Surrounded by the majestic snow-tipped peaks of the Alberta Rockies, the 360-degree panoramas of the Bow Valley from Canmore are pure drama. Just over 50 miles east of Calgary, this is a city perfectly situated for visitors looking for a gateway to the mountains, where an abundance of outdoorsy pursuits awaits all year round. In the winter Canmore boasts great access to no less than five of Canada’s main ski resorts, ranging from the Olympic quality Nakiska Ski area to the south, to the pristine slopes of Banff National Park in the north, while the town’s Nordic cross-country centre is regularly hailed as the best in the Canada. In the summer you can expect hiking and biking, rafting and golfing to boot, all set amidst the stunning scenery of the country’s most visited mountain range. Canmore itself is invigorated by the energy of its nature-loving inhabitants and from time to time comes alive with festivals and events, from adrenaline heavy bike races, to open air music shows and jazz festivals.
In the shadow of the sheer face of Mount Rundle, the Canmore Nordic Centre offers visitors world class cross-country activities both summer and winter. The centre is the perfect gateway into the wilds for anyone looking to do some off-piste skiing, snowshoeing, cycling or hiking in the forested Bow Valley; expect awesome scenery and well maintained trails every step of the way.
Today Canmore is a hive of rafting companies offering everything from scenic float trips for families on the Kananaskis River, to adrenaline pumping roller-coaster rides over level three rapids. Real thrillseekers should check out Hydra Tours’ "Kicking Horse Classic", which encompasses four rapids and 20 kilometres of Canmore’s canyon-shrouded waterways.
Silvertip’s slogan is not a misleading one. Here the 18-hole, 72-par course boasts more than 600 feet in vertical change, with tees and greens perched high on the plateaus and slopes of Mount Lady McDonald. But, even if you visit just for the tender steaks at the on-site restaurant, the views here really shouldn’t be missed.
Artisan creations and ethical ingredients form the backbone of the Flatbread Company’s philosophy. Seasonal treats are always welcome additions to the menu, proving that the pizzas, bruschetta, salads and breads on offer here are always made from the freshest produce available. What’s more, even with a healthy array of carnivore treats, there’s loads for veggies and allergy-affected eaters too.
Complete with regal gardens and English architecture, this cozy hotel in the heart of Canmore boasts a super-friendly atmosphere and convenient access to the mountain resorts. Guests should not miss the Miner’s Lamp Pub, which pays homage to the old mining heritage of Canmore’s past, laden as it is with tankards and pictures straight from the days of Alberta’s coal boom.