Canmore is a charming little town that serves as a gateway to the incredible Canadian Rockies. Only about an hour from Calgary, there are a number of things to do here in any season, with winter being one of our personal favourites! In this blog post, we are going to go over 10 winter activities in Canmore THAT you don’t want to miss!
When it comes to outdoor activities, natural beauty, and great food, Canmore is a small town that packs a big punch. Located just outside of the gates to Banff National Park, the opportunities to explore are endless. So, let’s get right into it! Here is a list of what we consider the best winter activities in Canmore and why we think you’ll love them too.
Skating is one of my favourite winter activities in Canmore and fun for the whole family. There are numerous places to go skating in Canmore and they all boast phenomenal views! These include the 5 local outdoor skating rinks inside the Town of Canmore as well as dozens more on the lakes in the Kananaskis area.
Why not bring some camping chairs, a thermos of hot cocoa(and Baileys if that floats your boat?), and spend the day? It’s a good idea to check the rink status online before grabbing your skates and heading out!
Dog sledding is without a doubt one of the most exciting winter adventures on this list. Snowy Owl Tours is an excellent local dog sledding company that offers a beautiful and exciting tour. You’ll get up close and personal with the dogs, learn how to drive your own sled through a stunning valley in the Rockies, and enjoy a hot chocolate around a fire to finish off the day. Make sure to book this one in advance- they fill up quickly!
Tobogganing & Snow Tubing
Whether you’re snow tubing at the Nakiska Wanidu Tube Park or tobogganing at The Nordic Centre, you’re sure to have a fun day! Eagle Terrace is another fairly large hill in Canmore that is perfect for kids of any age. Pack some snacks and hot drinks, throw on your snow gear, and make a day of it!
If you enjoy hiking in the summer, chances are you’ll enjoy snowshoeing just as much! Canmore Nordic Centre is an excellent place to check out if you’re a beginner. They have numerous trails that are maintained which makes getting the hang of it much easier.
Once you feel comfortable, I would recommend downloading the Alltrails App. There are dozens of snowshoeing trails to choose from and most are within a 45-minute drive of Canmore. Some of our favourites are Chester Lake and Rawson Lake.
The Kananaskis Nordic Spa
Kananaskis Nordic Spa has become a go-to “alpine sanctuary” of the Canadian Rockies and there is no question why! This stunning spa combines luxury with natural beauty and allows you to rejuvenate in a scenic environment. The idea of this invigorating therapy cycle is to move through the hot, warm, and cold pools numerous times in a specific order.
Along with these pools, you can also enjoy a massage, different saunas and steam rooms, as well as fantastic food and drinks from the Two Trees Bistro. Only 35 minutes from Canmore, this luxurious outdoor experience is the perfect way to relax and unwind in the mountains! Click here to learn more about what they are doing to keep you safe during COVID-19.
Cross Country Skiing
Whether you’re a complete amateur or a seasoned pro, cross-country skiing is an excellent winter sport that gets you active and outdoors! Like snowshoeing, the Canmore Nordic Centre is the perfect place to learn how to cross-country ski.
The staff on-site will help get you set up with gear and recommend the best trails to get you started. With over 65 kilometres of groomed, machine-made and natural trails, the Nordic Centre is well worth the visit!
Wolf Dog Sanctuary
The Yumnaska Wolf Dog Sanctuary is an interpretive, not-for-profit center located just 25 minutes East of Canmore. If you’re a fan of wolves and want to learn more about them as well as other wildlife in the area, the staff here are very friendly and knowledgeable. The tours range from simple Intro Tours to Interactive Tours which include the chance to get up close and personal with these beautiful animals.
If you’ve been wanted to give fat biking a try, this is the year and the place to do it! You can rent a bike in town from a number of gear shops for around $100 CAD per day. There are dozens of trails around Canmore to choose from and typically the rental company will have a trail map and some advice to get you started. If you’re up for it, you can even bike the Centennial Trail(a paved pathway along Highway Number 1) all the way to Banff!
Aside from being located in one of the most scenic locations in the Canadian Rockies, Canmore is also perfectly situated for a ski vacation. With 4 major ski hills only 30-50 minutes away, there is no shortage of excitement and fresh powder!
Canmore offers some amazing places to get out for an evening walk and gaze up at the stars. The further away from the city you get, the better! If you’re really lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of an Aurora Borealis. Spray Lakes and Barrier Lake are both great options and are only a short drive from Canmore. Either one would be a perfect place to go for a star walk.
If you’re feeling especially adventurous, grab a headlamp and some spikes and hike up to Lady Macdonald Heli Pad or Barrier Lake Lookout. The closer you are to the constellations, the clearer they will become!