Credit: Travel Alberta/Matthew Clark @stirlandraephoto
The Best Things to Do in Canmore This Winter
Nestled between the hustle and bustle of urban Calgary and the quaint tourist-destination of Banff is a little, cozy town called Canmore. Planning a staycation to Canmore? We’ve created a list of the top places for you to visit, the best experiences in the area, and our favourite restaurants you’ll want to check out!
From a bumpin’ local community to an expanding tourism industry focused on responsible travel (check out our Adventures supporting local economy), here’s the inside scoop on things to see, do, eat and more. Canmore is a gorgeous destination in spring, summer and fall, but in winter this magical town is the perfect place to experience a true Canadian winter.
Read on and let us show you the best things to do in Canmore, Alberta this winter.
Things to See in Canmore
The Main Drag
Spend some time getting acquainted with Canmore by wandering the downtown.
Loaded with quirky shops and places for delicious caffeination, this street will keep you occupied for a few hours. Not only will you find some cool knick knacks, winter clothing and treats, but you’ll also get to know some of the locals as many of them own and operate these stores. Chat up a storm and find out where their favourite spots, in and around town, are.
AV Wakefield. Instagram: @picobac
Things to Do in Canmore
Grassi Lakes and Ha Ling Peak
These well-known hikes are located right beside each other and offer very different experiences. Ha Ling Peak will take you straight up the mountain and to sheer cliffs with stunning views of Canmore laid out below you. This hike has a higher level of difficulty and exposure to the elements (it can get super windy up there!).
If you’re looking for a more relaxing and family-friendly winter hike in the Canmore area, consider Grassi Lakes trail. This hike will take you by brightly colored pools and streams of water. You’ll also find climbers peppered along the rock walls as this is a popular climbing spot.
These hikes are well-travelled and accessible in the winter months. However, we recommend that you pack for a winter excursion! That means layering up, bringing your spikes and checking the trail report prior to Adventure time.
Regardless of which hike you choose, remember to utilize AdventureSmarts 3 T’s to Trip Planning. Even though you’re close to town, proper preparation is key! And because these hikes are well-trafficked, please follow Leave No Trace principles while out exploring.
The list of the best things to do in Canmore this winter wouldn’t be complete without including these amazing Adventures that support the local economy and follow responsible travel best practices. By booking through Yervana, you are supporting local community members and their professions.
Rocky Mountain Hike
Embarking on a hike through the Rockies will allow you to experience the natural beauty and fresh mountain air with a certified guide showing you the way. Head out with Yervana Local, Jacob on a 3-hour hike through the jaw-dropping backdrop of the Rockie Mountains and learn all about the human and natural history of the Rockies along the way.
Ski or Snowboard
With world-class resorts and incomparable snow conditions that last for months and months, those who love to ski and snowboard will find endless bliss near Canmore. Although a bit of a drive (your own vehicle or a shuttle) Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Norquay are all near enough for a half or full day trip. Whether you’re new to the sport or an experienced turn-champ, these resorts all have something for everyone.
Credit: Travel Alberta/Matthew Clark @stirlandraephoto
Experience Frozen Waterfalls
Witness the beautiful frozen waterfalls from the ground on an Ice Walk tour through Johnston Canyon with Yervana Local, Laura. Explore deep in the canyon covered in snow where you’ll discover multiple frozen waterfalls!
Keep the biking season rolling by trying out fat biking through the Canadian Rockies! Canmore is home to a network of beginner to advance fat biking trails, simply rent a bike from town and hit the trails!
Local Highlights: Eat, Drink and Shop in Canmore
Now you’ve seen the best things to do in Canmore this winter. But we’re not done yet! We’re also giving you the details on some of the best local highlights of this engaging town.
Alberta Food Tour
“What the focaccia!” Literally. How can a focaccia sandwich shop be so good!? Go. Just go and try the delicious offerings of Bella Crusta. You’ll probably end up going again. In the same day.
The Summit Cafe
What kind of winter destination guide would this be if we didn’t include a place to grab a yummy cup of hot cocoa after a long day out exploring in the cold?
The Summit Cafe offers great views, a full breakfast and lunch menu, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options, and fair and sustainable coffee! What are you waiting for? Head on over and warm up.
How to Get to Canmore
Canmore is accessible. If you’re starting your journey in Edmonton, hop on the TransCanada Highway. Head towards Calgary and pay attention to signs directing you to Banff.
From Calgary, it’s just an hour west along the TransCanada Highway. You’ll hit Canmore before you enter Banff National Park! Because you’ll be coming in winter, ensure you check road and weather conditions prior to departure.
Don’t have your own car? No problem-o. Renting a car from the airport is straightforward. Or you can do a quick google search to find the best shuttle options for you!