Breathtaking Scenery (And Other Reasons to Visit Canmore)

Breathtaking Scenery (And Other Reasons to Visit Canmore)

The tiny town in Alberta makes for an unforgettable vacation. Between the sights, food, and activities, Canmore is one destination you must see at least once.

Visiting Canmore is all about having fun outdoors. That’s why most people who go there on vacation or in passing immerse themselves in what nature has to offer.

You can plan a variety of adventures during your stay and see things you wouldn’t elsewhere. It’s also a great place to visit if you want a quieter vacation away from the crowds.

Here’s a list of what you can do when visiting this cozy place.

Explore the Gorgeous Canadian Rockies

Three Sisters Pass Hike

Canmore isn’t a big bustling Canadian city. In fact, it’s a relatively small town that’s uneventful for the most part. Yet its position, tucked deep in the Canadian Rockies, makes it very appealing. 

The breathtaking scenery is one of the top reasons to visit Canmore.

Canmore sits in the shadow of Banff in Bow Valley. It provides easy access to some of the best peaks in the region on Mount Lady McDonald and Grotto Mountain.

Most of the trails take you high above sea level for mesmerizing views of the area. And the rugged wilderness surrounding Canmore is excellent for nature lovers and photographers.

Many consider the Three Sisters Pass Hike one of the best ways to spend your day. This route takes you to the Three Sisters Mountain, the symbol of Canmore. Although some of the hikes are challenging, the unique scenery makes them worth the effort.

You can also take in the scenery from the comfort of your car. In fact, the road from Canmore to Kananaskis is one of the most gorgeous routes in the area.

The area’s tourism area focuses heavily on the otherworldly views of the mountain peaks and valleys. 

Sample the Local Distilleries

Local Distilleries

Other things to do in Canmore include tasting some of the local crafts. 

Unlike Banff and other nearby locations, Canmore isn’t big on fancy bars, resorts, or restaurants. But the town can show you a good time regardless as they pride themselves on their local drinks.

Vodka and gin are the two main products, both made from locally sourced ingredients. The spirits at Wild Life Distillery, in particular, embody the natural beauty of Canmore.  Of course, the fresh mountain water used helps, too. 

Buy a Rare Gemstone

Rare Gemstone

Alberta generally has rich deposits of ammolite, one of the rarest gemstones in the region. But what makes it truly special is its impressive spectrum of colors. 

While in Canmore, you can go on a tour of the Ammonite Factory, which mines ammonite in the Red Dragon Mine from shells of fossilized ammonites. You can even see part of the process and check out a few impressive collections.

When you leave, you can also buy art pieces, jewelry, small stones, or fossils. There’s no better way to take a piece of Alberta back with you.

Go Skating on the Pond

Skating on the Pond

The Canmore downtown gets very cold during the winter. This means that the local pond always freezes in the colder months. And once that happens, the pond turns into a large ice skating rink. 

Skating on the pond is free of charge, but there aren’t many places that rent equipment. So make sure to bring your own to have some fun.

Catch Alberta’s Longest Running Folk Festival

Longest Running Folk Festival

You can visit Canmore at any time of the year. But, if you can plan your trip to catch the folk festival too, you might get a different experience.

It’s a three-day festival in August that’s a family-friendly event. It always starts with a free concert on Fridays, which lets you listen to well over 30 artists. Each day has new fun activities and the weather is usually great. 

Set against the Canadian Rockies backdrop, the scenery makes the mountain music festival feel even better.

Want a Scottish Experience?

Scottish Experience

Canmore is famous for its events and festivals. And the first weekend of September always celebrates the town’s Scottish ancestry.

Since 1991, this has been one of the most popular events in the region. It’s also among the top reasons to visit Canmore for many tourists.

While at the Highland Games, you can check out and participate in Scottish athletic competitions. You can even eat authentic food, enjoy bagpipes and dancing, and get your drink on.

Snowshoeing on Untouched Snow

Untouched Snow

Visiting Canmore in the winter is a great idea if you like exploring the outdoors. And one of the most common activities for locals and guests alike is snowshoeing. Plenty of trails around Canmore really come to life in the winter. 

Be sure to check out some guided tours, too. It’s easy to get lost in the vast Alberta wilderness.

Explore the Underground


Don’t think that Canmore’s beauty is only restricted to what’s above ground. What’s underneath it is just as breathtaking. 

You can take your exploration underground if Canmore weather doesn’t agree with you.

If you want to go spelunking, Canmore’s the place to do it. You can find guided tours of the Rat’s Nest Cave and other cave systems. These are archaeological sites with superb rock formations and ancient wall paintings. 

The Canmore cave systems are rich in historical, cultural, and geological significance.

Get a Bird’s Eye View from a Gondola Ride

Gondola Ride

If walking isn’t on your itinerary, how about a gondola ride? One of the best reasons to visit Canmore is to soar up to the Sulphur Mountain summit.

Each car sits four people and the full glass enclosure ensures a 360-degree view of the mountains and Bow Valley. You can also see part of Banff on your way up.

Once you reach the summit ridges, check out the observation deck, or enjoy some food and drinks at either of the two restaurants.

Well Worth an Extended Stay

It takes a long time to explore the rugged wilderness of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. A trip to Canmore puts you in an excellent position to take in a bit of everything.

You can check out the Grassi Lakes, take gondola rides up the mountains, and hike miles of challenging trails. But what makes it even better is that you can explore the area both above and below ground and revel in its unique geology.

The friendly atmosphere and small-town vibes also make Canmore great for those looking to have a quiet vacation.

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Breathtaking Scenery (And Other Reasons to Visit Canmore)