Many people have heard of Banff National Park, but just outside the Park gates lies the town of Canmore. This tag explores this unassuming mountain town – a 20-minute drive from Banff townsite and an hour’s drive from Calgary. Situated in the province of Alberta, it’s a haven for lovers of outdoor adventure.

In this Travels with Baggage blog, we have several posts on all the unique things to do in Canmore. Because of it’s proximity to Calgary, many locals prefer visiting here to Banff. Because of it’s popularity, it’s restaurant has expanded and many tour companies operate out of here. If you want to go caving or rafting, likely this town will be where you start out from.

That’s because in Canmore, you’ll find just as many outdoor activities as you would in Banff National Park. Some of the best cross country skiing is found in this town at their Nordic Centre – a former Olympic facility. There’s lots of options of camping in Canmore and the hotels here are often less expensive than what you’d find in Banff townsite. There’s also more AirBnB types of condo rentals for families than what you’d find in Banff. 

The town is the closest and largest home base for exploring the Kananaskis region. Kananaskis-Country or K-country as locals refer to it is a recreation area where you can enjoy skiing, hiking, fishing, mountain biking and camping – all without having to pay a Parks fee.

Canmore is an all-season destination. In winter the town has many outdoorsy festivals and in summer it’s popular with day hikers. Throughout the year it’s likely Calgary’s most popular mini-break destination.


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