Post Summary: 10 Amazing Things To Do In Canmore In Winter
Alright, you’ve seen all the bucket-list worthy winter adventures in Banff, and maybe you’ve done them all!
Or maybe you’re simply looking for a Canadian vacation with fewer crowds, lesser-known winter destinations, and a little bit more adventure.
Regardless of your reason, let us introduce you to Banff’s neighbor, Canmore! Canmore in winter offers some of the most magical seasonal activities around. We’d even argue that we think they have some of the best snowshoe trails and aerial photography opportunities in the entire Bow Valley!
From dog sledding to canyon exploring, we’re sharing our top tips for incredible things to do in Canmore in winter, including the best outdoor activities and awesome places to stay!
How To Reach Canmore In Winter
The easiest way to get to Canmore, Alberta is by flying into Calgary International Airport (YYC).
From there, you can pick up a rental car, and take the 1-hour 15-minute drive east on the Trans-Canada Highway 1 to Canmore.
Things To Remember About Driving In Canada In Winter
Just like any other winter destination, snow and ice on the road can be an added challenge to cold-weather traveling. In your rental car, make sure it has the proper snow gear like an ice scraper, brush, and suitable snow tires.
Want more tips on driving in the snow? Read our Winter Car Emergency Kit post for winter travel tips and more gear you should have on hand.
10 Adventurous Things To Do In Canmore In Winter
Skate on Canmore’s Downtown Pond
Get ready for a game of pickup pond hockey because chances are, a game is going on at this very moment in Canmore!
Located on the northwest corner of 7th Avenue and Mallard Alley, this outdoor ice rink in Canmore is just two blocks away from Main Street, making it a convenient and easy way to get outside this winter season.
Similar to ice skating on Lake Louise, you’ll get amazing views, but this time of the Three Sisters Mountain Range!
You can easily rent skates and hockey sticks from the nearby Gear Up Mountain Sports – day rentals are just $14 CAD!
Amenities on-site include bathrooms, open gazebo with benches, a small parking lot, and a lighted area for use until 10:00 pm!
Other Ice Ricks Around Canmore:
- Cougar Creek Boarded Ice Rink
- Rundle Crescent Ice Surface
- Peaks Park Ice Surface
- Larch Outdoor Ice Rink
Take A Grotto Canyon Ice Walk Tour
Similar to the Johnston Canyon Ice Walk in Banff National Park, the Grotto Canyon ice walk follows a frozen creek bed deep between tall canyon walls to get up close to frozen waterfalls, ice climbing opportunities, and even ancient pictographs! It’s one of the coolest things to do in Canmore in winter, and only open a few months of the year!
This tour of Grotto Canyon takes around 4 hours, with transportation to and from the Grotto Canyon trailhead. You will receive hot chocolate, maple cookies, and even make friends along the way!
Make sure to wear your ice cleats, dress *very* warmly, and get ready for a unique experience only available in Canmore in winter!
Experience Canmore In Winter With Their Annual Winter Carnival
Every year, Tourism Canmore Kananaskis hosts the Canmore Winter Carnival that celebrates the area’s unique winter lifestyle, all-inclusive with downtown dog sled races, ice sculpture contests, and plenty of indoor activities as well.
If you’re looking for unique things to do in Canmore in winter, you should definitely plan your trip around the carnival. You will be able to meet locals, check out the festival, and get a taste of what life is like in this fun Canadian Rockies town.
**The latest dates for the Canmore Winter Carnival are February 28th – March 1st, 2020.
Love Winter Carnivals? Check Out The Ice Sculpture In McCall, Idaho in Winter during theirs!
Stay The Night At The Stoneridge Mountain Resort
You’re on vacation, so indulge yourself with a one-of-a-kind resort in Canmore. The Stoneridge Mountain Resort comes with magnificent accommodations – everything from a place for two to a complete three-bedroom suite for the entire family.
With amenities like a gorgeous outdoor hot tub and pool, mountain views from the deck, and the proximity to Downtown Canmore, you can’t get any better than this!
Book Your Stay at the Stoneridge Mountain Resort Here.
Take Photos Of The Three Sisters Mountain And Other Kananaskis Locations
When in Canmore, you can find an incredible mountain view from pretty much any part of town! Whether it’s photographing the gorgeous Three Sisters, or finding a lake reflection nearby, there are amazing photography spots in Canmore to explore in the wintertime.
Here are Our Top Photography Spots In Canmore, Alberta:
- Wedge Pond (Views of Mt Kidd)
- East End of Rundle + Ha Ling Peak (Epic climb with dramatic mountain views)
- Spray Lake Reservoir
- The Three Sisters (best perspective is from Policeman Creek)
- Elbow Lake
Take One Of Canmore’s Many Snowshoeing Trails
With beautiful mountains like the Three Sisters, there are plenty of chances to get outside and enjoy the surrounding forest! If you thought the best hikes in Canmore were only reserved for the summer season, think again!
One of our favorite winter activities in Canmore is taking their many snowshoeing trails around town. You can also try some of their cross-country skiing trails (also called Nordic Skiing) for another way to get out in Canmore in winter.
Don’t have your own snowshoes? Rent some from these reputable sports rental places in Canmore:
See Canmore From The Sky With Alpine Helicopters
Ever wonder what the Bow Valley looks like from a bird’s-eye view? You can experience it with Alpine Helicopter Tours. This is a unique service that takes visitors on 15, 30, or 60-minute tours around some of Canmore’s most beautiful mountains and valleys.
Not only do they do scenic tours, but they provide heli-skiing, backcountry rescues, wildlife management, and commercial endeavors. If you’re looking for a special winter activity to do in Canmore, you can’t get any better than this!
Location: Alpine Helicopters- Canmore Base | 91 Bow Valley Trail, Canmore, AB Canada
Take A Ride With Snowy Owl Dog Sled Tours
One of the most fun things to do in Canmore in winter is to get outside in the crisp air and enjoy some cute pups! Snowy Owl Dog Sled Tours is based in downtown Canmore, where you gear up, meet your group, and then drive up to the mountains for some fun on the trails.
The guides will introduce you to your dog team, give you a pep talk of what to expect, and even give you a chance to ‘drive’ the sled!
The dogs have a ton of fun doing this, and you get plenty of chances to snuggle and pet the pups along the way.
Ice Climbing in Canmore
Did you know that Canmore, Alberta hosts some of the best ice climbing locations in the world? The WORLD!
These world-class mountain areas begin their season around November and can last all the way until April, weather permitting.
Some frozen waterfall locations are as near as a quick 5-minute drive from downtown, which makes this a great way to try new activities in Canmore during winter.
If you’re curious about this epic winter activity in Canmore, we suggest checking out Yamnuska Mountain Adventures and their many ice climbing classes. They have everything from beginner courses to advanced multi-pitch classes, so you can choose based on your skill level!
Love Ice Climbing? Try Your Hand Climbing Frozen Waterfalls in Johnston Canyon in Winter!
Trivia At Tavern 1883
Need a cozy night in? Gather your friends and put your collective knowledge to the test! Every Wednesday, Tavern 1883 hosts trivia night, with happy hour drinks and food starting at 9:00 pm to closing time.
This is an excellent way to experience fun things to do in Canmore in winter in a cozier setting, with beer, friends, and lots of fun questions! Put your collective knowledge to the test, stay warm, and enjoy a few drinks.