An Introduction to Canmore, Alberta

An Introduction to Canmore, Alberta

I fell in love with the Canadian Rockies upon my first visit in the early 1980’s. In 2012, my husband and I moved to Canmore from Ajax, Ontario. We love everything about our mountain home in this friendly, welcoming community of around 15,000 people. It goes without saying that the mountain scenery is absolutely spectacular. Along with that is an amazing variety of outdoor adventure opportunities, great accommodations, fantastic food, great shopping, three jaw-dropping golf courses, extensive indoor recreation facilities and a vibrant arts and culture scene. Canmore is a hub for health and wellness with lots of massage, yoga, meditation, physiotherapy, spas and holistic health services.

Photo credit: Zizka Photography

Canmore is ideally situated just one hour and fifteen minutes from Calgary International Airport. It is the ideal base for exploring Banff National Park. The park border is just 7.0 km away and the Town of Banff is merely 26 km away via the Trans Canada Highway. Popular Lake Louise is 80 km away, which is just about an hour’s drive. Canmore is also an ideal base from which to visit the other mountain national parks: Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho and Glacier/Mt. Revelstoke. But the best-kept secret is the incredibly scenic drive from Canmore through Kananaskis Country by either the Spray Lakes/Smith-Dorrien Rd or the Trans Canada Highway and Highway 40. Along the way are endless photo stops, picnic stops hiking, camping, caving, horseback riding, biking, kayaking/canoeing and skiing opportunities, wildlife and wildflower viewing opportunities. Indeed, the scenery and outdoor adventure opportunities rival that of Banff National Park, but with a fraction of the visitors. Active by Nature offers walking, Nordic walking and photography tours in Canmore. These activities take place year round on the extensive network of over 160 km of paved trails, gravel trails and hiking or biking trails. You can find more information about Canmore’s trail network here: It is an absolute paradise for people who enjoy walking and Nordic walking!

The benefits of investing in a guided walking or Nordic walking tour upon your arrival in Canmore are:

  • Get an informative orientation to Canmore
  • Discover all that the town of Canmore and surrounding areas have to offer, tailored to your needs
  • Learn about Canmore’s past, present and future
  • Visit some super scenic, not-to-be-missed spots
  • Feel comfortable knowing your guide carries bear spray and is well versed in dealing with the wildlife that frequents the trail network
  • Learn or improve your Nordic walking skills, if that is of interest

Main Street Pedestrian Zone

Surrounding the town is an extensive network of hiking trails, most which require a good level of fitness as they involve significant elevation changes. Some of the more popular trails being: the Legacy Trail which connects Canmore to Banff (a pleasant & mainly flat 1.5 hours by bike) the trails to the summits of Ha Ling and the East End of Rundle, the Lady MacDonald Trail, West Wind Pass and the High Rockies trail which forms part of the Trans Canada Trail (The Great Trail). Canmore itself sits at an elevation of 1,375 metres (4,511 ft) above sea level. Active by Nature can also arrange Kananaskis Country hikes and snowshoe tours (in winter) to Chester Lake, Watridge Lake, Lillian Lake, Rummel Lake, the High Rockies Trail, Troll Falls, Cougar Creek (winter only) and Hogarth Lakes (winter only).

Here are some additional resources to help you plan a trip to Canmore:

A sampling of the many excellent accommodation options:

  • Go camping! Rent-a-Tent Canada provides complete equipment rental and advice:
  • Hostel accommodation: Alpine Club of Canada
  • B&B: Grandview Chalet
  • Boutique Hotel: Paintbox Lodge
  • Luxury stay: The Malcolm Hotel
  • Wilderness stay (50 min from Canmore): Mount Engadine Lodge

For Active by Nature’s insights into Canmore, month-by-month, visit this webpage.

Canmore's Three Sisters

What to wear & bring (Spring, Summer, Fall):

  1. Wear comfy casual clothes.
  2. Bring a warm extra layer & rain jacket, just in case.
  3. Running shoes are fine while light trail or hiking shoes provide even more support and are ideal.
  4. Please no flip-flops or sandals.
  5. Leave purses at home. A small backpack is a great bring-along.
  6. Don't forget your water, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, insect repellent and your camera.

What to wear & bring (Winter):

  1. Wear a long sleeve t-shirt/thermal underwear top plus 1 or 2 layers (i.e.: light fleece top, heavier fleece top) & a wind/waterproof shell. Heavy winter parkas and snow pants are usually too warm.
  2. Wear winter boots or lined hiking boots. Icers, which go over your footwear to prevent slipping, are provided when necessary.
  3. Leave purses at home. A small backpack is a great bring-along.
  4. Bring water, gloves/mitts, a hat/headband, scarf/buff/neck warmer, tissues/handkerchief, sunglasses and don't forget your camera!

Reserve OnLine:

It’s as easy as 1-2-3! Simply click the "Book Now" button, select your preferred date to check availability, fill in your personal details and then make a secure payment via credit card. The system will automatically send you a confirmation of your session with the relevant details.

Liability Waiver:

Liability waivers are a necessary part of any commercial activity experience. I recommend that you take the time now to review this legal document that you will be required to sign before we start our clinic or walk together:

View the Waiver

Your Health & Physical Activity Readiness:

We ask guests who are experiencing cold symptoms and symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home and practice self-isolation under the direction of the appropriate governing body. For almost everyone, the benefits of physical activity far outweigh any risks. For some individuals, special advice from a Qualified Exercise or health care provider is advisable before becoming more active. This questionnaire is intended for all ages – to help move you along the path to becoming more physically active.

Please review this Questionnaire if you have concerns about your health or fitness level for participating in Nordic walking.

Cancellation Policy:

Full refunds are given if a cancellation is received 24 hours or more prior to the clinic or tour date. No refunds are given with less than 24 hours notice. Clinics/tours go rain or shine. If the weather is extreme, then it may be cancelled with a full refund given.

Malcolm Hotel

Canmore Public Parking


Parking is available on-street or in public lots throughout Canmore. It is a good idea to arrive early on busy days to locate suitable parking.

Malcolm Hotel - Onsite


Restrooms are available at the Malcolm hotel in the lobby.

Canmore Public Restrooms


Public restrooms are available within a short walk:

Canmore Public Restrooms - Trailheads


Public pit toilets are available at all trailheads.

Canmore Various

Where to meet:

Starting locations will vary seasonally with instructions included in your booking confirmation.


Parking options will vary by location with details included in your booking confirmation.

Tour Canmore

Various Canmore Trailheads

Canmore Walking Tour 1.5 Hour

Canmore Walking Tour 3 Sisters

Hikes Cognito Form

Winter Hikes Cognito Form

Chat Modal