8 Stunning Places to Paddle in Canmore and Kananaskis | Canmore Kananaskis

8 Stunning Places to Paddle in Canmore and Kananaskis

  • Attractions & Sightseeing
  • Canoeing, Rafting, and Paddleboarding
  • Guided Tours
  • Spring, Summer & Fall
  • Tourism Canmore Kananaskis - May 29, 2024

Are you ready to explore the pristine waters of Canmore and Kananaskis? Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a first-timer, these breathtaking locations offer unforgettable experiences. Grab your paddle, life jacket, and sense of adventure, and check out these eight stunning locations to paddle this summer.

#1 Quarry Lake

Quarry Lake is one of the most beloved spots in Canmore for both visitors and residents to dip their toes in our glacier-fed water. Conveniently accessible by Roam Transit on Route 12, Quarry Lake is a quick jaunt from downtown Canmore and boasts epic views of Lawrence Grassi and Rundle Mountain. For a relaxing paddle, Bow Valley SUP has you covered with top-quality inflatable stand-up paddleboards for rent. New to paddleboarding? No worries – they offer SUP lessons too!

#2 Bow River

The mighty Bow River calls with its gentle currents and captivating scenery. For a leisurely river float through Canmore, Canmore Raft Tours offers a guided experience, allowing you to relax and take in the picturesque scenery. Slightly more hands-on, learn the basic strokes of canoeing with Canmore Inflatable Canoe. With instruction from their guides, you’ll be floating down the Bow River in no time through the majestic Canadian Rockies. For a more invigorating adventure, Bow Valley SUP provides river SUP lessons that cater to all skill levels. You’ll gain confidence paddling along the Bow River while enjoying the epic mountain vistas.

#3 Barrier Lake

Barrier Lake is a favourite destination for paddling in Kananaskis Country, surrounded by craggy peaks and alpine forests. Kananaskis Outfitters is conveniently located on-site, offering rentals, lessons, and guided tours. For a unique adventure, their Big Canoe Tour accommodates larger groups for a memorable outing on the water.

#4 Gap Lake

Take the scenic route along Highway 1A and discover Gap Lake, a serene haven for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding in the Rocky Mountains. This location is perfect for packing a picnic lunch and spending the day connecting with nature.

#5 Spray Lakes

With its expansive waters and rugged surroundings, Spray Lakes in Kananaskis Country offers a more adventurous paddling experience. While the lake can get windy and make paddleboarding challenging, it is well-suited for canoes and kayaks. As you paddle through Spray Lakes, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests. It’s a perfect location for those who love to explore and embrace the raw, untamed beauty of nature.

#6 Goat Pond

Goat Pond is located just before Spray Lakes and offers a sanctuary away from the crowds. Here, the wind may not be as harsh, so a paddleboard is a viable option. Surrounded by lush forests and often frequented by wildlife, Goat Pond is a hidden oasis where you can enjoy the tranquility of nature undisturbed.

#7 Lower and Upper Kananaskis Lakes

Located in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Lower Kananaskis Lake and Upper Kananaskis Lake are prime locations to take up any paddle-based activity. The blue waters are surrounded by the mountains of K-Country, providing a dramatic backdrop. Access to the Kananaskis Lakes is open from June 1 onwards.

#8 Kananaskis River

For thrill-seekers, river surfing lessons on the Kananaskis River are a must-try. Book a lesson with Bow Valley SUP and challenge yourself to learn something new in an adrenaline-packed adventure.

Where to rent gear

Local outfitters like WonderGo Adventures, Bow Valley SUP, Green Tongue Adventures, and Kananaskis Outfitters provide a range of rental options ensuring you have the right gear and safety equipment for your journey.

Be prepared and think sustainably

When using personal boats, paddleboards and lifejackets, help prevent the inadvertent spread of invasive aquatic species. Learn how to protect our waterways by cleaning and caring for your equipment properly. Be sure to read our expert safety tips to ensure you also protect yourself on your next water adventure.

In Canmore and Kananaskis, our natural ecosystems and stunning landscapes are the heart and soul of our local mountain culture. Before your visit, we encourage you to sign the Pledge to the Peaks, committing to mindful exploration to ensure the safety of all inhabitants of the region and preserve the beauty of our unfiltered wilderness for generations to come.