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How to Get from Calgary to Canmore +12 BEST Road Trip Stops

How to Get from Calgary to Canmore +12 BEST Road Trip Stops

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Canmore is my go-to spot to stay while visiting Banff National Park. Still surrounded by the Canadian Rockies, there are heaps of things to do in Canmore, without the crowds of Banff. If you’re heading to Alberta for a mountain escape, you’ll likely fly into Calgary and take the 1.5-hour scenic trip north to national park territory. 

Having made this drive countless times, I can tell you – don’t rush this journey! The road from Calgary to Canmore is full of incredible scenery and much to explore. You’ll also need to figure out exactly how to get to Canmore, and you’ve got options. 

To make your planning seamless, we put together this guide on how to get from Calgary to Canmore, our favorite road trip stops, and a few other handy tips to know before you hit the road!

Note: This road trip also works perfectly in reverse if you’re driving from Canmore to Calgary as well.

How to Get from Calgary to Canmore

The Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk in Canmore
The Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk in Canmore

Before you can enjoy mountain-view hikes and alpine lakes that surround Canmore, you have to get there from Calgary! As the largest city in Alberta, Calgary is the typical hub for travelers getting to Banff National Park, especially if you’re flying into the international airport. 

There are four best options on how to get from Calgary to Canmore: take a private shuttle, take a shared shuttle, take a bus, or rent a car and explore for yourself! I’ll walk you through all of these options, including how to book and the average costs, so you’ll be strapping on your hiking boots in no time!

Take a private shuttle from Calgary to Canmore

A private shuttle is the most straightforward way to get from Calgary to Canmore, without driving yourself. While it is a more expensive option, the convenience of having someone waiting for you once you get off your plane is unmatched! It’s also the simplest way if you’re traveling with a large group and don’t want to rent a car or SUV. 

This private shuttle can accommodate 14 people, and they meet you right at the airport. While this option is more expensive than others, it gets cheaper the more people you have, so it’s ideal if you’re traveling with a group. For example, two travelers are $233 CAD per person, but if you have a party of six it is only $150 CAD per person.

If you’ve always wanted someone waiting for you with a sign that has your name on it – simply book this shuttle! They have designated pick-up locations, right outside of baggage claim for either international or domestic flights. 

This is a great choice to get to Canmore quickly, as the drive will only take about 1 to 1.5 hours, which is about the same amount of time you’d spend driving if you were in a car. With someone waiting for you in the airport and doing all the navigation for you to get to Canmore, this is likely the quickest and easiest option. And since it’s just your private group, they will drop you off at any Canmore hotel!

The only real downside to a private shuttle from Calgary to Banff is it is rather expensive. However, this one offers “reserve now pay later” which helps with the upfront costs! 

Take a shared shuttle from Calgary to Canmore

Brewster Bus in Banff National Park, Canada
The Brewster Bus! Photo credit: CeriBreeze Depositphotos

A shared shuttle from Calgary to Canmore is a more budget-friendly option, and still very convenient! It is cheaper than renting a car or taking a private shuttle, and a bit more convenient than taking the seasonal bus service, which is up next on our list. I highly recommend allowing an hour from the time your plane is scheduled to land to when the shuttle is scheduled to leave – just to give yourself enough time. Here are my four favorite shuttle options:

Vivo Green

Vivo Green is the newest public shuttle service in the game! With them, you are not only are you getting the most affordable rates and service but you are also supporting a small business – which we love!

Their pickups from the Calgary Airport begin as early as 8:30 am with the latest shuttle leaving at 6:30 pm. You can expect the ride from the airport to Calgary to take around 1.5 hours and you will be dropped off straight to your accommodation. You will simply enter this information upon booking.

A one-way ticket with Vivo Green costs only $69 CAD and round-trip tickets are priced at $106 CAD. This shuttle also goes from Calgary to Banff.

Brewster Express

Brewster Express offers a shuttle from Calgary to Canmore multiple times a day – eight different shuttles daily! The small shuttle bus leaves every 1.5 hours starting at 9:30 am and the last shuttle departs at 8 pm.  

The trip will take approximately 1.5 hours to get from the airport to Canmore. They have multiple departure points around Calgary and will drop you off at the Coast Canmore Hotel at the end. For being such a large shuttle option, they are surprisingly efficient!

Tickets are $81 CAD for a one-way ticket and $162 CAD for a round-trip ticket. This shuttle also goes from Calgary to Lake Louise or Jasper if your travels take you there!

Banff Airporter

The Banff Airporter is one of the most popular transport options and despite the name it does make stops in Canmore! The shuttle bus departs the Calgary airport at ten different times during the day from 10 am until 10:30 pm. The journey to Canmore takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes and they’ll drop you off at the Coast Canmore Hotel, which is centrally located in town.

What’s great about this shuttle is they ask for your flight information when you book and actually track your flight. So if your flight is delayed and you miss your shuttle, they automatically adjust your booking to the next available shuttle for free.  

One-way tickets are $80 CAD for adults and $40 CAD for kids. Round-trip tickets are $160 CAD for adults and $80 CAD for kids. All children under 5 are free. The Banff Airporter is located on the arrivals level between exit doors 5 and 6 at the Calgary Airport. 

Take the bus from Calgary to Banff

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to get from Calgary to Banff, the On-It Transit Service will get you to Canmore for only $10 CAD! We love saving a dollar here and there, and this bus is a great way to do so!

This is also a great option if you are traveling from downtown Calgary, not the airport. The bus runs from the Downtown Calgary Station or the Crowfoot LRT Station to Canmore at Beachlands Trail.

There are a couple of important notes for this though. This particular bus service only runs from May to September and only on holidays and weekends. If you’re planning a summer Banff getaway, this could work into your plans. But if you’re headed to Canmore in the winter, you’re out of luck.  

Tickets for this bus go on sale about three weeks in advance and because of the great price tag, they tend to sell out quickly. Make sure you book ahead of time to save your seat!

Rent a car and take a road trip

Daniel driving a rental car in Canada
Off we go in our rental car!

This option gives you the most freedom to explore Canmore and the surrounding areas! Use Discover Cars to find a car rental in Calgary and pick the option that best suits you. There is everything from a standard 4-door car to an SUV or jeep. The most affordable option will be a car like a Toyota Corolla which starts at around $125 CAD per day – plus the cost of fuel. 

Below, we’ll cover some essential information about the drive, as well as our best road trip tips, and our favorite stops!

About the Drive from Calgary to Canmore

The road trip from Calgary to Canmore is actually pretty short and only takes around 75-90 minutes to complete. You have two options to choose from for routes to getting there:

  • 105 km (65 miles) on Trans-Canada Highway 1 – this route is somewhat faster and should take an hour and 15 minutes to complete.
  • 116 km (72 miles) on Highway 1A – this is the more picturesque route and only adds approximately 15 minutes to the driving time.

Highway 1A, which passes through Cochrane and the Kananaskis area, is my preferred route. Along this drive, there are some really neat places to check out, and for that reason, this blog focuses on that route specifically. From towering mountain peaks to stunning lakes, you’ll really experience it all if you follow my road trip itinerary below.

While this road trip is somewhat short, I encourage you to take your time and spread what could be a 90-minute road trip into a multi-day adventure! Or, at the very least, give yourself a full day. This guide will walk you through the best stops on your drive from Calgary to Canmore, as well as a few other handy tips to know before you hit the road!

Related Read: Leaving from Edmonton instead? Check out our guide for driving from Edmonton to Canmore!

Tips for Driving from Calgary to Canmore

A reflection shot at Grotto Lake while people fish
People fishing at Grotto Lake

First and foremost, fill up on gas before leaving Calgary, it will be much cheaper than Canmore.

This drive from Calgary to Canmore can be done in any season, but if you plan on doing it in the winter be aware of the weather forecast and road conditions.

To handle any ice and snow you may encounter, make sure your car has winter tires or at the very least all-season tires. If the weather changes or the roads are bad, there are locations to stop and spend the night between Calgary and Canmore, which I have mentioned throughout the post.

On this drive, keep an eye out for wildlife, especially if you’re traveling at sunrise or dusk. Deer and other large animals may be lurking in the ditches. Because Highway 1A includes a few more twists and turns, it’s better to travel it during the day if at all feasible.

12 BEST Stops on the Drive from Calgary to Canmore

1. Calgary  

Bailey stands on the glass viewing deck on the Calgary Tower
This is much scarier than it looks!
People ride down the Luge on the track in Calgary
You’ll be surprised how fast you can go!

Don’t rush off on your road trip too quickly and be sure to enjoy Calgary before you go. Despite being a major city in the plains, Calgary offers plenty of fun things to do.

Since you’re going to be in town, you may as well spend some time seeing the city, checking out one of the top tours in Calgary, and taking advantage of the city’s lower lodging costs than the adjacent Rocky Mountain resorts.

Calgary is especially a sight to see in the winter. While it may be cold, you’ll have plenty of sunny days! Calgary actually has the most days of sunshine out of any Canadian city at 333 days a year! Even if you’re trying to dodge the cold or rain, there are plenty of fun indoor activities to keep you busy too.

One of my favorite activities is the Calgary Tower. You get the best city views, plus it’s the highest 360-degree observation deck in the world! I also recommend grabbing a bite at Sky 360, their revolving restaurant.

To see the top sights of the city from ground level check out this 2-hour city scooter tour. You’ll follow your guide on electric scooters as you see iconic Calgary sites, like The Bow, Calgary Pathway System, and Central Memorial Park and you’ll learn some history from your guide at each stop. This tour ranges from $93 – $105 CAD based on the date you choose and is overall a super fun way to see Calgary.

Art and beer lovers, listen up! Instead of scooting around, you could opt for this 3-hour craft beer and street art tour. You will navigate the streets and learn the stories behind the artists and art that you are seeing while making stops for some local beer samples! I can’t think of a better way to do two activities at once, and both are iconic Calgary activities.

You can’t talk about Calgary without mentioning the Calgary Zoo. It’s open year-round and has nearly 1,000 different animals and exhibits. If you want to see something extra adorable, make sure you’re there at 10 am to witness the penguin walk! It’s literally the penguins taking a 15-minute walk through the zoo for their daily workout.

Where to stay in Calgary

Within the central city area, the Wicked Hostels Calgary is a good choice for budget travelers. The hostel is clean, comfortable, and located in a good area. Find the best deal on either Hostelworld.com or Booking.com!

If you can spend a bit more the Coast Calgary Downtown Hotel and Suites is perfect. The suites have a full kitchen which is perfect for homemade meals which can save you a lot of money.

For luxury travelers, check out the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire. This hotel overlooks the river valley, comes with an indoor pool (with waterslide), hot tub, fitness center, hair salon, and gift shop.

2. The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary  

A wolf at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary
Wolves are so beautiful!

Once you’re done exploring Calgary, your next stop is Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary. This hidden gem is a non-profit that cares for rescued wolfdogs. You have the opportunity to learn about the wolves and see them in their own environment. It is such a unique experience, and animal lovers will absolutely appreciate this top!

The sanctuary is located about 45 minutes away from Calgary as you make your way toward Canmore (right outside of the town of Cochrane). There are a few important rules to be aware of – no children under 6, no dogs, and no faux fur or real fur clothing items are allowed in the sanctuary. If you’re unsure about any rules or restrictions check their visitor rules on their website or call before you go.

You can visit the sanctuary Thursday through Monday for $18 CAD for youth, and $29 CAD for adults. They offer a variety of tours and it is a really unique experience that comes highly recommended.

3. Cochrane  

view from Glenbow Provincial Park
Glenbow Provincial Park just outside of Cochrane.

Cochrane is a cute town that has an old western feel to it. It’s pretty much the middle point of your road trip from Calgary to Canmore so it’s the perfect place to take a break.

I suggest visiting the Historic Cochrane Ranche which is actually where Alberta’s first large cattle ranch was located in the 1880s. If you visit today you’ll see a large public park with walking trails, fire pits, a quaint museum, and a reconstructed corral.

Once you’ve experienced some of the history, check out the downtown area. MacKay’s Ice Cream is locally made and serves up over 50 flavors including some unique ones like Haskap berry which is even made with local berries!

If you’re more into drinks than desserts, we’ve got something for you too! There are a few cool local breweries in Cochrane. Half Hitch Brewing Company is the perfect place to try locally brewed craft beers paired with delicious appetizers and smoked meats. The Papa Bear Prairie Ale is a must-try!

If you’re a little worn out from exploring the last few places, Cochrane is a great place to stay. Hotels here are typically cheaper than in Canmore and Calgary. The Days Inn and Suites Cochrane is a nice option that’s just off the highway, perfect for a road trip stay. The hotel has an indoor pool, free breakfast, and is close to some nice walking trails if you need to stretch your legs.

Rooms start around $130 CAD, but do go up in price for the busy summer season. You can check availability and book a room online here.

4. Ghost Lake  

It’s obvious why this is one of the best places to stop when driving from Calgary to Canmore!

The name “Ghost Lake” comes from Indigenous legends about a ghost that haunted the neighboring Ghost River.

The beach offers a spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains, but be cautious that the water may rapidly become dangerously deep! The typical depth of Ghost Lake is 18-27 meters (60-90 feet), which makes it ideal for fishing and it is home to a variety of freshwater fish, including Bull Trout and Rainbow Trout.

Because of its location at the base of the Rockies, the lake has consistent breezes, making it an ideal area for sailing. Here at the marina, boat rentals are available. You may swim here as well, however, the water is usually rather chilly!

5. Brewster’s Kananaskis Ranch Golf Course  

Views at Stewart Creek Golf Course in Canmore
A man puts a ball at Stewart Creek Golf Course in Banff
The courses are stunning!

This course is worth a visit even if you’re not a great golfer. Brewster’s Golf is an 18-hole course located at the base of Yamnuska Mountain on the Bow River’s north bank. Enjoy the sights of the mountains, wildflowers, and trees while playing… Just don’t get too carried away with the landscape and lose your golf ball in the water!

It costs $65 CAD on weekdays and $79 CAD on weekends and holidays to play all 18 holes, plus the cost of renting a golf cart. A sunset special is also available at a discounted price to play later in the day but in general, the earlier you book, the better the pricing.

Keep in mind that you can only reserve up to 30 days in advance during high season which typically runs from mid-May through the end of September. Be sure to see their website for specifics.

6. Kananaskis Village and area  

Bailey walks accross Blackshale Suspension Bridge in the Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada
Blackshale Suspension Bridge
Stunning highway through the Kananaskis in Alberta
Stunning highway through the Kananaskis in Alberta

Explore Kananaskis Country by taking a short detour onto Highway 40 toward Kananaskis Village.

The Nakiska Ski Resort is also located here. It was built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics meaning the ski resort has Olympic-sized groomed runs and a state-of-the-art snowmaking system! With its excellent snow coverage, Nakiska is typically one of the first ski resorts to open in the country and the last to close.

If you get the opportunity to do some hiking while you’re in the area, be sure to do Troll Falls. It’s my favorite hike, partially because of the stunning waterfall at the end. The waterfall is beautiful no matter the season you do the hike, even when it’s frozen in the winter it’s a sight! The hike is around 3.2 km (2.1 miles) round-trip. Be sure to bring ice cleats or spikes if you trek this hike during winter in Kananaskis as it can get slippery.

Important note: A Conservation Pass is required for any vehicles stopping in parks or public places in Kananaskis Country and the Bow Valley Corridor. A daily pass costs $15 CAD and may be purchased online or at any Kananaskis Visitor Information Center.

Where to stay in Kananaskis

If your itinerary allows, stay a couple of nights at The Crosswater Resort – a very family-friendly resort that won’t break the bank with a large indoor pool in the heart of the Kananaskis. Staying here also gives you access to the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, which is famous for its innovative hydrotherapy treatments. Here there are several hot and cold pools with epic mountain views.

If you want something super affordable there is great a hostel called HI Kananaskis Wilderness Hostel with bunks starting at $41 CAD and private rooms for around $100 CAD. This stay has cozy cabin vibes and is just 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the closest ski resort – a perfect winter stay! You can reserve this room on Booking.com or Hostelworld.

7. Bow Valley Campground/Many Springs  

group of people sitting on the dock at Many Springs
Hanging out with some friends at Many Springs.

Along the Bow River, the Bow Valley Campground is my favorite spot to stay inside Bow Valley Provincial Park. The campsites here are densely forested, with spectacular views of the valley, mountains, and river. There are several great trails here, which are especially lovely at sunset.  Reservations are required (no walk-ins), and reservations may be made up to 90 days in advance.

Even if camping isn’t on the agenda, I recommend visiting the day-use sites, such as the short hike at Many Springs. This 1.3-km (0.8-mile) loop features breathtaking scenery, including springs that pool in a wetland basin near the trail’s finish. The mountains mirrored in the mirror-like basin are a stunning sight to see. At the end of the loop, there’s a dock with an unimpeded view!

Note: Many Springs/Bow Valley Campground is located within the Kananaskis, so you will need a Conservation Pass to visit here too.

8. Jura Creek Trail  

The Jura Creek Trail in winter
The canyon on the Jura Creek Trail in winter!

Looking for a nice hike on the drive from Calgary to Canmore to stretch your legs? Jura Creek Trail is located just outside of Exshaw on Highway 1A. The path begins in the northwest corner of the parking lot, across from the Graymont gravel factory.

This trek is best done in the winter! The Jura Creek slot canyon entry is less than a kilometer into the climb. When the stream is frozen and you may walk on it, this tiny canyon is extremely enjoyable to explore. Have a camera handy since there are some wonderful photo ops here. Bring shoes that you don’t mind getting wet if you’re going to attempt in the summer!

You may either turn around and return through the canyon or continue on the trek. There’s another slot canyon around 3.5 km (2.2 miles) in, so hikers frequently tour both canyons before returning. Nonetheless, the trail proceeds for those who wish to continue.

9. Exshaw 

Exshaw is just a brief stop on your drive from Calgary to Canmore. You may notice the Lafarge cement plant as you drive by which is now the largest in Canada.  

If you need gas along the way Exshaw is going to be a cheaper option than Canmore. Heart Mountain Store is a great one-stop shop as it’s a gas station, store, and restaurant. Fuel up your car, then yourself with one of their famous burgers!  

Related Read: Up for a challenge? Hike Heart Mountain Loop located near Exshaw.

10. Grotto Canyon  

A lady walks through the Grotto Canyon in winter
Grotto Canyon is one of my favorite easy hikes in Canmore.

Just a little ways further up the road you’ll come to Grotto Lake and the trailhead to Grotto Canyon. This is the perfect easy hike on this road trip to break up your drive and one of the top hikes around Banff!

Grotto Canyon Trail is a beautiful trek that can be done in the summer as well as the winter. If you are planning a winter hike, this complete guide to the Grotto Canyon Icewalk will be helpful! The path begins at the day-use parking lot at Grotto Mountain. The stream bed is approximately a kilometer away, and it gradually narrows as the granite cliffs surrounding you grow higher and more magnificent.

Take a right at the creek’s split to reach Grotto Canyon Falls. But don’t ignore what you’ll see before you reach the breathtaking waterfall! Just before you reach the falls, keep an eye out to the left… you should witness 500-1,000-year-old pictographs drawn directly at eye level.

11. Gap Lake  

A lady skates at Gap Lake, Canmore
Skating at Gap Lake on the drive from Calgary to Canmore.

Gap Lake is a beautiful lake where you can go ice skating in the winter. The ice clears up to the point where you can see all the way to the bottom! There’s plenty of room because the wind keeps the lake generally snow-free. Just keep in mind that ice thickness might vary due to subsurface streams that make certain portions of the ice thinner than others.

If you’re visiting in the summer, Gap Lake is a wonderful lakeside area to unwind and fish!

12. Canmore  

Canmore Hoodoos in summer in Banff
It’s also just a cool place to enjoy the views!
Bailey shops on 8th Street in Canmore
Bailey shops on 8th Street

Canmore is one of Canada’s best mountainside tourist destinations. Located on the edge of Banff National Park and Kananaskis country, there’s no shortage of enjoyable and thrilling things to do in Canmore.

You’ll have access to tons of epic tours, outdoor activities, and the bustling town’s streets are filled with cute cafes, gourmet restaurants, and of course, boutique shops. After a day of hiking or hitting the slopes, you can hang out fireside with a cold beer or a delicious meal.

Grassi Lakes is one of the best hikes in Canmore. Just a 5-minute drive from Canmore town you will arrive at the trailhead. It’s a 4 km (2.5 miles) trail that takes most around 2 hours to complete. You’ll love this trail because it’s family-friendly, great for hikers of all skill levels, and you get to explore some of the brightest-colored lakes you’ve ever seen!

Just on the outskirts of Canmore are a couple of caves that are really incredible to explore if you’re up for an adventure! Canmore Cave Tours offers a couple of different tours with different lengths of time and prices. This Canmore caving adventure tour is what I recommend that you book! It’s actually one of the most popular tours in Canmore.

You will start your experience underground with a 59-foot (18-meter) rappel into the cave – how cool! You then spend an impressive 4.5 hours exploring underground. The full 6-hour tour costs $200 CAD for adults.

After all of your adventuring, be sure to stop by one of Canmore’s craft breweries. For a town relatively small, they have a lot of breweries and distilleries! What a great way to relax and take in those mountain views after a day of exploring.

If you’re in Canmore during the winter, cross-country skiing is a must! This town is world-famous for its Nordic Centre which is home to some of Canada’s best cross-country ski trails. And of course, you are within a quick drive to some of the best skiing and snowboarding resorts in Alberta, so this is a great place to stay for a holiday on the slopes!

This is truly just skimming the surface of all of the fun things this destination has to offer!

Related Read: Planning on exploring Banff National Park from Canmore? Check out our blogs about the best things to do in Banff, the best things to do in Lake Louise!

Essential Info About the Drive Before You Go

highway in the Kananaskis
Just driving through the Kananaskis is stunning!
  • The drive from Calgary to Canmore is short at only about 1 hour and 15 minutes or about 105 km (65 miles).
  • For a more picturesque trip take Highway 1A through Cochrane and the Kananaskis!
  • Before you hit the road, fill up your car with gas in Calgary. If you need fuel during the trip Exshaw is usually less expensive than Canmore.
  • When traveling along this roadway at any time of year, keep a look out for wildlife, especially in the early morning and late evening.
  • Drive this trip during the day if you can — it’ll be easier to admire the beauty!
  • If you’re driving this route in the winter, check the road conditions first and make sure your car is equipped with winter or all-season tires.
  • You’ll need a Conservation Pass for the Kananaskis area if you plan on exploring the area. If you’re just driving through and not stopping, it isn’t required. However, this is such a beautiful area, it’s worth paying the $15 CAD per vehicle.  
  • Don’t forget your camera! This road trip from Calgary to Canmore is full of beautiful scenery and moments you’re going to want to be sure to capture.

Where to Stay in Canmore

Two beds in a room at Coast Canmore, Alberta
Our pet-friendly room at Coast Canmore!

The truth is that there are so many hotels in Canmore that it can be hard to know which one to choose for your stay. Well luckily for you, Dan and I have stayed in a lot of different hotels in Canmore and have been able to narrow it down to our absolute favorites!

Here are the best places to stay in Canmore including our personal top choice, a budget option, and one for those looking for absolute luxury!

Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre – Our Top Choice

Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre is our absolute favorite place to stay in Canmore. It is affordable without sacrificing any of the comforts you’ll need for a relaxing and enjoyable stay – suitable for almost all travelers and budgets. They have an onsite pool, hot tub, and fitness center along with a delicious bar and restaurant (Table Food + Drink).

Coast Canmore Hotel is located right in the heart of downtown Canmore walking distance from 8 Street (Main Street in Canmore), and just across the road from the Canmore Shops where you have a selection of restaurants, cafes, and takeaway places. Many of the shuttles and busses use this hotel as their drop off location, so it’s super convenient too!

Oh, and did I mention the views from the hotel windows are breathtaking?

On top of that, they have a variety of different rooms to offer and even have some that are pet-friendly! A queen room with two beds costs around $146 CAD.

You can book this hotel on Booking.com. Be sure to book as far in advance as possible because these guys are usually fully booked!

The Malcolm Hotel – $$$

If money isn’t an issue, then The Malcolm Hotel may be the luxurious option you’re looking for. It’s an easy walk to the main part of town or there are shops and restaurants on the same street, although you may never want to leave the property! There’s a rooftop swimming pool and hot tub that are especially amazing at sunset. I also like the games room with giant scrabble and a pool table and the views from the rooms are picture-perfect.

However, rooms here don’t come cheap and are often up to twice the price of most hotels in Canmore. But if luxury is calling your name, check availability and book a room at The Malcolm here.

Canmore Downtown Hostel – $

If you’re a budget backpacker and looking for a hostel then Canmore Downtown Hostel is your best choice! These guys offer clean and comfortable facilities, dorm beds for around $50 CAD as well as private rooms averaging around $100 CAD, and a social atmosphere perfect for meeting other backpackers.

You can book Canmore Downtown Hostel on Booking.com or Hostelworld.

Renting a Car in Alberta

A car drives along the Icefields Parkway
The drive is mesmerizing!

If you’re arriving in Alberta via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. Canada is a large country and traveling between cities and even just getting out to some of the best places to visit in Alberta requires transport. Although you can use public transport, on some occasions, it means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Renting a car will definitely make exploring all of the fun things to see and do in Alberta easier.

Car rental in Canada isn’t super cheap, but it isn’t overly expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year and the type of car that you rent. For car rentals, I use the website DiscoverCars.com. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used them all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie with the Three Sisters Mountain Range in the background in Canmore
Thanks for reading!

I hope that this guide got you excited about your road trip from Calgary to Canmore! This is definitely one of my favorite short road trips in Alberta. There are so many fun things to do and see in just a short distance. Whether you’re looking to hike or relax by a lake, your trip is sure to be filled with plenty of enjoyable stops.

Thanks so much for reading our blog. If you need more travel inspiration and tips, check out the rest of our Canada blogs. As always, if you have any other questions about the drive from Calgary to Canmore feel free to reach out and ask! Before you go be sure to check out some of our other guides:

15 BEST Day Trips from Calgary for an Epic Adventure

16 MOST Instagrammable Places to Visit in Banff National Park

3 BEST Calgary to Canmore Shuttles

How to Get from Vancouver to Whistler +20 EPIC Road Trip Stops