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 of our top picks for winter fun in Canmore.
- Do The (Coolest) Ice Walk: Grotto Canyon. Walk the frozen creekbed to ice falls and 500 year old pictographs. Microspikes or crampons required.
Grotto Canyon Ice Walk
- 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 avalanche slope, so do NOT do this hike if there’s snow on the mountain.
Bow Valley Bunker
- 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.
Rat’s Nest Cave
Image Credit: Canmore Cave Tours
- 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.
Canmore Nordic Centre
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
Cuddles with the cute sled dogs
- Enjoy Canmore’s indoor playground, Elevation Place; your place for swimming, climbing, or working out.
- 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 November 30-December 31, 2018 schedule and purchase tickets here.
Enjoy Canmore’s Christmas light as you make your way from venue to venue.
- CP Holiday Train with Sam Roberts Band, Kelly Prescott & Tracey Brown: December 13, 2018 5:45-6:30 pm behind Save-On Foods (#2 – 950 Railway Avenue). Bring food bank donations! Details here.
- New Year’s Eve Party on The Pond & Fireworks at Millennium:
- Party at the Pond (7th Ave & Mallard Alley) – December 31, 2018 6 pm – 10 pm.
- Family fireworks – 8:30 pm at The Pond (7th Ave and Mallard Alley)
- Midnight fireworks at Millennium Park (1st St and 5th Ave)
For luxurious, spacious condos, stay at Mystic Springs Chalets & Hot Pools, Solara Resort & Spa or Grande Rockies Resort.
See my detailed reviews here:
My Where to Stay page has more Canmore accommodations to consider.
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
Best Coffee: Mountain Mercato
Date Night: Tapas, Habitat Restaurant & Grill
|Bacon and blue cheese flatbread, Rocky Mountain Flatbread|
Where will you go first?
- 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