Ultimate Guide to Canmore: Top Activities and Must-See Destinations


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Canmore is a beautiful town nestled amidst the Canadian Rockies that offers stunning views, major attractions and great restaurants. People looking for a small Canadian mountain finds Canmore the best option in the entire world as every corner of the town is awe-inspiring. Besides, you will find many things to do in Canmore and places that will leave you spellbound. In short, when we are in Canmore, we can never get bored which makes this town a good tourism hotspot throughout the year. If you are planning to visit Canmore, check the list below to find the top things to do in Canmore and the best places to visit.

Check out Three Sisters Mountain peaks

The Three Sisters Mountain is the name given to a mountain range in Canmore. As the name says, the range has three mountain peaks, marked individually. One is named big, the second is middle and the third peak is title sister. All the sisters stand for hope (little sister), charity (middle sister) and faith (big sister). The mountain views are stunning and can be seen easily from most of the parts of the city. The mountain name was given by an American surveyor named Albert Rogers and the mountain got its official name in 1886 by George Dawson. Check them for sure when you drive into the Canmore city.

Admire historic Canmore Engine Bridge

Another best thing to do in Canmore is admiring Canmore Engine Bridge that was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the year 1891. The Bridge was built to serve the coal mine and has now turned into one of the most remarkable places in the city due to its rare vertical posts. You will find plaques named T.B. Co. 1880 at the top ends of the posts. While one end of the bridge will provide you with the views of majestic mountains, the middle will give you Bow River looks flowing underneath. You can also sit and relax at the tree branches or just walk down the riverside as the bridge is open for pedestrian traffic only.

Discover the Bow River Loop or engage in hiking

When crossing the Canmore Engine Bridge, you can embark on the Bow River Loop Trail to enjoy the river gushes and views of the Rocky Mountains. The changing colours of the rivers will make you fall in love with this place for sure especially when the colour changes to super turquoise blue due to glacial fed.

Apart from walking beside the bow River, you can also opt for an easy hike stretching 1.2 km (1.2 miles) where you will cross the pedestrian bridge near Riverside Park. The trekking trail can be enjoyed throughout the year though you need to be mindful during spring and winter as the surface becomes a little slippery that time.

Take a stride on the Grassi Lakes Hike Trail

One of the best things to do in Canmore is hiking and when it is on the Grassi Lakes Trail and the Grassi Lakes Trail loop, the experience becomes more thrilling. The trial is 3.2 kilometres or 1.9 miles long making it great for hikers belonging to every level. In winters, some parts of the trail remain inaccessible but can be used for hiking. Summers gives a stunning view of turquoise blue water. Apart from it, many mountaineers visit this place for rock climbing too.

Visit the North-West Mounted Police Barracks

One of the historic places in Canmore is the Policeman’s Creek located beside the Northwest Mounted Police Barracks (NWMP). The Barrack was built in the year 1893 and since 1929, it serves as an office, lodging and jail for the Canmore police officers. In 1990, The NWMP Barrack was declared as Alberta Provincial Historic Resource and stands as the oldest NWMP site in Western Canada. Fortunately, this historic place is open for visitors all around the year but admission is done by donations only.

Enjoy Bow Valley Provincial Park outdoors and campground

Only 30 km away from the city, one of the larges campgrounds of the Bow Valley Provincial Park offers visitors a thrilling yet relaxing experience amidst tall mountains and beautiful meadows. The Park is located at the confluence of the majestic Kananaskis River. Enjoy tons of amenities available at the campground or walk beside the lakes where a host of activities are organized such as biking, canoeing, boating, and onsite showering. Some of the places you must stop at at the Bow Valle provincial park includes Barrier Lake, Quarry Lake, Troll Falls, O’Shaughnessy Falls, and Prairie View Trail for hiking.

Explore Canmore Cave Tours

One of the best things to do in Canmore is taking a cave tour in the Rat’s Nest Cave. The cave is wild and undeveloped. To enjoy this wild experience, you will have to travel to Grotto Mountain where the Canmore Cave tour operators provide visitors with a unique tour inside the caves. Once inside, you will be provided with a few types of equipment and guidance on how to crawl, explore, slide or embrace different conditions inside the cave. Although this tour is not allowed to all aged people due to caves being dark, dirty and small, once allowed gets a lifetime experience.

Eat delicious East Indian Food or taste spirits and beer at the Wild Life Distillery

One of the must-to-visit places in Canmore is Wild Life Distillery where the owners craft amazing spirits besides offering great service to their clients. You can also try delicious Indian food in the Spice Hut Restaurant. The ambience of the restaurant will make you feel like sitting in a typical bistro or a café in India. The restaurant offers various kinds of dishes, desserts and drinks which will make you feel hungry instantly.

Go cross country skiing

In Canmore, you will find many ski trails especially in the areas surrounding the Kananaskis Country. Ribbon Creek Cross Country trail is one of the trails located some 40 minutes drive away from Canmore beside the Kananaskis Village area. The trail offers a scenic view of the well-maintained cross-country ski trail in the Nakiska Ski base. The trails are available for every level skier. Mount Shark Cross Country is another trail located 24.23 miles from Canmore which offers many challenging cross-country ski trails. The trails are interconnected loops that vary in length.

Go for ice fishing in Spray Lakes

One of the best things to do in Canmore is ice fishing activity at the Spray Lakes Provincial Park, in the Spray lakes Reservoir. The reservoir is 16 km away from the city where you can go for winter hikes, ice skating r snowshoeing. However, Spray lakes are more popular for ice fishing activity. There are a few spots where you can enjoy this activity such as Driftwood, Sparrowhawk and Spray Lakes Day-Use area.

Enjoy a staycation in a cabin style accommodation in the winter

Cuddle up by a fireplace with a hot chocolate and take in the views of the Three Sisters from your suite or balcony. The mountain ranges look magical in the winter when it is covered in snow.

We recommend booking a log cabin style accommodation in the winter as it is uber-romantic and cozy. You can check for hotel deals in November for Christmas and the News Years (up to the early days of February).


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