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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
8. Enjoy Canmore’s indoor playground, Elevation Place; your place for swimming, climbing, or working out.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
See my detailed reviews here:
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
More Winter Fun
- 9 Things to Do in Lake Louise This Winter
- 10 Things to Do in Banff This Winter
- Falling for Winter – Winter Activity Guide for Calgary, Bragg Creek, Canmore, Kananaskis, and Banff
- Cross Country Skiing at the Canmore Nordic Centre
- Where to Snowshoe Near Calgary
- The Best Short Hikes Near Calgary
- More Best Short Hikes Near Calgary (Kananaskis Edition)
- Year Round Fun at Chester Lake
- 4 Shoulder Season Hikes in Banff
- Grotto Canyon Ice Walk
- Keeping Kids Warm in Winter
- Choosing Cross Country Skis (for adults and kids)
- Kids’ Snowshoe Reviews: MSR Tyker, Atlas 17, Snowtrek SS14
- Winter Backpacking Part 1: Keeping Warm