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38 Absolute Best Things to do in Canmore in Winter for 2023-24

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Looking for amazing things to do in Canmore in winter? We got you covered. Canmore is one of our absolute favorite mountain towns in the Canadian Rockies – a place we have been visiting since 2011. It is often overlooked by visitors traveling to Banff, and hence it is less crowded!

Recently we spent 2 full winter months in Canmore to soak in all the wonderful snowy landscapes and attractions that this charming town has to offer and we were blown away.

From cute cafe hopping, to festive lanes and a plethora of winter activities and incredible mountain views – we are sure you will love it here!

38 Canmore Winter Activities: Things to do in Canmore in Winter

Festive spirit in Canmore

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Canmore is a picturesque little town, surrounded by amazing mountain views, tons of outdoor activities, walking trails, restaurants, and wildlife to boot. It has been a local crowd-puller for years because of its close proximity to Calgary and Banff.

Beautiful Canmore in winter
Beautiful Canmore in winter

Plus you will love that it has no park fees, but still welcomes you to breathtaking scenery.

Canmore winter activities include skiing in the local ski resorts and also at the Banff National Park. But there is so much more to winter activities than just outdoor activities.

Views from Policemen's Creek Trail in Canmore in winter
Canmore in winter guide (Policemen’s Creek Trail)

We have included adventure and slow travel Canmore activities for you to choose from.

1. Admire the views of Three Sisters Mountain Range

The Three Sisters is the name given to a range of mountain peaks in Canmore. You will see them following you all across town. These 3 peaks are individually marked for and known as a big, middle, and little sister, hence the name ‘Three Sisters’.

Three Mountains Range View from Bow Valley Loop Trail in Canmore in winter
Three Mountains Range View from Bow Valley Loop Trail

Each peak signifies the following Faith (Big Sister), Charity (Middle Sister), and Hope (Little Sister). 

2. Soak in the festive cheer at the Main Street of Canmore and Bow Valley Trail

Canmore Downtown is an amazing destination to spend your winter vacation in Canada. With mountain views accessible from anywhere in the town, there is not a single dull moment here.

Christmas Decorations in Canmore (Bow Valley Trail)

Just remember to dress warmly, and then head to Main Street, admire the festive cheer, and decorations, go Christmas shopping, or stop for a warm meal!

3. Walk the Policemen’s Creek in winter

The Policeman’s Creek is an easy walking trail located close to the Main Street of Canmore.

Policemen's Creek Trail in early March
Policemen’s Creek Trail in early March with the Three Sisters Mountain Range

There is a wooden boardwalk that runs through the creek, surrounded by mountain views. It connects the main road to a residential block. 

You can access the trail in the winter, just ensure you are wearing winter boots. Dogs are allowed here as long as they are kept on lease.

Policemen's Creek Boardwalk
Policemen’s Creek Boardwalk

The creek is named for the N.W.M.P. barracks that were built close by.

  • Address: Policemen’s Creek Trail
  • Costs: Free

4. Visit Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP) Barracks

Right next to the creek is the Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP) Barracks.

The Barracks were built in 1893 and served until 1929 as the lodgings, office, and jail for the police officers of Canmore. You can visit the museum and site all year round. 

  • Address: 609 8th Street, Canmore, Alberta (free street parking)
  • Costs: By donation

5. Visit Canmore Nordic Provincial Park

You can enjoy world-class cross-country ski trails in Canmore and the nearby Kananaskis Country. Let’s start with the Nordic Centre Provincial Park. 

Nordic Centre Provincial Park.
Nordic Centre Provincial Park

This park is located immediately west of Canmore, and it was the host of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. It is one of few operational Olympic Nordic Skiing centers in the world, and offers a wide variety of recreational activities including cross-country skiing and also hosts regional, national, and international events all year round.

If you are new to skiing you can join a class as well. Ski equipment rentals and passes can be purchased at the Provincial Park. 

Canmore Nordic Center is also the place to be for tobogganing, fat biking, and other winter sports. You can even hang out at the Day Lodge, or just explore the center and learn about the 1988 Olympics at the provincial park. 

Address: 1988 Olympic Way, Canmore, AB

Costs: Varies. There are different levels of fees at the Canmore Nordic Centre. A day pass starts at $15 CAD per person. Passes are required for cross-country skiing and fat biking.  Check the website here

6. Go cross country skiing near Canmore

Ribbon Creek Cross Country Ski Trails is another option. These trails are located about 40 minutes outside of Canmore and it offers 60 km of scenic, maintained cross-country ski trails at the base of Nakiska Ski Area. 

Mount Shark Cross Country Ski Trail is another option and is perfect for advanced skiers. These trails are located about 39 km (24.23 miles) drive from Canmore. 

7. Admire the historic Canmore Engine Bridge

Canmore Engine Bridge is a historic attraction in town. It was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in 1891 and is remarkable for its rare vertical end posts. 

Girl in Canmore Engine Bridge - Things to do in Canmore in winter
Historic Canmore Engine Bridge

In the winter, you will find fewer crowds and that makes it easy to admire the bridge and the mountains. From one end of the bridge, you can see stunning mountain views, and the beautiful Bow River flowing underneath.

  • Address: Spur Line Trail, Canmore, AB T1W 1V9
  • Costs: Free

8. Go ice climbing

Ice climbing is one of the popular winter activities in Canmore. In fact, Canmore and the Canadian Rockies offer some of the best ice climbing in the world. 

Johnston Canyon Hike In Winter
Johnston Canyon Hike In Winter

Here you will find beginner climbing areas, as well as challenging ones. If you are new to ice climbing, you can join Yamnuska Mountain Adventures – they offer a variety of ice climbing classes for all skill levels. 

The ice climbing season in Canmore and the Canadian Rockies is typically from November to the end of April depending on temperatures and elevation. 

9. Join a Grotto Ice Walk Canyon Tour

The Grotto Canyon is located about 10 minutes east of Canmore. In the winter, the Grotto Canyon Creek Trail leads you to a frozen paradise. 

If you are up for a unique activity in Canmore in winter, consider embarking on an ice walk tour with a guide to the Grotto Mountains. These tours are for 4-5 hours and they start from Canmore. 

A guide takes you, trekking on snow-covered surfaces and you can explore icefalls and rock formations along the way, as you arrive at the Grotto Mountains.

This tour is great for those who are new to ice or snow spots as the walk and hike are not difficult. Book here for your Winter Hike tour of the Grotto Mountains

10. Stay in a mountain resort with mountain views

Canmore in winter is a snowy heaven. We particularly love visiting Canmore at the start of winter, and then later during the holiday season – when cabins are all decked up in festive cheer!

Inside Basecamp Resort during Christmas

Try to book an accommodation that has a nice fireplace, large windows, or a private balcony to take in the views of the Three Sisters – you will love this as the mountain ranges look magical when it is covered in snow. 

Many travelers will stay overnight in Canmore, and then drive to Banff National Park every day. 

Christmas decorations in the mountains - Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn
Christmas decorations in the mountains – Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn

Here are some of our favorite resorts and hotels in Canmore for a festive and gorgeous stay:

11. Go on an easy winter hike on the Bow River Loop Trail

Enjoy an easy hike on the Bow River Loop Trail, of 1.2 km (1.2 mile). On this route, you can also cross the pedestrian bridge (by Riverside Park), and soak in Rocky Mountain views.

Admire the snowy landscape - Bow Valley Trail
Admire the snowy landscape – Bow Valley Trail

The Bow River gets its blue turquoise waters from the glacier. You can easily enjoy this trail at all times of the year. However, be mindful of the slippery surfaces in the winter and early spring. 

12. Go ice skating, snowboarding, and more in Canmore

If you are not into skiing? No problem. You can go ice skating, tobogganing, play winter golf, and more in Canmore. 

Canmore Skating Pond is a great spot to go ice skating in the winter. It is free for you to use. However, there are no skate rental options nearby. 

Address: 1100 7 Ave, Canmore, AB T1W 1Z1

The Canmore Recreation Centre has two ice skating rinks, and multipurpose events rooms that are open for private events. At the center, you can also enjoy an outdoor skate park and sports field. You can book activities here

Address: 1900 8 Ave, Canmore, AB T1W 1Y2

Canmore has over 5 ski resorts located close to town, and you can go downhill skiing and snowboarding here. 

13. Join a brewery tour in Canmore

For beer lovers, a brewery tour is a must-do activity in Canmore. The town is home to several award-winning craft breweries, each offering unique and delicious brews that capture the essence of the Canadian Rockies.

Tank 310 Grizzly Paw Brewing Company
Tank 310 Grizzly Paw Brewing Company

Join a guided brewery tour to learn about the brewing process and sample different beers from Grizzly Paw Brewing Company, Banff Ave Brewing Co., or The Canmore Brewing Company. You can also purchase beer to take home as a souvenir.

After a brewery tour, sit down at their in-house restaurant (many offer discounts on meals after a tour) and soak in the views from patios (summer) or large windows (winter). 

Tank 310 Grizzly Paw Brewing Company
Tank 310 Grizzly Paw Brewing Company

With stunning mountain views, friendly locals, and tasty beers, Canmore’s brewery scene is a must-visit for any beer enthusiast. Cheers to a great adventure in the Canadian Rockies!

14. Enjoy amazing coffee at the Eclipse Coffee Roasters

Eclipse Coffee Roasters is a specialty coffee roaster that started operating in 2014 in Canmore. They are popular for providing excellent coffee and outstanding customer service.

Eclipse Coffee Roasters is the perfect place for coffee enthusiasts, offering over 10 different types of beans, which are roasted and brewed on-site to perfection. From light fruity notes to bold chocolatey blends, there is something for everyone.

We absolutely love visiting their Railway Ave location – it’s spacious, airy, and has a lot of tables for you to sit and have conversations or get some work done. During our 2-month long winter trip to Canmore, we spent endless hours here!

Address: 1516 Railway Ave, Canmore, AB T1W 1P6

Read: Best Canmore coffee shops to add to your itinerary

15. Enjoy culinary delights at a Canmore downtown restaurant 

When in Canmore you gotta enjoy its culinary scene!

Canmore Restaurants in winter
Canmore Restaurants in Winter

Downtown Canmore has tons of restaurants, bars, and cafes, and during the winter season they are decorated beautifully, and many also serve a festive seasonal menu.

Our favorites in Canmore are 

  • Aroma Mexican Café – The interior of this café takes you to Mexico. Try authentic Mexican food and Jarritos.
  • Spice Hut – Spice Hut is an East – Indian restaurant. They offer the best chicken dishes in town. Try their delicious Chicken Masala and rice. 
Spice Hut Canmore
Spice Hut Canmore
  • JK Bakery Cafe – JK Bakery was started by a German man, they serve baked items like cakes, cookies, pastries, samosas, sweet pies, and also artisan bread. 
  • The Rocky Mountain Bagel Co – The RM Bagel Co is located at 1306 Bow Valley Trail. If you love bagels, you can find a lot of varieties here.
  • The Wood Lounge – The Wood Lounge and Restaurant offers a great draft selection, beef, and amazing finger food. 

16. Enjoy a hot tub or spa overlooking the mountains

To make your winter trip to Canmore even more exciting, book a hotel with an outdoor pool or hot tub where you can soak in your tired body whilst admiring the mountains. 

Girl at Falcon Crest in Canmore
Hot tub with views at Falcon Crest

There are many options in Canmore. Our favorite one is Falcon Crest. We like that their rooms are spacious, and they have a nice outdoor pool as well. You can check out Falcon Crest Lodge here

17. Or drive to the Kananaskis Nordic Spa for a day of pampering

Treat yourself to a day of relaxation and rejuvenation at the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, located just outside of Canmore. This tranquil spa offers a range of thermal pools, steam and sauna cabins, and various massage and body treatments.

You can also take part in various mindfulness activities such as yoga or forest bathing to fully unwind in this peaceful mountain setting. Note that during our non-media visit, photography was not allowed at the pool. 

18. Admire frozen waterfalls 

Canmore Kananaskis is a wonderful location to chase frozen waterfalls. 

Yes, when the temperatures drop, these waterfalls turn into an ice miracle, with unique formations. As long as you have warm clothing and shoes with cleats you can soak in these Narnia-like marvellous sights. 

These are the places where you can check out these frozen waterfalls (they are located 10-30 minutes from Canmore, but are within the Kananaskis Country),

  • Marmot Falls
  • Elbow Falls in Bragg Creek
  • Sheep Falls
  • Johnston Canyon Upper and Lower Falls
  • O’Shaughnessy Falls

19. Hit snowshoeing trails in Canmore

There are snowshoeing trails for all skill levels available in and around Canmore (Kananaskis Country). You must carry snowshoes with you as there may not be a lot of rental options available nearby – so be prepared ahead of time!

Upper Grassi Lakes Trail Loop is one of the easy snowshoeing trails. This 4.3-kilometer (2.6 miles) is a heavily trafficked loop trail featuring a stunning lake, and this route is accessible year-round. 

Chester Lake is another good option. AllTrails labels it as a moderate level.

Chester Lake Snowshoe Trail is a 7.1-kilometer (4.4-mile) loop trail located in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park near Kananaskis Country.

Wear snowshoes on this route. You can use sturdy winter boots with cleats if you like – but to complete the loop safely ensure you are wearing the proper gear. 

20. Enjoy a scenic drive in Kananaskis Country in the winter

Winters are amazing in Canada, and driving through the mountains is a mesmerizing experience. As you drive from Calgary and reach closer to Canmore, you will be mesmerized by the peaks of the Canadian Rockies. 

Winter scenic drive towards Spray Lakes Provincial Park
Winter scenic drive towards Spray Lakes Provincial Park

One of our memorable winter drives in the mountains was to the Bow Valley Provincial Park, starting from Canmore. Another one was to the base of Ha Ling Peak (Spray Valley Provincial Park) whilst soaking in the views of the town of Canmore from above!

View on our way to Spray Lakes in winter

You can also enjoy your drive from Canmore to Banff National Park, and hit spots like Lake Louise, and back. Lots of options to choose from, just remember to follow winter driving guidelines. 

21. Hit the Canmore Elevation Place

For those seeking warmth and activity, Canmore Elevation Place is the perfect retreat from the cold. This state-of-the-art recreational facility offers a plethora of options for visitors.

Canmore Elevation Place
Canmore Elevation Place

With a fitness center, pool area, climbing gym, and more, it caters to a variety of interests.

Not to mention, their Aquatic Center boasts a stunning 25-person hot tub! Whether you’re looking to join drop-in classes or enroll in a specific program, Elevation Place is an excellent option for families as there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Address: 700 Railway Ave #100, Canmore, AB T1W 1P4

22. Eat at the BLAKE Restaurant Brewhouse and Distillery

BLAKE is an award-winning restaurant, brewery, and distillery located near Canmore Basecamp Resorts. We enjoyed our drinks and dinner at the BLAKE Brewhouse & Distillery during our trips to Canmore.

Love the ambiance at the BLAKE Brewhouse
Love the ambiance at the BLAKE Brewhouse

Their brewery is located on the same floor and complex – offering you one of the freshest beers in town! We recommend ordering a sample and then going big on your beer of choice!

At the distillery area, you will be welcome to an industrial-style dining room to the huge, wrap-around patio and tasting room.

BLAKE Brewhouse & Distillery
BLAKE Brewhouse & Distillery

They also offer a family-friendly dining area and you can also enjoy their patio in the summer months and take in the amazing mountain views while enjoying finger foods and drinks!

Address: 810 Bow Valley Trail, Canmore, AB T1W 1N6

23. Hang out at the Mount Engadine Lodge with afternoon tea and heli ride

Mount Engadine Lodge is located about an hour away from Canmore. It is located in the Spray Valley Provincial Park, and it is a delightful visit in the winter.

You can stay there overnight and enjoy snowshoeing, or a high-speed dog sledding trip, or relax and join in for an afternoon tea. 

For the ultimate winter experience, you can visit the helipad and fly with Alpine Helicopters for an uninterrupted view of the Canadian Rockies, and the snowy paradise. You can book your stay here

24. Explore Canmore’s Art Scene

Canmore is known for its thriving arts community, and there are many ways to explore it during your visit. From galleries and studios to public art installations and events, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the local art scene.

Take a walk around downtown Canmore and discover unique sculptures, murals, and other works of art scattered throughout the streets. You can also visit the Canmore Art Guild Gallery at the Elevation Place to view and purchase pieces from local artists.

25. Go festive shopping in Canmore

Canmore Main Street is home to a plethora of shops and galleries where you can get amazing Canadian gifts and souvenirs to take back home. You will also find discounted winter gear and sales during the festive season.

Shops and Festivities in Canmore

The Shops of Canmore (shopping complex) are another option to consider. With lots of parking spaces, Xmas decorations, and coffee shops you will love this space for its amazing mountain views and convenient access from the main roads.

Shops of Canmore at night

Remember to dress warmly with sturdy boots so that you can hop from one store to another.

26. Enjoy dog sledding tours in Canmore (with Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours)

When in Canmore join a dog sledding tour with Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours. 

They are a Canmore-based company, and these tours range from 2 hours to 2 days. You will be led by their expert guides into the snowy winter wonderland, while you snuggle into the blankets and enjoy the ride

Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours also offer snowshoeing & tobogganing, and a helicopter flight. 

  • Address: 109 – 829 10th Street, Canmore, Alberta
  • Costs: Starts at $200 CAD

27. Attend the Canmore Winter Carnival 

Every February the town of Canmore along with the Department of Tourism Canmore Kananaskis organizes an annual event to celebrate the winter season. 

This event lasts for a couple of days and has free and paid activities. There are ice cravings, log sawing, and eating competitions (BeaverTails – yum!). It is held across the town, in various locations including the Nordic Provincial Centre. 

You can check for the next year’s festival dates here.

28. Visit Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre

Learn about the history and geology of Canmore at the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre. This small but informative museum offers exhibits on the town’s coal mining past, its natural environment, and its unique geology.

You can also take a self-guided tour or participate in one of their interactive programs that explore everything from the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Western expansion to Indigenous history and geology. It’s a great way to gain a deeper understanding of Canmore and its surroundings.

Stop by for a few hours or spend the whole day delving into the fascinating world of geoscience.

The fee is $5 per person

Address: 902B 7 Ave, Canmore, AB T1W 2B6

29. Say hi to Canmore Big Head

While exploring the streets of downtown Canmore, keep an eye out for the town’s unofficial mascot – Canmore Big Head. This towering sculpture is a playful and quirky addition to the town’s landscape. It is located near the Policemen’s Creek Boardwalk Trail. 

Big Head Canmore
Big Head Canmore

Created by Al Henderson, this sculpture was inspired by Canmore’s name, which was taken from a small Scottish town. It means “great head” or “chief” in the Gaelic language. 

Don’t miss out and strike a pose!

30. Join one of the Canmore Cave tours

Experience the beauty of winter from a new perspective by joining one of Canmore Cave tours. These professionally guided cave tours take you deep into the heart of Grotto Mountain, allowing you to explore stunning underground chambers, frozen waterfalls, and ancient fossils.

The local operator – Canmore Cave Tours has been offering tours at Rat’s Nest Cave, since 1992.

Don’t worry about the cold as you’ll be provided with all necessary gear to keep you warm and comfortable throughout the tour.

Choose from beginner-friendly tours (4.50 hours) or advanced adventure excursions (lasting 6+ hours). Prices start at 149.99 CAD + GST and you can book them online here 

31. Spend a day at the Spray Lakes Provincial Park

Spend an action-packed day at the Spray Lakes Provincial Park from Canmore. The park offers year-round recreational opportunities including fishing, camping, hiking, and snowmobiling!

At the Spray Lakes (Ha Ling)
At the Spray Lakes

In the winter months, you can rent a snowmobile and explore hundreds of kilometers of groomed trails or go ice fishing on one of the frozen lakes. In the summer, you can hike through the stunning alpine meadows and take in breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

We can also go on winter hikes, snowshoeing, and ice skating at the Spray Lakes. 

At the Spray Lakes (Ha Ling)
At the Spray Lakes (Ha Ling)

Spray Lakes Fishing Shack Trail is one of the must-do trails (moderate) and is open all year round. This trail is ideal for fishing, hiking, and snowshoeing, and is less trafficked. 

Spray Lakes also has picnic areas, campgrounds, and boat launches making it a great spot for a family outing or a romantic day trip.

Note: A Kananaskis Conservation Pass is required to park your vehicle in Kananaskis and the Bow Valley.

32. Go ice fishing at Spray Lakes  

Spray Lakes Reservoir is located in the Spray Valley Provincial Park. If you love ice fishing, this provincial park is the place to be.

Ice fishing at Spray Lakes
Ice fishing at Spray Lakes

There are quite a few spots where you can enjoy ice fishing including the Spray Lakes day-use areas, Driftwood, and Sparrowhawk.

33. Drive the Bow Valley Parkway 

Take a scenic drive along the Bow Valley Parkway from Banff National Park to Lake Louise. It’s a slower and quieter alternative to the Trans-Canada Highway, offering stunning views of the Canadian Rockies. 

Bow Valley Parkway Drive
Bow Valley Parkway Drive

Stop at popular viewpoints like Johnston Canyon and Castle Mountain for photo ops or take a break at one of the viewpoints along the way. The road is also perfect for cycling in the summer or opportunities for wildlife sightings in the winter.

During our visit in December, we were lucky enough to spot some elk and bighorn sheep from the comfort of our car. It’s definitely a must-do activity while in Canmore offering a unique perspective of the mountain scenery. 

34. Visit Quarry Lake Recreation Area

One of the easy side trips from Canmore is to Quarry Lake Recreation Area. This popular spot offers swimming and picnic areas, and hiking trails surrounded by stunning mountain views.

In the winter, it’s the perfect spot for hikes, snowshoeing, and ice skating on the frozen lake. The recreation area is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for deer, beavers, and various bird species. 

It’s a peaceful and picturesque location that shouldn’t be missed! Located on Spray Lakes Road, the area can be accessed by car, bicycle, or on foot from Canmore.

35. Drifting and ice fishing on the frozen Ghost Lake

Experience the thrill of drifting across a frozen lake and ice fishing at Ghost Lake, located just 30 minutes away from Canmore. This winter activity is perfect for adventure seekers and families alike.

Ghost Lake in winter
Ghost Lake in winter

Although we have not done it ourselves whenever stop at the Ghost Lake resolver we find groups of people out on the frozen lake on a drift boat. This is the place to try your hand at catching some fish through the holes drilled in the ice.

Some of our friends spend days at a staying ice fishing here (while staying in Cochrane overnight). 

Whether ice fishing or you just want to hang out – don’t forget to pack some warm clothes and snacks for your time out on the lake. 

35. Join a tour at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

Get up close and personal with wolfdogs at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, located just outside of Canmore. These beautiful creatures are a mix of wolves and domestic dogs, but they still maintain their wild instincts.

Wolfdogs

The sanctuary offers guided tours where you can learn about the history and behavior of wolfdogs while getting to observe them in their natural habitat. You can also sponsor or adopt a wolfdog and contribute to their care and conservation efforts.

It’s a truly unique experience that will leave you with a greater appreciation for these fascinating animals. Make sure to book your tour in advance as spots fill up quickly!

Address: 263156 Range Rd 53, Cochrane, AB T0M 2E0

36. Take a day trip to Banff 

No trip to Canmore is complete without a visit to the nearby town of Banff. Located just 20 minutes away, Banff offers even more opportunities for outdoor adventures and sightseeing.

Johnston Canyon Banff
Johnston Canyon hike

Visit iconic landmarks like Lake Louise, Johnston Canyon, and the Banff Springs Hotel, or take a dip in the natural hot springs. 

Winter season is perfect to indulge in a spa, and enjoy some retail therapy at the many shops and boutiques or dine at one of the many restaurants offering a mix of international cuisine.

Banff Christmas shops
Banff Christmas Markets

Make sure to stop by the Banff Visitor Centre for information on activities, and seasonal events. There are festive lights and decorations, a Santa Claus parade, Beer festivals, and more.

Note: A Parks Canada Pass is required to enter Banff National Park from Canmore to explore. 

Read: Our Johnston Canyon winter hiking guide

37. Spend a day in Lake Louise 

You can spend an entire day at the picturesque village of Lake Louise, located in Banff National Park.

There are endless opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation for soft adventurers and adrenaline junkies!

Lake Louise Ski Resort
Lake Louise Ski Resort

In the winter, you can hit the slopes at the Lake Louise Ski Resort or try your hand at ice skating on the frozen lake. Snowshoeing and hiking are also possible. 

Don’t forget to stop by the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for a luxurious afternoon tea or a romantic dinner overlooking the lake. It’s an idyllic destination that will make you feel like you’re in a winter wonderland.

38. Take a day trip to Calgary

If you have some extra time, consider taking a day trip to the nearby city of Calgary. Located just an hour and a half away from Canmore, Calgary offers a mix of urban attractions and outdoor adventures. 

We love Calgary’s vibrant downtown core. Here you can visit popular attractions like the Calgary Tower, Glenbow Museum, or the Calgary Zoo, or spend some time exploring the beautiful parks and pathways along the Bow River.

You can also experience the city’s vibrant food and beer scene by taking a guided food tour or visiting local markets.

Whatever you choose to do, Calgary is a great option for a day trip from Canmore. And with its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, you’ll feel right at home in this dynamic city.

Read: Things to do in Calgary in winter

Planning for your trip to Canmore in Winter

Where is Canmore located?

So where is Canmore located exactly? Canmore is located in the province of Alberta. It is about 20 minutes outside of the national park boundaries of Banff

Girl in Canmore Bow Valley trail
Canmore Winter Activities

Because Canmore is not a national park, you do not have to pay any park fees. 

When traveling from overseas, you will arrive at Calgary International Airport – YYC, and then take a bus or drive to Canmore. It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to reach Canmore from Calgary. So drive east on the Trans-Canada Highway 1 to Canmore.

Canmore Winter Temperatures and Months

Canmore’s winter season kicks in around mid-November and lasts until February. Some years it has been cold until early March, and you can see snow as you drive from Edmonton or Calgary to Canmore. 

View of the Ha Ling Peak in winter
View of the Ha Ling Peak in winter

It is important to keep in mind that it is extremely cold in the winter months. Here are the average temperatures

  • November: 1 degree C (34 F) High/ – 8 degrees C (18 F) Low
  • December:  – 4 degree C (26 F) High/ – 13 degree C (8 F) Low
  • January:  – 4 degree C (26 F) High/ – 13 degree C (8 F) Low
  • February: 0 degrees C (33 F) High/ – 11 degrees C (12 F) Low
  • March: 5 degrees C (40 F) High/ – 7 degrees C (19 F) Low

In the months of December and January, it is very cold at – 4 degrees Celsius and a low of – 13 degrees Celsius. During this time, it is perfect for skiing, snowshoeing, and other winter activities.

General travel tips

When you’re planning a trip to Canmore in the winter, make sure to pack warm layers and proper gear for outdoor activities. As you can see temperatures can drop below freezing, so be prepared with insulated jackets, gloves, hats, and boots. 

Also, check the weather forecast beforehand and plan your activities accordingly. While skiing and snowboarding are popular winter sports in Canmore, there are also opportunities for snowshoeing, ice skating, and sleigh rides.

Don’t forget to take breaks and warm up with a hot chocolate or coffee at one of the many cafes and restaurants in town. And if you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the mesmerizing Northern Lights dancing across the night sky.

Driving in winter in Canmore

The best way to explore Canmore and the Canadian Rockies is by car. You can easily get a car rental from Calgary or Edmonton International Airport and drive to Canmore. 

Driving in Canmore in winter, girl in a car with mountains
Driving in Canmore – Kananaskis Country

Remember to get your valid driver’s license and insurance. 

Winters in Canada are a little challenging, especially when driving in the snow. We have lived in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario and we can tell you if you are new to winter driving – take it slow.

In winter you have to be mindful of the cold temperatures, blowing snow, wind chill, low visibility, etc.

Here are some quick tips to help you prepare,

  • The number one tip is to drive slowly. Driving slow will keep you safe on slippery roads when there is blowing snow – low visibility, or when making a turn
  • Add extra travel time to your road trips. Winter travel can cause delays in arriving at your desired destination, so keep that in mind when you plan 
  • Pay attention to local news alerts, road closures, diversions, avalanche warnings, etc. Follow these guidelines to stay safe
  • Try to complete the major portion of your trip during the day, when there is enough sunlight. Evenings fall early at around 05:00 pm, and it is completely dark by 6:00 pm in the winters
  • Keep your gas tank full (in case you are stranded)
  • Also keep a warm jacket, scarf, and non-perishable snacks inside the car
  • Ensure you have an emergency car kit

Remember to check the local weather and road conditions before heading out, and always dress warmly with suitable footwear to fully enjoy all that Canmore has to offer. 

We hope this post was useful in helping you plan your winter trip to Canmore. Canmore is one of our favorites, and we are sure you will love it there! 

Whether it’s trying out new winter activities or discovering hidden gems, Canmore will never cease to amaze you with its beauty and charm. 

Happy travels! 

Click to read our Canada road trip planning guide

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Things to do in Canmore in winter guide
Things to do in Canmore in winter guide

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