Add a little wonder to your winter in Canmore and Kananaskis and experience the rugged serenity of the snow-covered mountains. Immerse yourself in the Canadian Rockies lifestyle with these must-do winter activities that will make you feel like a local and leave you with lasting memories.
First Stop: Communitea Café
Known for its natural, healthy fare, Communitea Cafe’s inviting ambiance will instantly make you feel welcomed into the community of Canmore. The vibrant atmosphere perfectly complements the bright colours found on your plate. Pair your meal with a tasty beverage to warm you up as you start fueling for your Canmore and Kananaskis adventure.
Get Cozy at Creekside Villa
Creekside Villa is one of Canmore’s best-kept secrets. The luxurious boutique property overlooks the valley and the charming, alpine-inspired décor make you feel as if you’ve entered your own mountain oasis. Included is a complimentary continental breakfast with fresh, locally baked goods.
Stargaze amongst the rock and ice in Grotto Canyon
Once you’ve settled into your cozy mountain lodge, it’s time to gear up for your guided evening ice walk in Grotto Canyon with Canadian Rockies Experience. You will be a VIP from start to finish, with transportation included directly from your accommodations, access to all the equipment you need, and insider knowledge of the ancient canyon from someone who calls these mountains home. Take this unique opportunity to witness the serene stillness of the mountains under the starlight and appreciate the quiet, untamed wilderness.
Shred some powder at Nakiska Ski Resort
It’s time to hit the slopes! Whether you’re new to skiing and snowboarding or are a well-seasoned expert, there’s space for everyone at Nakiska Ski Resort. Over 1000 acres of skiable terrain includes perfect groomers for beginners, big mountain terrain for the daredevils, park features for the trickster and glades for those who want to enjoy getting lost in the trees. As the closest mountain to Calgary, there is no better place to embrace the crisp winter air surrounded by the beauty of Kananaskis Country.
Après ski at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.
After a day of adventure, nothing hits the spot quite like a handcrafted pizza in a traditional wood-fired oven from Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Made from local and organic ingredients, their flatbreads put a decadent spin on your favourite flavours, making it the ultimate place to treat yourself to a tasty meal.
Warm up with Eclipse
Start your day off with the bright, balanced, and bold flavours of Eclipse Coffee. A coffee-lover’s paradise, locally-owned Eclipse carries a variety of premium beans roasted right here in town. Drop by the new roastery on Railway Avenue or either of their other two locations in our picturesque destination for a quality brew. It will only take a sip before you will want your own coffee to take home – when you do, the knowledgeable staff can provide personalized recommendations to help you hand-select your next favourite roast.
Immerse yourself in downtown Canmore
With coffee in hand, it’s time to explore the quaintness of downtown Canmore. Need some extra layers? Stop by Liberty Clothing for a warm, knitted hat or Shoes t’ Boot for a pair of comfortable winter boots. For art enthusiasts, local galleries like Artists of Elk Run and Avens Gallery are guaranteed to impress with their ever-changing pieces that can always catch the eye. If you’re still looking for that keepsake to bring home, make sure to drop by Alberta’s Own Marketplace and Mountain Mercantile to remember your trip.
Explore Canmore’s winter amenities
A classic Canadian pastime, ice skating is the perfect activity to get you moving in the frosty mountain air. The outdoor pond on 7th Avenue at Mallard Alley is a favourite of the five frozen rinks around town. During Christmas time you might even catch a glimpse of Santa taking a break from his holiday duties. If you don’t have your own skates, you can rent a pair from Gear Up Sports and head over for an afternoon of fun.
Go from gliding on ice to dunking in warm water at Elevation Place, an inviting community space for all to enjoy. You can take a relaxing dip in the indoor pool or hot tub, reach new heights on the climbing walls, or get your blood pumping on the treadmill. While you’re here, why not take a peek in the gallery or grab a book from the public library?
Experience the nightlife in Canmore
Get a taste of the best beer and spirits in the Bow Valley with Canmore Brewery and Distillery Tours. On Fridays and Saturdays from 2 to 6 p.m., experience Canmore’s award-winning craft beers and spirits with tastings and stories shared by your guide. Tours are led by local experts and include transportation, delicious food pairings, and a gift card to the Iron Goat Pub. Bottoms up!
Book a mystical dog sledding tour
Always a bucket list item, you will want to participate in a morning of magic dog sledding through Kananaskis Country. Get to know the friendly teams of sled dogs at Howling Dog Tours or Mad Dogs and Englishmen Expeditions before being whisked away on a thrilling, authentic adventure you will never forget. Bundled up in a cozy sled, your new furry friends will take you through the snow-covered trails with lots of chances for epic photos along the way.
Discover new ways to play in the Canadian winter
The Canmore Nordic Centre is the heart of all things winter. Developed for the 1988 Winter Olympic events, the Nordic Centre remains a world-class facility that hosts global events annually. But world-class athletes aren’t the only ones using the trails; over 65 km (37 mi) of groomed terrain beckon cross-country skiers of all ages and skill levels. Trail Sports (located at the Centre) offers ski rentals and lessons for those looking for an introductory run or to improve their skills.
If you prefer wheels over planks, fat biking is another classic Canadian winter activity that is rapidly gaining popularity. Ultra-wide winter tires, hand warmers, and sturdy frames are some of the signature features of a fat bike – a relatively new cycling trend that has quickly become a must-try winter sport. Rent a fat bike from Rebound Cycle for easy access to the multi-use trails around the town. Looking for an evening experience? Many trails are fully lit in the evening so you can make the most of your experience.
Indulge at Iron Goat Pub
Good food and great service await at The Iron Goat Pub. With floor-to-ceiling windows, you’re guaranteed to be surrounded by views of the vast mountain ranges that encircle Canmore. Whether you’re dining with family, friends, or solo, prepare to be impressed by the local flavours and variety of menu options – from game meats to vegan options, there is something for everyone. Don’t forget to use your gift card from last night’s brewery tour!
Snuggle in a horse-drawn sleigh
You simply can’t leave the Rocky Mountains without enjoying an old-fashioned sleigh ride. BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket!) and snuggle up while the horse-drawn sleigh from Boundary Ranch swiftly carries you along the snow-covered trails. The serene winter oasis will leave you feeling awe-struck. Optional s’mores over a crackling bonfire at the end of your ride are guaranteed to complete your winter wonderland experience.
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