Towering rocky mountains, majestic wildlife, and of course, beautiful scenery enveloping a quaint and quiet settlement. This is the municipality of Canmore, Alberta. And during the winter season, this is a place that will introduce you to a new way of life with its breathtaking views and abundance of outdoor activities.  If you’re heading up to this charming community for the winter season, and are looking for some fun activities to try, then read on, because in this article, we’ll be exploring 15 epic things to do in Canmore, Alberta.

1. Town Pond Ice Skating

Ice skating is one of the best activities in Canmore during the winter. The ice rink is a well-kept gem at the town pond. Located downtown, the ice offers a safe environment for people, and this is because the town maintains the pond ensuring that it remains in tip-top condition.  While skating in the daytime certainly has its perks, it’s the nighttime skate sessions that really shine — literally. At night, they illuminate the area with nearby lights; creating a magical ambiance that will make you truly appreciate the little things.

2. Take a Hike Up Ha Ling Peak

Considered to be a primary attraction, Ha Ling Peak towers over quiet Canmore majestically. With the right information and proper gear, this is a mountain that can be traversed safely even during the winter.  However, you will want to ensure you have taken the proper precautions (layered clothing, water, food, boots, poles, etc). Additionally, make certain you’re aware of weather conditions. The last thing you want is to get stranded on a summit with a snowstorm coming in, or worse, an avalanche tumbling toward you. 

3. A Walk to Grotto Canyon

Grotto Canyon is an undemanding hike in Canmore that can be done any time of year. During the winter, this well-known ravine with rock art can be walked along the ice-frozen creek. Additionally, you may also get a view of some death-defying ice climbers as well!

4. Take Pictures of the Three Sisters

Characterized as being the pivotal example of mountain ranges in Canmore, as well as being considered as the most awe-inspiring and emblematic mountains in Canada (save Cascade Mountain), the Three Sisters will leave you flabbergasted.  Respectively known as Faith, Hope, and Charity, these individual mountains comprise the Three Sisters Mountain range. And they can be seen from pretty much anywhere within Canmore. Your trip is not complete without a photo of these magnificent summits! 

5. Explore Quarry Lake

Canmore locals come to Quarry Lake almost every day to get fresh air, walk their dogs, and to just otherwise take a moment to embrace the natural beauty that Canmore is surrounded by. It’s typically used as a recreational activity, and it’s easy to see why, its vast openness can be used for snowball fights, snow angels, creating snowmen, or just enjoying a calm and relaxing walk. 

6. Canmore Nordic Center

The Nordic Center in Canmore is what allowed its tourism sector to blossom. The center was built for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. And as a result, it attracted visitors from every corner of the globe. Today, the center is still operational with paths for skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. Furthermore, it offers first-rate cross country skiing and hosts international sporting events.

7. Snowshoeing

An incredibly popular activity in Canmore is snowshoeing. If you’re not very athletic but would still like to get out and enjoy the winter season in Canmore — this is the way to do it! It’s less than 10km and can offer breathtaking views, totally worth it.

8. Helicopter Tour

Want the views without the hike? No problem! Just hop on a majestic helicopter tour.  Alpine Helicopters is located within Canmore and provides helicopter tours that offer an amazing aerial perspective of the encompassing mountain ranges. Truthfully, it’s not the most economical activity on the list ($150 a person), but it certainly would be an experience that you’ll never forget.

9. Dog Sledding

Everyone knows that dog sledding is the standard winter experience activity! As such, it will most likely be one of the peak experiences of your winter trip to Canmore. HDT (Howling Dog Tours) is a small and locally owned family business that has been operating in Canmore for over 25 years. And with 20 guides, 4 in-house office members, and 4 van operators, you can rest easy knowing that you’re in good hands with these people. 

10. Relax Near a fire With Scenic Mountain Views

Try booking a nice place during your winter sojourn in Canmore. A location with a fireplace and a beautiful mountain backdrop is a prerequisite! Now, once your strenuous day of mountaineering in the chilly winter climate is complete, you’ll be able to return to your lodgings to warm up beside a cozy fire with some hot cocoa and a flawless view of the mountains!

11. Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. Breakfast

A popular cafe in Canmore, Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. has two locations; one is located on Railway Ave and the other on 8th Street. Each location has a welcoming atmosphere, and this coupled with its scrumptious array of breakfast bagels brimming with feta, eggs, onions and all the fixings makes this place a must-see for your winter excursion in Canmore.

12. Go on a Distillery Tour

Are you a wine connoisseur? Then why not go on a distillery tour during your stay in Canmore? A good place to visit is Wildlife Distillery, as they offer a plethora of spirits that you can buy or take back home with you.  Additionally, you can also try one of their crafted cocktails at their conspicuously placed cocktail bar. And if that weren’t enough, you can also be a part of one of the distillery tours and gain in depth knowledge on how they craft all their drinks, from gin to amaro!

13. Give Ice Climbing a Try

One of the most exhilarating winter activities — not just in Canmore, but anywhere — is ice climbing! The sub-zero climate along with the numerous waterfalls that have frozen over are the ideal blend for this adrenaline-inducing sport.   Many of the tours are about half a day for the climbing excursions, however, if you wish, you have the choice to reserve an entire day or even multiple days to experience the thrills this activity has to offer. You don’t need any experience and all the equipment and gear you need are complimentary! 

14. Make a Stop at the Canmore Museum 

Situated in downtown, the Canmore museum is an ideal spot to learn while you’re hunking down from the chilly winter snowstorms.  The museum offers a comprehensive look into the history of Canmore via over 10,000 artifacts. Furthermore, You’ll gain insight on the construction of the railway as well as the growth and cultivation of Canmore and how it came to be.

15. Visit the Local Art Galleries

If you become tired of the winter cold, then take a visit to some of the local art galleries throughout Canmore. Many skilled and seasoned artists call Canmore home and display their work in public view in these galleries!  Some suggestions are Avens Gallery, Fallen Leaf Art Gallery, as well as Elevation Gallery, just to name a few. Take a gander around town, and you’ll be sure to run into these budding establishments in addition to many others!
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