Skip to Content

8 BEST Tours in Canmore, Alberta (that you don’t want to miss!)

8 BEST Tours in Canmore, Alberta (that you don’t want to miss!)

This blog may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Canmore is one of my favorite towns to explore in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. This is an area known for its natural beauty, and really is paradise for an outdoorsy person!

Just about everywhere you go, you will be treated to stunning mountain, forest, and river views. There are truly so many things to do in Canmore, Alberta, no matter what time of year you visit. As one of the most impressive landscapes we’ve ever explored, you are spoiled for choice when planning your vacation here.

While there are lots of activities you can do on your own, sometimes a tour is the best way to explore and add on some truly unique experiences while you’re here. We lived in Canmore for a while and spent lots of time exploring the region and seeing which types of tours are on offer.

To help you narrow down the top experiences and tours in Canmore, we’ve put together this guide. It’s a complete list of our favorite tours in Canmore which we hope will help you when planning your next trip!

Our Top Picks for Tours in Canmore

The Lake Agnes Tea House on a sunny day in Banff
Lake Agnes Tea House on the Banff hiking tour
A lady stands on a rock in Lake Agnes and poses for a photo while staring out at the mountains on a sunny day in Banff National Park
Lake Agnes!

If you were to ask us what our favorite experiences were while exploring everything that Canmore has to offer, these two tours instantly come to mind:

  • Canmore Caving Adventure Tour – This is a tour that is sure to leave a deep (pun intended!) and lasting impression. After all, how often do you get to explore the beauty of the underground world?

The BEST Tours in Canmore, Alberta

1. Canmore caving adventure tour 

group of people staring down a cavern in a narrow cave in Canmore, Alberta
This is one of the best adventure tours near Banff! Photo Credit: Canmore Cave Tours

The Rocky Mountains have a ton of natural beauty to be explored above ground, but for adventurers looking for something a bit different, why not head underground? This Canmore caving adventure tour takes you through the beautiful yet mysteriously named Rat’s Nest Cave.

This was easily one of my favorite tours in Canmore, which is why it’s first on our list! The guides were great, cracking jokes the whole time and making the entire experience lighthearted and fun. They also knew exactly how to deal with people who were a bit more nervous and made the entire group comfortable.

All caving gear was included, such as coveralls, helmets, and climbing gear, but be sure to wear good running shoes and dress for the cooler underground temperatures. 

You will start your experience underground with a 59-foot (18-meter) rappel into the cave – I loved this part! You then spend an impressive 4.5 hours exploring underground. A true adventure, this tour requires a good amount of physical fitness as you can expect to squeeze through some narrow sections and crawl through others to reach the different chambers.

In the end, you will be rewarded with an area called The Grotto which has a stunning clear pool of water and a bunch of impressive stalactites and stalagmites. 

Caving in Canmore
Back when Bailey was a teenager in the Canmore Caves (excuse the blurry pic – this is an old one!)

If you’re looking for a slightly shorter tour, this Canmore Explorer Tour is another great option. Run by the same company, this 4.5-hour tour is slightly cheaper at $138.47 CAD for adults and $117.95 CAD for youths aged 10 – 15 years old. Less rugged but still very thrilling, this tour explores the same Rat’s Nest Cave but skips the rappel and some of the more advanced sections in the tour.

The full 6-hour tour costs $179.49 CAD for adults and $148.72 CAD for youths aged 12 – 15 years old. You can choose between two departure times and have up to 3 days before the experience to cancel with a full refund if your plans change. You can book your caving adventure tour here!

2. 3-hour river stand-up paddling in Canmore 

Bow Valley Stand Up Paddleboarding
Photo credit: Bow Valley Stand Up Paddleboarding

If you find yourself exploring the Canadian Rocky Mountains during the warmer summer months, you’ll also have many aquatic activities to choose from! One of my favorite things to do is go paddleboarding on the rivers and lakes in the Rockies. These alpine waters, while crisp, are clean and clear as glass, providing some of the best views you can imagine. 

This 3-hour river paddleboarding tour takes you down the Bow River and the Kananaskis River, a scenic tributary to the Bow River. You’ll take in many of the sights as you go, such as the beautiful mountain range and the lush alpine forests.

Paddleboarding down a river is a bit different than a lake as you will have a current that is moving you along, keeping the tour interesting even for experienced paddlers. The Bow River is one of the nicest places I’ve paddleboarded, with the chill but stunning turquoise waters making it seem as if we were traveling through a tropical paradise.

With incredible views of the Ha Ling Peak, the famous Three Sisters, and Rundle Mountains, you are sure to be impressed. This afternoon paddle starts at 1 p.m. and costs $159 CAD. You will meet at the boat launch parking lot in Canmore and be guided by a certified river guide.

You can check availability and book your tour here.

Related Read: You’ll find scenic views around every corner, even when you’re stopping for a coffee at a cozy café in Canmore!

3. Nature by nightfall tour 

The Three Sisters at night with the Milky Way above on a night tour in Canmore
The Three Sisters!
The northen lights over Canmore on a nighttime wilderness tour in Canmore, Alberta
If you get lucky, you may even see the Northern Lights!

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Canmore at night, you have to try this Nature by Nightfall Tour. This 2-hour tour starts just before the sun sets and, in my opinion, is must-do during your trip to Canmore.

Take advantage of the remote location away from city lights and marvel at all the beauty of the night sky. Stargazing in the Rocky Mountains is a fantastic experience, as the lack of light pollution in the area gives you truly impressive views of all the stars in the sky. 

Our guide, Jacob, was very friendly and knowledgeable about the area. You could feel how comfortable he was, as he described his experiences growing up there. You’ll start by meeting at the Canmore Recreation Centre, be sure to arrive early as the tour leaves promptly just before sunset. You’ll be provided with hiking poles, headlamps, and ice cleats for your comfort.

While the start time says 6 pm, sunset hours can vary depending on the time of year, so you will be contacted by the company with a more accurate start time. I’d consider it an easy tour in terms of physical demands. While you will be walking, there aren’t any steep hills or super rugged terrain to navigate. 

As this tour is designed to happen after nightfall, be sure to dress appropriately, including good hiking boots and layers. While you probably won’t be lugging along a telescope, I highly recommend bringing along a camera, and even binoculars if you have them! 

Make sure to take a look at the weather report during your trip and plan your tour accordingly, as going on a clear night will make your experience much more enjoyable. You can still book ahead of time as you have up to 24 hours prior to your tour leaving to cancel if you find yourself in bad weather or can’t make it. 

The tour is available to anyone 8 years of age and older and costs $68 CAD per person. Whether you’re an astrologist at heart, or simply love to admire the beauty of the night sky, you can browse dates and secure your spot here.

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here!

4. Dog sledding 

Bailey dog sledding in Canmore
Lead the way!
Bailey with one of the dogs on our dog sledding tour in Canmore
This was the best part!

A truly unique Canadian experience is taking a fun and super cute dog sledding tour! In Canmore, these are operated by Howling Dog Tours.

If you are looking for an exciting way to explore the backcountry of the Rocky Mountains in the winter, a dog sledding tour is a must! These tours explore the stunning Spray Lakes Provincial Park, about a 30-minute drive from Canmore. 

This tour company offers two different tour experiences based on how long you are looking to go for. You can choose between a 2-hour or a half-day tour.

Both tours have a tour guide on every sled and can accommodate two adults with the possibility of adding a third passenger (typically a child) depending on space. Between 5-7 beautiful huskies will pull you along on this trip, depending on sled weight. The tours include round-trip transport from Canmore and a snack and hot beverage along the way. This traditional Canadian way of travel is one of the coolest ways to explore wilderness trails.

two people are pulled in a dog sled near Canmore, Alberta
Look at us go! Thanks to Howling Dog Tours for snapping this awesome photo of us!

I love that both of these tours allow you to help set the huskies up, harness them, and get them ready for the ride through the backcountry of the Bow Valley. You can choose how involved you’d like to be with the dogs, they even give you the option to take the lead for a while and drive the sled if you’d like. The whole experience is very relaxing and is one of my favorite things to do in Canmore during the winter.

The half-day 3.5 – 4 hour dog sled tour is available to travelers 10 years of age and older between mid-January to March. With a transfer from Canmore, you will be picked up at 11 a.m. and head out deep into the backcountry. It costs $545 CAD per person.

For those who are a little tighter for time, the 2-hour dog sledding tour has multiple departure times and is offered to guests 2 years of age and older. Tour dates begin in December through to April and will take you on a 5 km (3 mile) each way trail through the backcountry. This tour costs $259 CAD in the low season and $268 CAD in high season.

Related Read: If you’re coming from Calgary, the drive from Calgary to Canmore is packed with so many fun things to do!

5. Half-day Canadian Rockies canyon exploration

Hiking through a the frozen Grotto Canyon in winter
The Grotto Canyon Icewalk!

If you want to feel really small, this half-day canyon exploration tour is sure to do the trick. You can choose between three morning departure times before heading out on a 3-4 hour hike through the awe-inspiring canyon. This narrow rock creek bed makes for a beautiful place to explore and is one of the relatively easy treks near Canmore suitable for those 12 years and older. 

You are likely to pass rock climbers on this trek as the steep rocky sides provide some great terrain for them to climb. My favorite thing about this tour was learning about the history of the area from our guide. They showed us old pictographs found on the walls and gave a lot of great information about the geography and ecosystem of the area. They also pointed out some hoodoo rock formations which were super cool to see. 

As the canyon has steep rock walls on either side, you will likely spend a lot of your time in the shade. Dress accordingly in warm layers and a waterproof jacket and be sure to bring your camera. You will also be navigating along rocks and uneven terrain, so I highly recommend hiking boots that secure your ankle. We were offered free snacks and ice cleats to help us navigate the area comfortably.

The price of this tour varies depending on the number of people who book, so bring your friends along for the best deal! The price for one person is $180 CAD but drops to $90 CAD each if booking for two people. Booking for three drops it to $80 CAD each, while booking for between 5 – 8 people will bring the cost down to $65 CAD per person.

You can book this awesome hiking tour online here!

Related Read: If you’re a big fan of hiking, then you’ll absolutely love hiking Ha Ling Peak near Canmore. The views up there are on a whole new level.

6. Private guided hiking in Banff

views on the Plain of Six Glaciers trail
Vies along the trail!

For physically fit adventurers looking for a good long hike through some of the most beautiful areas in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, a private guided hiking tour is a must! Your group of 2-4 people will be escorted by a professional tour guide on an extensive hike through the mountains to some of the best places in the area.

You can choose between 4 different private tour options depending on the area you would like to explore and the distance and difficulty you can hike. I love that because it’s just your group, you have a lot of flexibility on what your experience will look like. The tour is all-inclusive, providing transportation from Canmore to and from the trailhead, as well as hiking poles, a hot campfire lunch, and water.

The tour guides are great on this tour, stopping as often as you need and pointing out all the stunning beauty in the area. They really are wilderness experts, and you can tell how comfortable and well-prepared they are to head deep into the outback. You’ll want to make sure you pack and dress accordingly, including sturdy hiking boots, layers, and sun protection. 

While these tours are longer, between 6-8 hours, the pace is designed to be flexible, stopping for lunch along the way. The Minnestimma Lake hike is one of my favorites as you get stunning views of the famous Moraine Lake, but really all of the tour options will provide unbeatable experiences.

Adults cost $190 CAD each while kids 5-12 years old cost $140 CAD each. You can also cancel or move your reservation up to 24 hours in advance if the weather is unfavorable or your plans change. You can book your private guided hike here.

7. Into the Rockies – 4-hour wildlife safari drive

An Elk in Banff National Park in winter
Elk are common in Canmore, but you still need to keep your distance!

If you love the diverse Canadian wildlife as much as we do and want to see some of the incredible animals in the area, Canmore is the perfect place to do it! This private half-day wildlife safari tour is a fantastic option for individual groups of 2-6 people.

The Rocky Mountains are known as bear country, being home to both black bears and grizzlies. But that is just scratching the surface – the area is also home to an abundance of wildlife, including moose, bighorn sheep, foxes, cougars, elk, coyotes, lynx, mountain goats, wolves, and more.

I highly recommend bringing your camera along on this tour – trust me, you will want it! If snapping pictures of the wildlife isn’t enough, the views you will have from both the drive and hike are sure to impress.

The tour leaves at 9 am from the Canmore Recreation Centre so be sure to arrive early. You will spend 2.5 hours on a safari drive through the Rocky Mountains where your guide will point out animals along the way. 

You will also enjoy a 1.5-hour nature walk tracking some of the stunning wildlife in the area. The walk is fairly easy and suitable for families. It is more geared towards the scenery than heart-pumping exercise. You will be provided with hiking poles and, if needed, ice cleats to go over your shoes.

You have up to 24 hours ahead of time to cancel when booking and this tour is private, meaning only your group will participate and the price varies based on the size of your group. If there are two people in your group, prices are $325 CAD each. This price continues to drop the more people you bring; if you book for a group of 5-6 people, the price moves to $175 CAD each. 

You can check availability and book your wildlife safari here

Related Read: Can’t get enough of the wildlife? Plan to stay in nearby Banff National Park and take in a wildlife tour to catch a glimpse of the must-see animals who live around Banff!

8. Guided e-bike tour of Canmore

White Mountain Adventures Bike tour Banff
Photo credit: White Mountain Adventures

If you’re looking for a great way to see the city of Canmore and the stunning surrounding area, this guided e-bike tour around Canmore is a super efficient way to do so!

The tour lasts about 3 hours and takes you on a 15 km (9 mile) trip around the area. The entire bike ride is picturesque from start to finish, with some of the most beautiful nature views you can imagine. While you do travel a long distance, the ride is mostly flat and the e-bikes help power your journey, making the bike ride more about enjoying the scenery than having your thighs burn. 

Be sure to bring your camera along for this bike ride as you will have lots of opportunities to stop and capture all the beauty you are seeing. Along the way, you’ll see a truly stunning mountain backdrop and will spend time biking along the clear Bow River. You’ll then cross Engine Bridge which was originally built in 1891 by the Canadian Pacific Railway to serve the coal mine.

You will travel in groups of 2-7 bikers, with a minimum of two travelers per booking. The cost for the tour is $122 CAD per person and includes a guide to take you, the e-bike, and helmet rental.

All bikers must be at least 5 feet (152 cm) tall to use the bikes. This tour does book up in the summer months, and you have up to 24 hours before the tour to cancel if you need to, so we recommend booking in advance!

Where to Stay in Canmore

A standard room at Coast Canmore!

Canmore is a popular destination year-round, with travelers coming from across the world to take in the beautiful surroundings. It’s only right then that there is a fantastic and diverse hotel scene to explore as well!

Having spent a lot of time staying at many different hotels here, I’ve separated the good from the bad to bring you the ones worth considering! Three of the best hotels in Canmore include:

Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn – $

This is a fantastic option for travelers on a budget and is within easy walking distance of town. Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn is far enough from the town center that you can avoid the crowds, and if it’s seriously cold, then you can quite easily get a cab from the hotel. Rooms here start at $122 CAD per night and can be booked online here.

Coast Canmore Hotel – $$

Coast Canmore is a great mid-range hotel that is also only a short walk from town. It’s also a destination we’ve repeatedly returned to, thanks to how nice the staff and overall experience are. The on-site restaurant is a big plus, catering to a variety of dietary requirements. Take it from us though, you can’t miss out on the hot tub! Rooms here start from $166 CAD and you can check availability here.

Malcolm Hotel by CLIQUE – $$$

If budget isn’t a cause for concern on your trip, then why not treat yourself to a lavish stay at The Malcolm Hotel. This hotel is situated right in the heart of the town, yet has beautiful natural views, as well as a fantastic outdoor pool. Those traveling during the winter season will be pleasantly surprised by just how low the rates can be! Rooms start from $325 CAD and you can secure your room here.

Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!

If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!

SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.  

We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)

It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!

Renting a Car in Alberta

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

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 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 in Canmore, Alberta on the Bow River
Thanks for reading!

When you are in a place as beautiful as the Canadian Rocky Mountains, getting out to explore your surroundings is an absolute must! Canmore is one of our favorite places to visit, as there is so much to see and do both above ground, and below. Hopefully you’ve found a tour (or two!) that’s calling your name.

We hope this guide to the best tours in Canmore helps you plan an epic vacation through the Rockies. We’re confident that your camera will be your closest companion along the way! Don’t forget to check out more of our blogs about Canada, including:

ULTIMATE Guide to Visiting Canmore in December

16 BEST Stops on the Drive from Edmonton to Canmore

5 Different Distilleries & Breweries in Canmore

How to Get to Moraine Lake (from Banff, Canmore, Calgary, and More!)