Travel

18 Things To Do In Canmore

Things To Do In Canmore

Amongst the Canadian Rockies, there are many things to do in Canmore, Alberta all year-round. Whether you’re here for holidays or a business trip, you’ll enjoy the variety of seasonal activities for people of all ages. Canmore is a proof of the fact that Alberta has many other beautiful cities aside from the capital Edmonton.

The summer and winters offer things to do in Canmore for treks, hikes, snowboarding, artisan markets, gold, hockey, and a lot of other indoor and outdoor activities. From rock climbing to sightseeing, Canmore is one of the best places to spend a special weekend. Canmore is always beautiful and full of adventures!

18 Things To Do In Canmore

Grotto Canyon Icewalk

A hike through this beautiful valley is a great activity for families! 

Visit the Grotto Canyon as you hike on the icy frozen creek and explore surreal rock formations, spectacular icefalls and indigenous wall art. The walls of the creek are narrow and snakes through the canyon. There is a fork in the road, where the straight path will lead to a beautiful cave and the path to the right will go to an amazing waterfall. The cave has ancient paintings on the wall. 

The ideal time to visit the canyon is in the winter. This is because the waterfall freezers at this time, creating a stunning ice sculpture. Since the ground is frozen, make sure you take your ice cleats to walk more easily. With a cup of hot cocoa,  it’s an incredible experience, don’t miss it!

Scenic Cochrane and Canmore Sidecar Motorcycle Tour

Drive on the scenic open road in a vintage-style sidecar motorcycle. Hit the on the scenic highway from Calgary, through western-themed Cochrane, and then, enter into the Rocky Mountains. Enjoy lunch in the town and enjoy the views.

Shop around the Canmore Mountain Market

A tradition that many locals and tourists alike follow, the venue is packed with vendors selling local and regional products – especially during summer. 

Take the morning or afternoon off and head to the Canmore Mountain Market. From fresh produce, poultry, clothes, baked goods, coffee, jams, as well as crafts, clothes, jewelry and other interesting artisanal buys these become great for souvenirs as a remembrance to such an incredible Canmore trip.

Tasting Local Food Experience

Discover Canmore as you taste the cuisine of Alberta’s signature foods from 7 local food businesses and  listen to the stories of the area’s history and people while strolling through town. 

Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the towering Rocky Mountains that surround this charming town and later enjoy food designed for healthy active living with fresh local ingredients.

Calgary Flames NHL Hockey Game

Travel from Banff or Canmore to soak up the excitement of a good old game of the all-Canadian sport:  ice hockey. Hockey Nights in Canmore get really exciting.

Canmore Museum & Geoscience Centre

With many fascinating things to do in Canmore, you can take a day off from treks and hikes and opt to visit the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Center. This is a must do. 

Starting in 1984, Canmore Museum & Geoscience Centre tells you the stories of their mountains. It is a small but very informative museum and fantastic to spend some time with kids. This museum offers an interactive display and some interesting videos. It’s a place to go to soak up an educational experience and learn about Canmore’s history.  The museum in particular has great artifacts, it doesn’t take much of your time, so don’t miss it!

The museum’s most popular show: ‘From Coal to Community,’ provides viewers with an interesting insight into the area’s native people, the expansion of the railway system, and the overall importance of coal to the region.

Interesting in doing more after you’ve seen the museum? Enjoy guided tours of two of the area’s most productive mines are given by a local historian. Approximately four hours long, give or take, the tours are very popular. If this sounds interesting and if you’d like to do, book in advance so you don’t miss out. It’s great if you’re a family and looking for things to do in Canmore especially if you are more of an indoor person. 

Kananaskis Country Snowshoe 

Canmore is in the middle of Banff and the Alberta Park Kananaskis Country. Kananaskis is often thought of as the foothills to the Rockies, but there are some tremendous hikes here. 

Hike through the Canadian Rockies, a  winter wonderland in the heart of the Canadian Rockies on snowshoes. Enjoy an exhilarating 4-hour day trip to an alpine lake in the Canadian Rockies, surrounded by limestone peaks. Take in the great views of Mount Chester

Don’t make the mistake and underestimate them as there are some very big mountains and hikes here. It’s perfect for fewer crowds on the weekdays and finding wildlife. On the weekend it is very popular with Calgarians for fun in the mountains! 

Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk Trek

One great thing about Canmore is the Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk. This outdoor hotspot is easily found everywhere and is doable from beginners to advanced-level hikers for those visiting Canada for some wilderness exploration. It’s a great trip for those who wish to awaken their senses. 

Trekking in this crowd-favorite outdoor spot is what many travelers and locals alike come to Alberta for. Access Creek Boardwalk from downtown Canmore and the trailhead is near the intersection of Main Street and Spring Creek Drive.

The four-kilometer trail is well marked, easy to follow, and will bring you right back to your starting point, so you won’t have to waste time and energy keeping track or reading some map.  The boardwalk’s pleasant mix of town and country is the best of both worlds, and you’ll think you’re much farther away from civilization than you really are. 

From bird watching, ducks swimming in trails in the ponds, and to the lush greenery past the creek, there’s definitely much to see, hear if you want to spend time with loved ones strolling through nature. To head to the boardwalk, an elevated walkway presents year-round opportunities without a need for waders, boots, or snowshoes.

East End of Rundle

East End of Rundle is one of the most popular hikes in Canmore that offers visitors with astonishing views over Canmore, the Bow Valley, and Ha Ling Peak. But it’s not an easy climb up. 

This trail is a 5.8 kilometer out and back trail. It’s certainly a steep challenging uphill battle throughout. There are barely any flat parts and the climb starts right from the car park. 

Some decent  exposure and some scrambling are required, but the East End is nothing too scary or difficult for the average to the advanced hiker. Many fast hikers have completed the trail in 4 hours with a 45 minute summit beer stop at the top and about 15 extra minutes for sunset photos. The average hiker will probably be able to reach the top in two hours and descend in 1.5 hours. If you are slower, a five hours round trip is generally a safe time to estimate. 

Walk To Grassi Lakes

A mesmerizingly blue water is synonymous with Grassi Lakes in Canmore

Though there are other trails in the area, they’re clearly marked, and you’ll know to turn around when you’ve reached the impossibly steep part.

A short hike, Grassi is five kilometers south of town and the  lakes are easy to get to. Think about considering packing some food for a picnic, as it’s one of the most picturesque places around Canmore. Do grab your favorite travel camera to take stunning views of a nearby waterfall and the town of Canmore. 

Ha Ling Peak

A peak at the northwestern end of Mount Lawrence Grassi, Ha Ling Peak is a hike for anyone! An easy trail, this is very picturesque and offers brilliant views of the valley. The path gains elevation quickly. 

It’s just a 4-hour round trip to an amazing view from the top. This hike might seem a bit challenging if you are not used to it but the stunning view from the top makes the effort worth it.

Canmore Christmas Artisan’s Market

Canmore takes their town festivals seriously as witnessed by the Canmore Christmas Artisan’s Market. 

The Canmore Christmas Artisan’s Market is one of the most popular things to do in Canmore which occurs all throughout the year. If you come during the holidays, or a weekend, this is something you have to experience! To experience Christmas is to celebrate in a quaint town overlooking the Canadian Rockies. 

For a beautiful holiday, get your calendar out and tell the in-laws they’re on their own this year. 

With 100 artists and artisans who specialize in clothes, paintings and natural body products everyone in the family will be happy. Plus, food drinks will be on hand, and the small admission fee will go towards the Canmore Preschool Society. 

Canmore Caves

Canmore caves are also called Rat’s Nest Cave and there is beauty in this. Canmore Caves is an archaeological site with ancient paintings and beautiful cave formations. As one of the longest caves in Canada, get a guide to explain the historical significance of the caves along with its awesome geology. 

The tour guides will also help you navigate through the cave and  you’ll get dirty too, so bring some quality outdoor wear. For those who love adventure and like to try new things, this is the tour for you!

Ammonite Factory

To take a break from the outdoor activities, this is one of the best things to do in Canmore. 

A visit to the Ammonite Factory is a must as it has produced some of the most lovely pieces of jewelry that transcends time and is of high quality at its finest. Ammolite is a rare gem found in the southeastern part of Alberta that can be seen and even purchased from this  factory. 

This precious gem is renowned for its wide array of colors which makes the jewelry a much more desirable purchase when traveling to Alberta. The factory produces several pieces of jewelry, stones, fossils, and art pieces that interest many tourists in their store for souvenirs and presents. 

Gondola Ride On Sulphur Mountain

The Sulphur Mountain is home to  hot springs on its lower slopes. The gondola goes up to the summit ridge on the eastern slope, which has two restaurants, a gift shop and observation decks. You can see a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains, the Bow Valley and the town of Banff. 

The Gondola car holds four people and it is glass enclosed, offering a 360 degree view throughout the ride. There are various boardwalk trails leading to scenic mountain views in every direction. It doesn’t matter if you visit in spring or winter – all the seasons offer unique scenery and an amazing experience.

Paddle Boarding

With the highest stunning lakes than any country in the world,  Canmore has a wide selection of waterways itself and there are so many water activities that visitors can do in the area.

Paddleboarding is an amazing way to take in the stunning waterways around Canmore and one of the best things to do in Canmore during summer. 

Catch Some Fresh River Trout

Canadian Rockies are home to an abundance of streams and rivers, offering some of the best fishing you can find in North America with the upper Bow River in the park is the best for catch and release.

A couple of the popular spots that are easy to visit are Spray Lake, Bow River, Grotto Mountain, Quarry Lake, and Lake Minnewanka. Ideally you should verify the local regulations in effect as it changes by season.

This is one of the best ways to spend some time in the great outdoors. You don’t need to know the area because there are fishing guide companies to take you to all the best spots. 

Canmore Highland Games

The first Highland Games was once held in Scotland in the 11th Century, and it’s no small coincidence that they were the brainchild of King Malcolm III, whose nickname was ‘Canmore.’ Bringing visitors from around the world each year, the event has been held since 1991 and takes place during the first weekend of September. 

The Highland games were challenging events used to test the physical prowess of local men to determine which of them would make the fittest and suitable royal mail carriers.

To promote Scottish ancestry and heritage, the event includes lots of kilts, bagpipes, and a caber toss too! You can purchase tickets in advance online, sign up to volunteer, and even apply for a vendor spot if you find something to offer. 

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