridge over Exshaw Creek and turn right. For the east bank trail, Prospector mountain bike trail and route to Exshaw Ridge turn right before the bridge. The usual route up the powerline access road has been cut off owing to construction of what is possibly an electrical substation and parking lot and is fenced off. What you do is follow a good trail to the left of the construction fence that joins the powerline access road near the top of the hill. Here go left, then just before the power pole, turn off right onto a good trail.

Bridge over Exshaw Creek

Bridge over Exshaw Creek by the trailhead parking

The trail marked with a red line on the map is the east bank hiking trail (also used by Prospector) that climbs onto a terrace. At 2.2 km from the parking lot, the narrower trail to Exshaw Ridge turns off to the right. (This trail is very steep at its top end and lands you  close to the southernmost top at about 284609.) In another 1.1 km is a junction where Prospector trail turns right at an arrow. The hiking trail goes left and down the bank to Exshaw Creek. (Downstream a little way you join the west bank trail, thus enabling you to make a loop.)

Prospector twines about the main hiking trail making possible loops of various difficulties. To bike the whole thing is 8.7 km. The far loop is relatively easy apart from the technical feature at the end where you can chicken out. The middle loop that twists and turns over Weader? Ridge (sorry, couldn’t make out the fourth letter) is very technical with a big variety  of features including Trick (or) Treat and the easier Girls Out. The lower loop runs across the southwest face of Exshaw Mountain and for the most part is an easy traverse.  My thoughts on thinking this a better route for a takeoff up Exshaw Mountain were shattered by the ending: not so much by the slabs,  but by the  amazing, excessively steep, winding trail into the junkyard where there are more technical features among the dumped cars. The junkyard lies a few metres away from a road. To get back to the parking lot turn right on the road, cross Windridge Drive onto a trail that crosses the closed road  to the first footbridge.

Exshaw Area Map

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7 comments… add one
  • Red90 Aug 28, 2014, 7:40 am

    Are not both trails within the closed area? http://aesrd.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/exshaw-creek-area-closure/

  • Gillean Daffern Jun 28, 2014, 2:33 pm

    It’s not an official bike trail at the moment. I guess the authorities didn’t approve of the technical features. Don’t know whether bikers will be turfed off it, but you can certainly hike it. See Volume 3 of the K Country Trail Guide page 152 for description and sketch map. See also Exshaw Creek on page 147. For up to date start to Exshaw Creek trail /Prospector post flood see our data base (the red box).

  • DaveyDave Jun 28, 2014, 12:36 pm

    Is this trail still open? Was it damaged in the 2013 floods? I notice it’s no longer on bikepirate….?

  • The Angry MoMs Sep 23, 2012, 5:19 pm

    A friendly reMinder … that the speed limit is 30 and the trail users are speeding up and down the street… the resident are getting extreamly annoyed … So please be nice and slow down or park somewhere else…. We will be filling a complaint soon with authority so pass on the word to the trails users.
    Ps Pick up your garbage and the area is not a public bathroom…
    Thanks!
    The neigborhood

  • Gillean Daffern Jul 10, 2011, 6:23 pm

    The above post was mainly for the benefit of bikers. If you’re hiking you can stay on the west bank and forgo any road bashing. Again start from the parking lot on Mt. Allan Drive near to the first footbridge. At a green sign take Big Berm trail up the hill onto the top of the berm that separates the cement plant from Exshaw Creek. The trail follows the berm top to a junction at the second footbridge. Go straight for the usual route up Exshaw Creek which is signed “Big Berm trail to Exshaw Creek trail”. Turn right across the bridge if aiming for the east bank trail/Prospector.
    We’ll get the line on the map shortly, but basically it just follows the west bank next to the creek.

  • bikepirate Jun 29, 2011, 12:43 pm

    Thanks for posting the updates Gillean. For those that want more info on the mountain bike Prospector Trail, including a map and GPS, visit my trail page at http://www.bikepirate.com/all-mtn-trails/prospector-exshaw-ab/

    Happy Trails!

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