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35 BEST Things to do in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

35 BEST Things to do in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

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If you’re planning on visiting Canmore, Alberta then this blog is perfect to help plan your visit and see all of Canmore’s best attractions. This list includes 35 best things to do in Canmore – most of which can be done in both the winter and the summer!

Canmore is one of Alberta’s best mountainside tourist towns. With a range of fun and exciting things to do in Canmore, it’s a popular destination for both local and international tourists.

But unlike Banff, Jasper, and Lake Louise, Canmore isn’t actually located within one of Canada’s National Parks – making it cheaper and more accessible for everyone. Sitting on the edge of Banff National Park, Canmore boasts some of Canada’s most impressive mountain peaks and is an outdoor playground for visitors.

For Dan and I, Canmore is one of our favorite towns in all of Canada. It feels less pretentious than Banff and offers the same (if not more) things to do all year round.

We’ve been lucky enough to visit Canmore on several occasions, and in the countless number of days we’ve spent there over the last few years, we’ve managed to come up with 35 awesome things to do in Canmore! Some of the activities on this list you may have heard of before, and some you likely haven’t – so read until the bottom and check it all out!

Related Read:   Guide to Planning the Most Romantic Honeymoon in Jasper, Canada

35 BEST Things to do in Canmore, Alberta

1. Hike to Grassi Lakes 

A lady stands on a rock overlooking the Grassi Lakes in Canmore, Canada
If you keep hiking up past the lakes you get to this beautiful viewpoint!

Grassi Lakes is probably the most popular hike in Canmore, and as such, it is one of Canmore’s main attractions. Only a short 5-minute drive from Canmore town will have you parked at the trailhead ready to explore some of the brightest colored lakes you’ve ever seen! 

One of the best things about the hike to Grassi Lakes is how accessible it is. This 4 kilometer-long trail only gains 230 meters in elevation and takes most people about 2 hours to complete there and back. It is a very easy trail that is family-friendly and suitable for all fitness levels. Plus, it’s open all year round!

With that said, if you do want a bit of challenge, I recommend taking the “more difficult” trail to the lakes. When you start hiking Grassi Lakes Trail you’ll come to a sign that says the more difficult route is to the left. This trail is steeper and involves climbing some slippery stairs near a waterfall. To me, this is the most beautiful route and well worth taking if you’re up to it. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for small children.

Once you reach Grassi Lakes after completing the trail, you’ll be met with some pretty spectacular views. On a hot summer day, be sure to pack your swimsuit because you’re going to want to jump in!  

If you’re only going to do one hike while in Canmore then be sure to make it Grassi Lakes! It’s definitely one of the very best things to do in Canmore! 

Hot Tip: Since Grassi Lakes is one of the most popular things to do in Canmore, be sure to get there early if you want a parking spot! Alberta Parks has recently started ticketing vehicles who park on the road outside of the allocated parking lot. The parking lot is often full by 10 am in the summer on weekends. Arriving in the evening is also a less busy time. 

2. Enjoy Burgers and Beer at the Grizzly Paw 

Enjoying a beer at the Grizzly Paw in Canmore
Enjoying a beer at the Grizzly Paw in Canmore

The Grizzly Paw is one of the best places to visit in Canmore if you’re hungry or thirsty. They actually brew their own amazing craft beer right in Canmore – and they have a huge selection! From the Grizzly Paw restaurant on Main Street, you can try a range of their own beers available on tap, as well as a great food menu!

When I visited, I had one of their burgers complete with a side of tasty ginger carrot soup and fries. It was delicious! The food is very affordable too and you can expect to pay about $8 CAD for a pint of local beer and $20 for a burger with a couple of sides.  

The Grizzly Paw on 8 Street features a large indoor seating area as well as a nice patio with heaters for chilly nights or winter. They also have their actual brewery which you can visit for a drink near the Canmore Shops. This location is within walking distance for many hotels in Canmore. 

For more info on craft breweries in the area, check out our blog all about the best breweries in and around Banff!

3. Hit the Trails at the Nordic Center

The country flags from the olimpic games held at the Nordic Center in Canmore
The flags from the Olympics!

The Canmore Nordic Centre offers a variety of trails for hiking, biking, or even cross country skiing. The area was developed to host cross country skiing events at the 1988 Olympic Games and is now an active training center as well as a recreational area.

You can either bring your own bike or skis and explore the trails for free, or you can rent them from the center.

When we visited the Nordic Centre there were actually professional athletes practicing their Biathalon shooting – it was really interesting to watch!

No matter what you plan on doing, the Nordic Centre is the perfect place to take advantage of tons of trails and have your own outdoor adventure in Canmore.

Related read: Cross country skiing and tobogganing at the Nordic Centre are some of the best things to do in Canmore in the winter! Find out what some other great winter activities are!

4. Drive the Smith Dorrien Trail 

Whitemans Pond on the Smith Dorrien Trail
Whitemans Pond on the Smith Dorrien Trail

The Smith Dorrien Trail (also known as Highway 742) is one very scenic road that you really shouldn’t miss while in Canmore. This gravel road climbs its way past the Grassi Lakes car parking lot up into the mountains.

While driving the Smith Dorrien Trail you’ll get spectacular views of Canmore town from up above as well as lakes and even Bighorn sheep (who love to just hang out casually on the side of the road!) 

Most people drive the Dorrien Trail to reach other hikes such as Ha Ling Peak (next on this list of the best things to do in Canmore) or the East End of Rundle. But even if you’re not planning on hiking, I do recommend driving this road simply for the views. It’s one of the most scenic places around Canmore and well worth the short 20-minute drive.  

In winter, this road can be dangerous or slippery. Be sure to follow road signage and closures before driving it and also be sure to have winter tires.

Hot Tip: The Dorrien Trail is the road that you’ll take to reach the Grassi Lake car parking lot, however, the most beautiful part is further up the road. So, continue on the road up past Grassi Lakes until you reach the first large lake at the very least.  

5. Hike Ha Ling Peak 

Bailey stands at the top of Ha Ling Peak in Canmore, AB
The views are pretty spectacular!

Along the Smith Dorrien Trail is the car parking lot for another very popular attraction in Canmore – Ha Ling Peak! This peak is the backdrop for Canmore town and also one of the best hiking trails in the area.  

Thanks to the Dorrien Trail, you drive up a ton of the mountain’s elevation making summiting this mountain a lot easier than you might think. It still isn’t an easy climb by any means gaining 800 meters in elevation over 7.8 kilometers, but it’s doable to most people with some hiking experience and moderate fitness level.  

Ha Ling Peak trail is a high traffic trail and as such, is well marked and easy to follow. The first half of the trail is switchbacks climbing through the forest, where the second half will have you climbing stairs to the saddle and then scrambling over rocks to the summit.  

When we climbed Ha Ling Peak it was a very windy day which made the scramble from the saddle to the summit a little difficult and a little scary. Good hiking boots and hiking poles really came in handy for us. I would recommend only tackling Ha Ling Peak when it is clear weather with little wind if possible.  

It takes about 2-3 hours to reach the summit, and then you come back down the same trail you walked up. The way down will take less than half the time the way up did. In total, I would allow 4-5 hours for this hike (it took us just under 4 hours at a pretty fast pace with only one short snack break at the saddle.) 

Alternative Hike: For something a little more challenging and a little less busy than Ha Ling Peak you can try East End of Rundle. This hike starts from the same parking lot and although we have never done it ourselves, we’ve heard it is similar to Ha Ling Peak in terms of the views.  

6. Shop on 8 Street 

Bailey shopping on 8th Street in Canmore, AB
It’s not hard to get carried away!

Canmore is the cutest town ever and 8 Street is the center of it all. Whether you’re visiting Canmore in the summer or in the winter, 8 Street is the place to go to explore small boutiques, locally-owned stores, cafes, and restaurants. This is the street to just wander around, buy some souvenirs and locally-made goods, and just enjoy a few hours.  

8 Street is also a very scenic street with mountain views everywhere. In the summer, it’s common to see buskers on street corners, and in the winter, Christmas lights are everywhere you look! 

8 Street in Canmore is much less busy than Banff Ave in Banff town, and also features more locally owned small shops. There is also lots of free parking around so getting there is really easy too! 

7. Go Rock Climbing 

A man rockclimbs at Grassi Lakes in A man rock climbs at Grassi Lakes in Canmore, ABCanmore, AB
Rock climbing at Grassi Lakes!

Canmore is a rock climbers’ paradise with numerous cliff faces to tackle all only minutes from town. Experienced rock climbers often head to places like Heart Mountain Gorge or Grassi Lakes. Both places offer huge walls for all levels with lots of permanent bolts already installed.

Those who have never rock climbed before should book an organized tour with an experienced guide to show you the ropes – no pun intended! These tours are done all over Canmore on easy walls with an expert guide to help.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to climb on a rainy day or in the winter in Canmore, then you can head to Elevation Place where there is an indoor rock-climbing gym! 

8. Kayaking in Spring Creek 

Two people kayak in Spring Creek, Canmore
An easy paddle through town!

Spring Creek is the beautiful little stream that runs directly down the middle of downtown Canmore. Spring Creek provides the perfect water playground for those wanting to do a little kayaking. 

Kayaking is one of the best activities to do in Canmore in the summer. There are plenty of lakes and rivers around for you to choose from, with Spring Creek being the most accessible in town.  

Spring Creek is often flowing very slowly making it a great route for beginners to tackle too. In fact, when we were last in Canmore, we saw two young girls kayaking Spring Creek and having a great time. 

If you don’t have a kayak there are rental shops all around Canmore where you can get hourly and daily hires and also info on Spring Creek or other popular places to kayak.

9. Take in the View of the Famous Three Sisters 

A reflection shop of the Three Sisters Mountain Range in Canmore
Arguably the best place to view the Three Sisters is the famous spot near the dog park.

The Three Sisters Mountain range is iconic in Canmore. Three towering mountain peaks all sit next to each other making that postcard-perfect image you’ve probably seen at least one before.  

From downtown Canmore, you will see the Three Sisters with ease, but there are a few specific spots that offer the best views of these mountains.  

First of all, you can drive to the area of Spring Creek. There is a campground here that really has amazing views of the Three Sisters. Alternatively, you can drive the Three Sisters Parkway just outside of Canmore, or walk Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk (more info on this further down in this blog.) 

There is also a famous photography location (pictured above) where the mountains reflect in a small creek. The location can be found here, but you need to park at the off-leash dog park. Once parked, you need to cross the road and then walk under the train tracks keeping the creek to your left until you reach a trail. The trail will take you straight to the viewpoint and although a little off the beaten path, it is still a pretty well-known spot (especially among photographers!) 

10. Enjoy Premium Cocktails at Wild Life Distillery 

Bailey drinks a cocktail at Wild Life Distillery in Canmore

Everyone knows Canmore has locally brewed craft beer, but did you know there is also a local distiller making everything from Gin to Vodka to Whisky?! That’s right, you can buy locally made spirits right from the distiller here in Canmore.  

Wild Life Distillery has become famous among locals for their premium spirits. You can often find their bottles in small liquor stores around the province, or if you’re in Canmore, you can stop by the distillery and buy from the storefront.  

However, if you’re more like us and prefer to get cocktails made for you, then you’re in luck too! 

There is a small cocktail bar out the front of Wild Life Distillery where they have a menu of unique (and delicious!) cocktails to enjoy made from their own liquor.  

When Dan and I visited it seemed like the only other people in the bar were locals. Since the distillery is tucked away in an industrial area it is often missed by tourists. But let me tell you, this little gem is well worth the drive and if you love cocktails as much as we do, you can’t miss it! 

11. Eat Amazing Food at Table Food + Drink 

The huge half roast chicken at Table Food + Drink in Canmore
The huge half roast chicken at Table Food + Drink in Canmore

This is another local secret in Canmore that’s famous for its incredible weekly specials that are loved by tourists and locals alike. In fact, the restaurant prides themselves in their loyal local customers who visit on a regular basis. 

Tabe Food + Drink is a contemporary restaurant and bar located in Canmore attached to the Canmore Coast Hotel. They serve everything from charcuterie to steak to local specialties like pasta from Canmore Pasta Co! 

We were lucky enough to visit Table Food + Drink on a Tuesday which is their famous roast chicken night! For only $20 we got half a chicken served with tons of sides – more than enough for the both of us. They also do a full chicken that’s enough for 4 people for $30! On other nights of the week, they also have different specials that you can find on their website.

This place is honestly delicious and so affordable we couldn’t resist including it as one of our favorite things to do in Canmore, and believe us, once you go for yourself, you’ll see what I mean.  

12. Visit the Canmore Museum 

The Canmore Museum, Canmore
The Canmore Museum and Geoscience Center, Canmore

Located right in downtown is the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Center. I know what you’re thinking, you’ve come all the way to Canmore to enjoy the great outdoors and the last thing you want to do is visit a museum. Well, while this may be true, you might not always have ideal weather and this is a great activity to do if you’re stuck indoors on a rainy or very cold winter day! 

The museum features over 10,000 artifacts representing Canmore’s history including the railway, mining, and community development. Admission is only $5 for an adult and children under 4 are free with family rates available too. There are often rotating exhibits and events on too, so be sure to check their website for the current museum schedule including daily public opening hours.  

13. Drive the Bow Valley Parkway 

Bailey watches a train pass by at Morants Curve on the Bow Valley Parkway near Canmore
Morants Curve on the Bow Valley Parkway!

Although not technically in Canmore, the start of the Bow Valley Parkway is only a short 20-minute drive away and is definitely a place you need to visit while staying in Canmore. 

The Bow Valley Parkway is one of the most scenic drives in Canada – if not the entire world! It is a 50 kilometer-long stretch of road between Canmore and Lake Louise. You can drive the road just enjoying the amazing mountain and lake views right from your window or stop at one of the many different viewpoints or hikes.  

One of my personal favorites places to go on the Bow Valley Parkway is Johnson Canyon. This 5.2-kilometer return walk takes you along the edge of a beautiful canyon with views of waterfalls. In the summer, expect flowing water and lush greenery, but in the winter, expect a winter paradise! 

Morant’s Curves (pictured above) is another great quick stop along the drive!

14. Visit Lake Louise  

Lake Louise, Alberta
The stunning Lake Louise!

Lake Louise is only a 50-minute drive from Canmore. Lake Louise is easily one of the most beautiful lakes in all of Canada, and right next to it is Moraine Lake, which is even more beautiful! These two places make for a must-do day trip from Canmore! 

Along the drive to Lake Louise you can actually take the Bow Valley Parkway (mentioned above) for one really scenic drive. My best advice is to plan this for a clear day when the clouds won’t obstruct your view of the mountains.  

Once at Lake Louise, there are lots of different things you can do including hikes. My personal favorite is the hike to Lake Agnes Tea House, it’s absolutely stunning!

Hot tip: Lake Louise gets extremely busy. If you want to get parking it is best to leave very early in the morning (like 8 am for Lake Louise, or 5 am for Moraine Lake) or to visit later in the evening after 6 pm. These times are the least busy and you’d hate to drive all the way there to get turned around because there is no parking (this happened to us once!) 

15. Day Trip to Banff Town 

The main street at Banff Town on a sunny day
Banff town is so beautiful!

With so many amazing things to do in Banff, it’s no wonder that a day trip to this cute town is one of the best things to do in Canmore. From downtown Canmore, you can reach downtown Banff in about 20 minutes and here you can explore the busy Banff Ave, relax in the hot springs, ride the Banff gondola, or tackle one of the many hikes in the area.  

Banff National Park is huge though and you could easily spend days exploring the entire area. Driving the Icefields Parkway is one of my favorite activities within the park, as is cruising on Lake Minnewanka, and riding the Mt Norquay chairlift (both in the summer and the winter!) 

Hotels in Banff are generally more expensive than those in Canmore, and for that reason, it makes sense to stay in Canmore and just day trip to Banff as needed.  

Important info: You’ll also need a Parks Canada pass to visit both Banff and Lake Louise. These passes can be bought from a booth on the road as you enter Banff National Park. Expect to pay about $10 CAD per person per day or $20 for a family pass that covers up to 7 people in one vehicle.  

Related Read:   Banff Itinerary - How to Spend 1, 2, or 3 Days in Banff

16. Skiing or Snowboarding 

Skiing at Nakiska Ski Field near Canmore
Skiing at Nakiska!

It’s no secret that one of the best winter activities in Canmore is hitting the slopes! With long and cold winters, there is tons of fresh powder for anybody wanting to ski or snowboard.  

There are a few ski fields near Canmore including Nakiska, Lake Louise, Mt Norquay, and Sunshine. With that said, my personal favorite is Nakiska for a few reasons.

Number one is the fact it’s not in a national park so I can ski there without a Parks Canada Pass. However, number two (and the main reason) is the fact it’s less busy and more of a “local” ski field as opposed to a tourist trap like the others. That means fewer people and cheaper skiing.

Expect to pay about $100 CAD for a one-day lift pass. There are also discounted multi-day passes available, lessons, and season passes depending on the ski field you choose. 

17. Go Ice Skating

A lady ice skates on Vermilion Lakes, Banff
Ice skating on vermilion Lakes

Winter in Canmore provides a great opportunity to go ice skating. Around Canmore, there are a few places to go ice skating that include rinks set up by the town of Canmore. These include Rundle Crescent Ice Surface, Larch Outdoor Ice Rink, and the Pond Natural Ice Surface. These are maintained by the town so the ice is really smooth.

However, for a more Canadian experience why not head out to a frozen lake to skate! During my last visit to Canmore, we went ice skating on Gap Lake, Lake Louise, and Vermilion Lakes. Out of the three, the only one maintained is Lake Louise and the others are “wild” ice skating lakes. This means they can be covered in snow and you need to make sure the ice is thick enough (usually by mid-December.)

The best part about ice skating is it’s completely free providing you have your own skates. If you don’t, you can rent them in town at Gear Up and even some of the ice rinks.

18. Join a Canmore Cave Tour 

Bailey in the Canmore Caves on a tour
Bailey (when she was only 16) in the Canmore Caves!

Just on the outskirts of Canmore are a couple of caves that are really incredible to explore if you’re up for an adventure! 

Now I have to be honest, I haven’t actually done the Canmore Cave tour before, but I have been to these caves. When I was about 15 years old my Dad took me to explore Rats Nest Cave on our own. This was well before tours ran here, and let me tell you, it was really cool! 

With a guide on a tour you don’t have to worry about getting lost or having all of the right safety equipment. And for those reasons, I recommend joining a guided tour.  

Canmore Cave Tours offers a couple of different tours with different lengths of time and prices. This cave tour is a half-day experience, whereas this longer adventure cave tour takes a full-day and includes rappelling in the cave! 

19. Enjoy Happy Hour Drinks at Live Music at The Drake 

Drinks at the Drake in Canmore!
Drinks at the Drake in Canmore!

My favorite pub in Canmore is The Drake! It is cheap, lively, and serves delicious food. They often have live music and on weekends they have DJs that really crank up the party. 

But to me, the best time to visit The Drake is during happy hour (3 pm to 7 pm) when you can get a pint of local craft beer for only $4.50 CAD! The Drake also has daily food deals such as wing Wednesday where 1 lb of wings will only set you back $5! 

The Drake has a huge outdoor patio as well as a large indoor seating area. It is located right in downtown Canmore and one place I highly recommend you check out.  

20. Spot Wildlife 

A grizzly bear in Canada
Such a cool thing to see!

The Canadian Rockies are famous for their wildlife. From Grizzlies to moose to wild cats like Cougars and Lynx, there are lots of incredible and rare wildlife you can see.  

Spotting wildlife can be tricky though. If you don’t know where to look or what to look for, you’re almost guaranteed to miss out. Not to mention, the idea of seeing a bear in the wild can be quite daunting. 

That’s why wildlife tours are great. Experts know where wildlife hang out and they also know the proper safety precautions to take. This specific wildlife tour departs from Canmore so you can have a chance at seeing some Canadian animals in their natural habitat. 

21. Go Whitewater Rafting 

Bailey white water rafting in Canada
Bailey white water rafting in Canada

Like many of the mountain towns around Alberta, whitewater rafting is one of the best things to do in Canmore! In Canmore, you can choose between a variety of whitewater rafting experiences making it perfect for anybody!

For those looking for a bit of excitement, this river rafting tour will have you splashing through rapids. It is suitable for the whole family, but do be warned that you will get wet and probably let out a couple of screams.

Alternatively, you can book this scenic rafting experience which is much calmer and focuses more on enjoying the incredible views!

Dan and I also went on an awesome whitewater rafting trip when we were in Jasper. Read our blog about the best things to do in Jasper for more information! 

22. Eat Ice Cream at Scoopin Moose 

Eating ice cream at the Scoopin Moose in Canmore
The peanut butter chocolate ice cream is our favorite!

The Scoopin Moose is Canmore’s most popular ice cream shop. It’s so popular that in the summer you can often expect to see a line of people waiting down the street!  

The Scoopin Moose offers a range of delicious flavors and all ice cream cones are waffle cones that they actually make onsite. Expect to pay about $5 for a single scoop…and expect it to be really good!  

Local insight: Canadians don’t just eat ice cream in the summer. In fact, Scoopin Moose proudly advertises that Canadians actually consume more ice cream in the winter! So, if you want to be like us crazy Canadians, then you need to try this ice cream at minus 20 degrees too! 

23. Wander Art Galleries around Town 

Canmore has several art galleries spread out around town displaying art from both world-famous artists and locals. If you ever wanted to buy some art, Canmore is the place to do it! Plus, it makes for a great local souvenir. 

The Avens Gallery and Fallen Leaf Gallery are some of the most popular galleries in town. But just wandering along 8 Street you’re guaranteed to see several others.  

I wasn’t in the market for purchasing art when I was last in Canmore, but I still checked out the galleries as the work is incredible. You can even get some nice prints of wildlife too! 

24. Hike Grotto Canyon or Fish in Grotto Mountain Pond

A lady walsk through Grotto canyon in winter in Canmore
Grotto Canyon is so beautiful in winter!

Grotto Canyon Trail is another popular hike near Canmore. It is an 8-kilometer return trail that is fairly easy as it only gains 390 meters in elevation. Along the hike, you’ll see a waterfall, the Grotto Canyon, as well as a cave if you tackle the scramble up to it! 

In the winter Grotto Canyon turns into a winter wonderland with frozen waterfalls and ice that covers the entire canyon floor in some places. You can explore the canyon on your own but there is also a Grotto Canyon ice walk tour you can do!

For those who aren’t keen on hiking, at Grotto Canyon trailhead is at a large lake (Grotto Mountain Lake) that is popular for fishing (in the summer of course!) Drop a line in here for a chance to catch some trout! In winter you can even ice skate on the lake if it’s safe to do so.

You can find the lake or the trailhead for the Grotto Canyon hike on Google maps and it is about a 15-minute drive from Canmore.  

Please Note: In the winter the Grotto Canyon trail can be slippery and somewhat dangerous to hike without the proper gear. With that said, it is a frozen winter paradise! So, if you’re visiting Canmore in winter I would suggest booking a guided hike with equipment like this Grotto Canyon winter tour.

25. Visit the Canmore Mountain Market 

Bailey walks the Canmore Mountain Market
There is lots to buy and try t the Canmore Mountain Market

Who doesn’t love a good local market?! Luckily for Dan and I, the last time we were in Canmore we happened to be there on a Thursday when they hold the weekly Canmore Mountain Market.  

The Canmore Mountain Market is an outdoor pop-up market featuring locally sourced produce; handcrafted gifts such as clothing and crafts; locally made products including food, meat, sauces, soaps; and of course, lots of food trucks! 

The Canmore Mountain Market is normally open each Spring on Thursdays from 10 am to 6 pm and continues until October. Check their website for the latest details regarding opening times.  

26. Hike Heart Mountain Horseshoe Loop Trail 

Heart Mountain Horseshoe Loop near Canmore
Heart Mountain Horseshoe Loop near Canmore

Heart Mountain Horseshoe Hike is an incredible experience just around the corner from Canmore. I must warn you though, it is a very challenging hike and not for beginners or those afraid of heights in the least bit. With that said, if you can handle the trail, you are rewarded with a very quiet trail (we only saw one either hiker the entire day) with incredible panoramic views. 

Dan and I attempted this hike on a clear summer day and the views were outstanding and varied. The downside was that the first part of the hike is about 3 hours of a steep uphill climb that in some parts, requires hikers to actually climb up rocks.  

After reaching the summit, we hiked along the ridgeline for another 2 hours. While this part was easier than the original climb, it was still challenging with steep descents and assents.  

The last part of the trail descends very steeply. It took us about 2 hours to get back down the mountain as there was lots of shale and slippery parts that we had to take slowly and carefully.  

The entire trail is a loop about 12 kilometers long. The elevation gain is about 950 meters, and while some people claim to complete the entire thing in 6 hours, it took us 7 hours and we’ve heard that some people take longer than 8! 

Hot tip: Pack plenty of water as there is nowhere to fill up along the trail, and trust me, you’re going to need it! Bear spray is also essential. A park ranger also told us that a helmet is a good idea for the rock-climbing portion as there have been accidents here with falling rocks (although we didn’t have any problems.)  

27. Eat a Beaver Tail 

Bailey about to eat a beaver tail in Canmore
Bailey about to eat a Beaver Tail in Canmore

After a long day of hiking, you should definitely reward yourself with something sweet – and a Beaver Tail is just that! As odd as it may seem, in Canmore a “Beaver Tail” isn’t made from the animal at all and is actually more of a donut-style sweet treat. 

The pastry is flat and shaped like, you guessed it, a beaver tail! Then, you can choose any spread and toppings you’d like including candy, chocolate, peanut butter, Nutella, ice cream, and pretty much anything you can think of!  

You can find the Beaver Tail shop right downtown. Expect to pay about $7 CAD for one, and they are quite large so Dan and I usually just share one.  

28. Stop by Canmore Brewing Company

A Canmore Brewing Co beer
The Ten Peaks Pale Ale is my favorite!

Canmore Brewing Company is Canmore’s most famous brewery. In fact, you can find their beer in liquor stores spread across the country. I absolutely love their Ten Peaks Pale Ale and every time I’m in Canmore I stop by the storefront and pick up a few six-packs to go.  

If you aren’t sure which beer you’d like (they have several different flavors) then you can try some at their onsite bar. The bar is open from 1 pm to 7 pm every day except for Tuesdays when they are closed.

Alternatively, you can find Canmore Brewing Company’s beer offered at most bars and restaurants around Canmore.  

29. Walk Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk 

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

Right in town is a wooden boardwalk that winds its way along Policeman’s Creek. This is a short 3.9 kilometer-long leisurely stroll that is suitable for anybody. It only takes about an hour and along the way, you’ll have nice views of the creek and surrounding mountains.  

While wandering around town I recommend just taking a detour along Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk to enjoy some nature right in the middle of town.  

30. Eat Outside at the Food Trucks 

The food trucks in Canmore
Burgers and beer at the food trucks!

Another one of the best things to do in downtown Canmore is to eat at the PD3 Food Trucks. Here you’ll find a section of tacos, sandwiches, burgers, and my favorite, mac and cheese to eat right from a food truck! They are fully licensed and offer a variety of drinks to try too as well as lots of picnic-table style seating.  

In the summer sun, this is the perfect place to enjoy a quick and cheap meal right in town. Since it is all outside, they are dog friendly too! 

31. Drink Coffee at Good Earth Coffeehouse 

Two coffees and a muffin at Good Earth Café in Canmore

There are some really great coffee shops in Canmore. So many, in fact, that it was hard for me to choose my favorite to mention in this blog.  

Good Earth Coffeehouse is a local Canadian coffee shop that started in Calgary and now has over 40 locations across Western Canada – including one on Main Street in Canmore! They serve a variety of drinks and food made with fresh local ingredients.

With that said, locals love Harvest Cafe. Cafe Books is also worth a mention because it is a coffee shop and bookstore all in one! 

32. Visit a Candy Store (or two!) 

Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe in Canmore
I never manage to leave a candy store empty-handed!

Candy stores are my kryptonite, and in Canmore, there are actually two that you can visit, Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe and Timothy’s Popcorn & Candy. Both of these candy stores are located right downtown and offer a range of chocolates, caramels, old-school gummy candies, saltwater taffy, jelly beans, and my personal favorite, fudge! 

Even if you don’t feel like buying anything, wandering through these candy stores reminiscing about some of your favorite treats as a child is fun! Although, I highly doubt you’ll be able to leave empty handed and one of those sweet treats will rope you in to a purchase! 

33. Go Stargazing 

The Milky-way above the Three Sisters taken from Policeman's Creek in Canmore!
The stars are stunning in Canmore!

Dan and I love stargazing and doing astrophotography. So luckily for us, enjoying the amazing stars is one of the best things to do in Canmore! 

For the best look at the stars, you’ll need to get away from town a little bit. We personally love the reflection spot of the Three Sisters (described above in item number 9 on this list), however anywhere towards Banff National Park will work too. Driving up the Smith Dorrien Spray Trail to Whitemans Pond is another one of our favorite spots.  

For the best stargazing be sure to choose a clear night with no clouds. You’ll also see more stars when the moon isn’t present or is very tiny (a full bright moon takes away your ability to see all of the stars as it lights up the whole sky.) 

34. Paddleboard at the Water Reserve 

A man paddleboards at Rundle Forebay Reservoir in Canmore
The lake is very calm and perfect for paddle boarding!

Rundle Forebay Reservoir is a large body of calm water just up the hill from Canmore town. This is a favorite spot among locals to enjoy both kayaking and standup paddleboards (SUP.) The calm water makes for an ideal spot and the towering mountains around you really set the scene.  

If you have your own paddleboard just make your way to the car parking lot on the road called Three Sisters Parkway just across from Olympic Way (entrance to the Nordic Centre.) It’s free to visit this water reserve and from the beach area you can easily set off.  

If you need a paddleboard, you can rent one here.

35. Eat at Rocky Mountain Bagel Co.

A lady poses for a photo with her bagel from Rocky Mountain Bagel Company
The bagels are so good!

The best bagels in Canada are served up fresh in Canmore. Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. is my go-to breakfast spot when I’m craving a breakfast bagel. In fact, it’s so popular that they have two locations in Canmore. The first is on 8 Street in the center of town and the other is on Railway Ave.

My favorite bagel is the greek breakfast bagel but they have a huge selection to choose from. You can also buy bagels by the half or full dozen to have later. Regardless, make at least one breakfast stop at Rocky Mountain Bagel Co.!

Related Read:   33 of the Absolute BEST Things to do in Vancouver, Canada

Where to Stay in Canmore

Bailey jumps on the bed at the Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre
Our room at the Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre

The truth is that there are so many hotels in Canmore that it can 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

The views from the Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre
The views from the Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre

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.

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

You can book this hotel directly on their website or on Be sure to book as far in advance as possible because these guys are usually fully booked!

Canmore Downtown Hostel – Budget Backpackers Option

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 as well as private rooms, and a social atmosphere perfect for meeting other backpackers.

You can book Canmore Downtown Hostel on or Hostelworld.

Copperstone Resort – Luxury Escape

If money isn’t an issue, then Copperstone Resort may be the luxurious option you’re looking for. It is located a 10-minute drive outside of Canmore that makes for a peaceful escape from the town. There is an outdoor hot tub and many of the rooms are full suites with kitchens and multiple bedrooms. However, rooms here don’t come cheap and are often up to twice the price of most hotels in Canmore.

You can check the prices and book Copperstone Resort on

Before you go…

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

I hope this blog on the best things to do in Canmore, Alberta has helped you plan your visit to the area! If you have any questions, please leave them below so we can get back to you.

Be sure to also check out the rest of our Canada-related blog articles and some of our most popular below:

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