Spring Hiking between Powderface & Prairie Creeks

Tired of  muddy Prairie Link Trail trail? Here are a couple of alternatives that can be done as single loops or combined for a satisfying short day out. South-facing slopes are already bare and dry, while north-facing ones will probably have snow for another month.

Corri Robb Trail
We usually start by hiking Powderface Trail to the first creek crossing. About 350 m farther on, the good climber’s access trail to White Buddha crag angles up to the right. A the end of the second zig a faint trail continues down valley to the parking lot. We use this dry, sunny old packer’s trail when Powderface trail is covered in snow and ice. Continue zig-zagging up the slope to the foot of the crag. If you are lucky there will be people climbing— a good excuse for a rest. Continue on an ascending traverse along the bottom of White Buddha, finally scrambling up to a good viewpoint on top of “Vents Ridge” (You will have to wait for Kananaskis Trail Guide Vol 2 later this year  to learn about the vents). The trail heads west along the ridge before dropping down on two descending traverse lines under cliffs to Prairie Creek.

Corrie-Rob viewpoint

Corri Rob viewpoint

Short Link Trail
You can either head back to the parking lot or extend your hike by heading west up Prairie Creek for 1.3 km to a good connector trail leading back to Powderface Creek. Although the trail is good once you get on it, it’s difficult to locate from this end. You may need to cast around with the aid of the map and GPS receiver. The connector is easier to find from Powderface Trail. The side valley is easily identified. A short distance up the valley you will have a choice of three distinct ridges. Head to the left of the left-hand one, then climb right up onto the ridge top where the trail becomes obvious. Once the ice melts, you will have to wade Prairie Creek.

Prairie Powderface map
7 comments… add one
  • Corri Robb Mar 15, 2012, 8:18 pm

    Thanks Glenn and Liam 🙂 always thinking about you! 🙂 Hope you get this! Cheers – C.

  • Glenn Reisenhofer Apr 27, 2011, 9:34 pm

    Hi Tony.
    Thought you may be interested in the link about the White Buddha.
    Glenn Reisenhofer

  • Alf Skrastins May 31, 2010, 9:41 am

    From the top of the Corri Robb viewpoint, there is another option to return to the parking lot. If you follow the ridge-line to the south, you’ll find a faint trail and fairly easy travel along the ridge. Near the south end, once you can see the parking lot, the easiest way down is to follow a rib in a west, then southerly direction until you reach the old Powderface pack trail.

  • Bob Stebbins May 21, 2010, 1:19 pm

    Just a follow-up on Tony Daffern’s fine 26 April description of spring hiking between Powederface and Prairie Creeks. We hiked both trails on 20 May, now free of snow and free of ice on Prairie Creek. Height gain from Powerface Parking Lot to Corri Robb viewpoint (GR544373) is 285m. The Corri Robb trailhead at Prairie Creek – not visible from Prairie Creek Trail up on the bench – is now clear when viewed at water level at GR539378. Since the ice has disappeared someone has built at makeshift sapling bridge at water level, which however, is unlikely to survive run-off and the first torrential rain. This creek at this point at this time of the year is one of the deepest and faster in the area, so it would be good to bring sandals for wading. Rock hopping is out of the question.

  • Peter Irwin May 6, 2010, 8:56 pm

    I just cleared the deadfall off this trail last fall! I didn’t realize it was so well known. This is one of my favorite evening trails to do with my kids (the Corri Robb trail). I’d be interested to know where the trail gots its name.

  • Kirsten Phillips May 2, 2010, 6:59 am

    The family made this trip Saturday, May 1. They weren’t kidding about having 50 cm of snow! I thought it would be a good test for some new boots (3 of us) and a little mental prep for a West Coast Trail trip that means hiking with wet feet. We were not disappointed. Our sure-footed dog led the way up to the viewpoint and my husband bushwacked us down through the trees on the other side. Since we have never done this loop before and the creek was still frozen in places, we opted to follow the creek back to the highway. I think we did about 7 creek crossing and met close quarters with a scared deer in one of the canyon-type areas. A really great day, quite warm, and no blisters!

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