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Fun Things to Do in Canmore Alberta

Published on Fri, March 08, 2024 by Devin Stephens


If you have an adventurous spirit and love hiking mountainsides and taking in the fresh air, then your next destination should be Canmore, Alberta. Whether you are local or a tourist, Canmore will take you in and show you some of Alberta’s most beautiful sights.

This small mountainside town sits on the edge of Banff National Park, providing visitors with various outdoor and indoor activities such as hiking, cross-country skiing, ice skating, caving, whitewater rafting, paddleboarding, dog sledding, and mountain biking. Continue reading to learn more about top activities in Canmore, Alberta.


When it comes to exploration, there are multiple hikes and trails that you can follow to gaze upon the beautiful mountainside near and around Canmore. But, in our opinion, there are 3 hikes that you cannot miss out on.

Grotto Canyon Hike

We will start things off with potentially the easiest trail of the three: Grotto Canyon. Situated 15 minutes outside Canmore, Grotto Canyon has an amazing trail that you can explore alone or book a tour with a guide.

While the canyon is beautiful all year round, it is best if you visit during the winter season. During the coldest months, some of the canyon roads will be frozen, so you will need ice cleats to complete the hike. Watch your step!

During the hike, you will also spot a waterfall, which partially freezes during the winter. In the summertime, if you aren't up for a hike, Grotto Mountain Lake provides a spot for all fishing enthusiasts, who own the right license, of course.

Best Outdoor Places To Visit in Canmore Alberta

Grassi Lakes Hike

Next up on our list is the hike to Grassi Lakes. Out of the numerous activities that Canmore has to offer, we think that the hike to Grassi Lakes is the main attraction. It is a five-minute car ride to the start of the trail, and for most people, the 2.5-mile hike will take around 2 hours.

While there is the normal trail up to the lakes, if you are up for a challenge, along the trail, you will see a sign that directs you to a more difficult route to the lakes. This will involve steeper trails and climbing some stairs near a waterfall, but the views make the effort worthwhile.

Because the Grassi Lakes hike is frequented mostly during the summer, be sure to get up bright and early if you want to avoid the flocks of eager tourists. Once you arrive at the lakes, you cannot resist getting into the crystal clear water, so make sure you bring your swimsuit. Before you embark on one of the best hikes, you will need a Kananaskis Conservation Pass to visit the Grassi Lakes. This pass can easily be bought online, and you can either get a CAD$15 daily or a CAD$90 yearly pass.

Ha Ling Peak Hike

Last but not least on our list is the Ha Ling Peak Hike. For the more experienced hikers, climbing Ha Ling Peak is the more challenging hike in the Canmore area. This 4.8-mile hike can take up to 3 hours to complete, consisting of two halves.

You will go through a forest for most of the first half of the trail and do a bit of rock climbing in the second half to get to the peak. The way back is through the same trail, but it will be twice as quick compared to summiting the peak. Mountain boots and hiking poles will come in handy, especially on a windy day.

Ice Skating

Ice skating is another recommended activity for Canmore visitors, both indoors and outdoors. Canmore has a couple of ice skating arenas that you can visit. Alex Kaleta Rink and Thelma Crowe Rink, and the two NHL-size rinks on which you can book ice skating sessions.

Keep in mind that these two arenas are used for Junior A league hockey, figure skating, speed skating, and adult recreational hockey. This means they will be packed and booked most of the time during the regular season, anywhere from October to March.

On the other hand, if you cannot get a slot in the indoor ice skating rinks, you can always activate your wild side and head to some of the frozen lakes across Canmore. The likes of Lake Louise, Lake Gap, and the Vermilion Lakes all freeze solid by the end of December, giving you a chance to ice skate.

Even though Lake Louise is maintained by the town, always make sure the ice is thick enough before going all in. There are multiple shops in town where you can rent ice skates if you don’t have a pair of your own.

Cross-Country Skiing

During the summer, the Canmore Nordic Center is the perfect place for mountain biking and hiking, but in winter, this place turns into one of the best cross-country skiing places in Canada. The center was built back in 1998 to host cross-country skiing events for the Winter Olympics.

Today, you can either head over for cross-country skiing by yourself or even take some lessons provided by the center. The daily pass is around CAD$15, and if you don’t bring your own skis, you can always rent some from the center. Here is the essential gear you must possess if you want to dive into cross-country skiing:

  • Skis
  • Boots
  • Poles
  • Proper wardrobe

Last but not least, this is a demanding outdoor sport, which can be quite challenging for beginners. So our advice is to prepare yourself with some basic level of fitness, like jogging and cycling. Nordic walking and inline skating involve similar movement to cross-country skiing, so this would be best to consider in your exercise routine.

Caving and Winter Activities in Canmore Alberta


For extreme adventurers, there are a few caves located outside of Canmore which you can explore. To embark on cave exploration, you need to book a tour because the caves are closed to the public, and you are forbidden to go alone.

Out of the two cave tours, the Canmore Caving Adventure Tour and the Canmore Explorer Tour, we recommend taking the former. While it might be a little more expensive, you will get about 6 hours of breathtaking experience.

You will get to rappel down the cave, squeeze through narrow cracks, and crawl on the floor to get to the main part of the cave, where you will see the Grotto – a pool of clear water. While on the tour, you will get the essential gear for caving, including helmets and climbing gear. Be sure to dress appropriately, including taking some extra clothes for the lower temperatures down the caves.


In the province of Alberta, all forms of iGaming have been legalized and regulated by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Commission. In your leisure time, if you can spare any, you can always try out your luck at some of the best casino venues in and near Canmore, Alberta. Even though Stoney Nakoda Resort is the only available land-based casino in Canmore, there are several other top-rated casinos nearby, as recommended by TestCasinoEnLigne. The choice is immense, featuring some premium casino establishments such as Greay Eagle Resorts, River Cree Resorts, Grand Villa Casino, and Pure Casino Calgary. The best part is that many of these venues are resorts, and you can enjoy other services as well, such as dining, spas, fitness centers, and fantastic hotel accommodations.

Online Casinos in Canmore Alberta

Also, you should consider the possibility of online casinos if your goal is to spend more time outdoors. Currently, the only licensed operator that you can visit, register, and play is Play Alberta. Having said that, there are also no set restrictions for Alberta residents to visit off-shore platforms. There are plenty of operators that accept Alberta players, offering a wide range of bonuses, reliable payment methods, and casino games. Among the gaming options, you will find slots, RNG table games, video poker, live dealer games, and craps.

Dog Sledding

Spray Provincial Park is located on the outskirts of Canmore. There, you will be able to book and go on a couple of dog sledding tours. Our top recommendation is booking a Howling Dog tour, which is not only the best but also the cheapest. On this 2-hour tour, you will be going on a 6-mile ride across a trail, taking in all of the winter wonderland the outskirts of Canmore can offer.


For summertime visitors and tourists, paddleboarding is an amazing activity to get in the wager and explore various lakes and rivers. One of the more popular spots you can go to is the Rundle Forebay Reservoir, where you can bring your paddleboard or rent one out near the beach.

There is even a paddleboard tour you can book for around CAD$160, which will take you down the Bow River and the Kananaskis River. During the tour, you can gaze upon the natural views seeing Ha Ling Peak, the Three Sister Mountain range, and the Randle Mountains. Dog Sledding, Paddleboarding and Canmore Museum

Canmore Museum

For when the weather is too harsh, or you want to stay partially indoors, visiting the Canmore Museum can be a great treat. For only CAD$5, you will get to see the history of Canmore, with over 10,000 artifacts testifying to the province’s abundant history.

Check out their website for exclusive events and part-time rotating exhibits, which can enhance the experience.

Canmore Alberta Sky View


Canmore offers a plethora of winter and summer activities for all types of adventurers. As we mentioned earlier, before you book your stay in some of the local hotels or hostels, make sure to get a Kananaskis Conservation Pass, which is essential if you want to head for most of the hikes and be able to park in pretty much any of the available parking lots.

Once there, carefully plan out your activities, meaning check tour schedules, availability, and prices. Always be on time for any tour booked, and get your camera ready for some of the best views you will ever see.