Canmore and Kananaskis Country may be outside the boundaries of Banff and Jasper, but they’re definitely in my book on places to visit. The book is metaphorical, yes, but the reasons to visit Canmore and Kananaskis Country—which share the Rockies with their National Park neighbors—are very real.
Located just outside the southeastern boundary of Banff National Park, Canmore is how the Canadian Rockies do small-town life. It has a population of about 12,000 people, many of whom work in the neighboring park (Parks Canada enforces strict residency restrictions in Banff and Jasper), and it feels even smaller. It’s a place where the Canadian Rockies’ only brewery, the Grizzly Paw Brewery (try the Rutting Elk Red) is a local favorite (the town’s gregarious mayor stopped by while I was there), and the open-air market is the place to be every Thursday afternoon. Historically, it was a prosperous coal mining town, but more recently it found the international spotlight hosting athletes and cross-country skiing (technically in Kananaskis Country) during the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. About an hour out of Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway, Canmore’s charm is very accessible and a great way to spend a few days of real Rocky Mountain living.
Where to stay: The Grande Rockies Resort offers more than 136 boutique suites, great food and a pool with a waterslide, all within walking distance of downtown Canmore. The remote control showers are pretty wild, but in true Canmore fashion, the service, warm and refreshing, is the highlight.
- Three Sisters
- Canmore Mountain Market (Thursdays)
- Iron Goat Restaurant and Pub
Named for the effervescent Kananaskis River that flows through it, Kananaskis Country is a park system bordering neighbor Canmore, for whom it provides a wealth of outdoor opportunities. Life here is about hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, road biking, golf, and pretty much anything else you could ever want to do outside. In the foothills of the towering Canadian Rockies, the nature here is raw and wild—just not quite in the way it is Banff and Jasper. Still, free of National Park restrictions, K-Country provides a more concentrated, close-to-your-hotel kind of escape that complements the full-scale vanishing act you’ll pull in Banff and Jasper. Lying between the two and Calgary—less than an hour via gravel-lain Highway 68 off the Trans-Canada—it’s certainly worth a stop.
Where to stay: The Delta Lodge at Kananaskis hosted the 28th G8 Summit in 2002, and it’s easy to see why. Perched above the Kananaskis Valley in Kananaskis Village, the property is both stunning and expansive, and pervades the same fun-loving spirit the hotel’s staff so wonderfully embodies. The internet isn’t the best, but that’s not really what the Rockies are about—so no worries there.
- Canmore Nordic Centre
- Chester Lake
- Grassi Lakes
- Pickle Jar Lakes
- Site for Canmore Nordic Centre
- List of hiking trails in Kananaskis Country
- Site featuring comprehensive trail reports
- RELATED POSTS:
- 7 Must-Play Golf Courses in the Canadian Rockies
- The Canadian Rockies – Much More than America’s Hat
- Banff to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.