Barrier Lake Lookout - Kananaskis: Take Highway 40 to Barrier Dam Day Use Area. Park in lot, and hike across dam to Stoney Trail/Prairie View Trail Junction. Take Prairie View trail.
I've long said Barrier Lake is one of my favorite places in the world, but amazingly, I'd never hiked much in the area. With all the amazing lookout hikes Nat and I had tried in the previous few weeks, this short hike (7.8 km total) was a no-brainer for David and I.
Every hike in this area starts out with a 1.1 km trek across the Barrier Lake Dam. It can be long and sometimes tiring, but the view is stunning.... and that water colour!
Only a half hour or so up the trail there are opportunities for great views:
The colours of the lake never cease to stun me:
The name if the trail leading to the lookout is actually called Prairie View Trail. Here you can see why. I'm always partial to the mountain shots, but looking out over the prairie from the height of the Rockies is a reminder of how varied the area is: