This easier-angled and more varied trail is gaining popularity as an alternative route to the extremely popular standard trail up Prairie Mountain. With varied terrain from a an open and rocky montane valley to alpine ridgeline, it makes a great loop with the standard trail, either up or down. Total height gain is around 700 metres or about 2300 feet.
This text is copied from my Getting There description for Prairie Mountain's standard trail.
From the hamlet of Bragg Creek (20 minutes west of Calgary) drive south on Highway 22 (Alberta' Cowboy Trail) to the first big T intersection and turn right on Highway 66 (Elbow Falls Trail). Continue driving west into Kananaskis Country and over the Elbow River. The highway curves around to the left past the south end of the Moose Mountain massif, dips into the valley of Canyon Creek, and continues to the winter gate beside Elbow Falls. When the winter gate is open (May 15-December 1) park in Beaver Lodge parking lot (really just a large, paved pullout). Otherwise park in front of the gate. Even on frigid winter days there are usually lots of cars here.
Between the gate and Beaver Lodge parking lot (400 metres apart) the road crosses Prairie Creek. On the far side of the crossing, a wide, obvious official trail turns right (northwest) into the woods. It initially descends to Prairie Creek, then wanders through the dark, shady floodplain of the creek between cliffs, crossing the creek on bridge en route. Shortly, it turns right up the hill climbing some rock steps onto a sunny traverse of south-facing aspen hillsides.
Soon it enters pines and climbs onto a rocky point (the end of Prairie Mountain's south ridge) with a view of the very steep north face of Vents Ridge. Rounding the point, it settles into an undulating traverse of floodplain forest, open pines and sunny meadows.
After some time, the valley opens out and you look across a broad, willowy plain from a sunny bench. Just after this, the trail enters a large, flat meadow. This is BEFORE the junction with Prairie Link trail.
Turn right and cross the meadow. At the far right corner of the meadow, a clear trail develops (flagging last time I was there) and enters pines. Initially it meanders around a dry gully and becomes gradually steeper as you climb uphill. Eventually, the trail climbs steeply out of the gully (still in pine forest) and a bit farther along reaches a flat, forested saddle. Thus far you have been travelling up a south groove of Prairie Mountain and are feeling quite high up.
At the saddle, the trail turns right and climbs up the very broad west ridge through a pine forest that gradually shrinks and opens up as more and more spruce trees appear. The ridge is longer then it seems, but eventually it turns left and climbs out of the trees onto the open north ridge. The view of the Front Ranges and Moose Mountain is already great.
Turn right and follow the sinuous ridge at the edge of the drop-off to the summit with its huge cairn and signature flag. What a view!
Proper hiking footwear. Hiking poles are nice to have, and winter traction devices (or perhaps snowshoes if there's a lot of snow) may be neccessary in the winter.
Kananaskis Country, Alberta Parks: https://albertaparks.ca/parks/kananaskis/kananaskis-country/