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14 Things to Do in Canmore This Winter

by Karen Ung

Canmore is a winter lover’s paradise with world class cross country skiing, dogsledding, fatbiking and more at its doorstep.Whether you go for the day, weekend, or extended stay, you will find plenty of adventurous activities to suit your adrenaline level. Winter is also a great time for festivals! Here are 14 fun things to do in Canmore this winter.

Fatbiking at Canmore Nordic Centre


Grassi Lakes, Canmore


Climbing Gym at Elevation Place, Canmore


Snowy Owl Dogsledding

1. Do The (Coolest) Ice Walk: Grotto Canyon. Walk the frozen creekbed to ice falls and 500+ year old pictographs. Microspikes required.

grotto canyon
Ice Falls at Grotto Canyon

2. Explore the Bow Valley Bunker. A short 1.9 km hike takes you to large caverns built during the Cold War. Bring a headlamp – the caverns are 50 feet long! Note that the caverns are on an (infrequent) avalanche path, so do NOT do this hike if there’s snow on the mountain.

Bow Valley Bunker, Kananaskis
Looking out from Bow Valley Bunker, Kananaskis

3. Spel-what? If the Bow Valley Bunker has you wanting to do more cave exploring (spelunking), take an adventure tour of Rat’s Nest Cave with Canmore Cave Tours. The caves are a great place to visit when it’s cold out as the temperature stays 5 degrees C year round! I loved rappelling down into a large, dark cavern and peering up at stalactites.

Canmore CaCanmore Cave Tours Rat's Nest Caveve Tours
The Grotto in Rat’s Nest Cave | Image credit: Adam Walker

4. Cross Country Ski with Pros at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Many national team athletes train at this world class facility just minutes from downtown Canmore. Pristine grooming and gorgeous views guarantee a great day no matter your experience level. Note: Trail fees in effect 9 am – 5 pm. Rentals available onsite from Trail Sports

Cross country skiing at Canmore Nordic Centre
Cross country skiing at Canmore Nordic Centre

5. I’m not fat, I’m snowbiking. Whatever you choose to call it, fatbiking is an amazing way to stay active in winter! Rent a fatbike at Trail Sports (Canmore Nordic Centre) or Rebound Cycle, or join a Ladies’ Fatbiking Event hosted by Shred Sisters.  Quarry Lake Park and Canmore Nordic Centre have beginner-friendly trails.

fatbiking-canmore-nordic-centre
Fatbiking at Canmore Nordic Centre

6. Ice Skate at The Pond (7th Ave & Mallard Alley). This 150m x 60 m well-maintained ice rink in downtown Canmore boasts beautiful views of the Three Sisters, has a heated gazebo, and is lit up until 10 pm.

Ice skating at The Pond, Canmore
Ice skating at The Pond, Canmore

7. Dashing through the snow in a 6-dog open sleigh! Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours‘ powder hounds will take you on an adventure like no other. After an amazing ride, enjoy some treats around the fire and get to know your sled dogs.

Meeting Snowy Owl's friendly sled dogs
Meeting Snowy Owl’s friendly sled dogs

8. Enjoy Canmore’s indoor playground, Elevation Place; your place for swimming, climbing, or working out.

Climbing Gym at Elevation Place, Canmore
Climbing Gym at Elevation Place, Canmore

9. Canmore Museum & Geoscience Centre: Learn about Canmore’s history and geology while the kids do a scavenger hunt to earn a prize. Read more about our experience in this story: Exploring Canmore Museum & Geoscience Centre.

Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre
Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre

10. Hike to Grassi Lakes: The “Easy” trail (sports stroller friendly) is open year round! For more information, read our story: Hiking Grassi Lakes, Canmore. Microspikes recommended.

grassi lakes canmore
Grassi Lakes, Canmore

11. Rotary Festival of Trees: This annual festival includes tree viewing (free); kids’ crafts, games, activities, and movie (free but registration required); beer/whiskey and wine tasting ($); Breakfast with Santa ($); and Seniors’ Christmas Tea & Reception (free but registration required). Monies raised support the Canmore Rotary Club. See the December 6-December 31, 2019 schedule and purchase tickets here. 

12. Last Minute Christmas Market: December 14, 2019 at Elevation Place. Pick up local honey, art, pottery and jewelry – just in time for Christmas! Details here.

13. New Year’s Eve Party on The Pond & Fireworks at Millennium:

  • Party at the Pond (7th Ave & Mallard Alley) – December 31, 2019 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm.
  • Pyrotechnics show – 8:00 pm at The Pond (7th Ave and Mallard Alley)
  • Midnight fireworks at Millennium Park (1st St and 5th Ave)

14. Canmore Winter Carnival: February 28- March 1, 2020. Details here. “Enjoy ice carving competitions, kids’ ice carving, skating parties, street hockey, log sawing competitions, the always entertaining pooch parade, art crawls and the popular Snowy Owl Kid N’ Mutt races.”

Where to Stay

For luxurious, spacious condos, stay at Mystic Springs Chalets & Hot Pools, Solara Resort & Spa, or Grande Rockies Resort.

See my detailed reviews here:

Grande Rockies Resort, Canmore
Grande Rockies Resort, Canmore

Where to Eat

Family-Friendly Dining: Harvest Cafe (breakfast), Summit Cafe (breakfast), Rocky Mountain Bagel (breakfast or lunch), Iron Goat Pub & Grill (lunch or dinner), Rocky Mountain Flatbread (dinner), Habitat Restaurant & Grill, Blake

Best Coffee: Mountain Mercato

Date Night: TapasHabitat Restaurant & Grill

Rocky Mountain Flatbread, Canmore
Rocky Mountain Flatbread, Canmore

14 fun things to do in Canmore this winter

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