Prairie Mountain is one tough climb but the view is amazing at the top. There is about 700m vertical in 3.5 km (20% average) with lots of roots and rocks. I have no idea where “prairie” came from except that it is so high you can see the flat prairies to the east.
The top has a 360 degree view where you can see the Rockies in one direction and prairies on the other. Standing up there I was inspired to also climb the nearby Moose Mountain, Cox Ridge and Powderface Ridge (but on another day). And on clear days you can make out Calgary surrounded by fields and pastures.
It is a popular climb for locals, especially for anyone doing hill training for trail races. Great for technical terrain training too due to the roots and rocks.
It gets relatively busy on the weekends unless you can finish before 10am. A round trip for me was under 1.5 hours. This was with a hard hike up and with a moderate running pace down.
Only 45 minutes from Calgary this area is a mecca for trail runners.