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Your guide to Canmore
All about Canmore
A charming mountain village in the Canadian Rockies, Canmore sits on the edge of Banff National Park and within short driving distance of a half-dozen other national and provincial parks. Since the 1970s, the former coal mining town has grown into a favored base for visitors looking to hit nearby ski areas, hiking trails, and climbing routes, as well as for sightseeing. The 1988 Winter Olympic Games, hosted by Calgary — just over an hour away — sped up that transition by choosing Canmore as the host site for cross-country ski events. Because there are strict limitations as to how many people can stay in Banff, visitors to the area often opt for the quaint location of Canmore for their stay.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Canmore?
Canmore’s draw comes from the great outdoors, but so does its drawback: icy cold winters, unpredictable weather, and searing high-altitude sun mean you’ll have to choose carefully when booking one of the area’s vacation rentals. Rainstorms and snowstorms move in quickly here, and the weather can change in an instant. Bring plenty of layers, sunglasses, and sunscreen for any season, and long pants, long sleeves, and a jacket even for summer. Warm days, with high temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, still cool off at night, and hikers heading into the high mountains should plan appropriately. In winter, when low temperatures average in the single digits and ample snow falls, fueling the local ski areas, you’ll need several layers of warm clothing and at least one waterproof jacket, along with a hat and warm gloves.
What are the top things to do in Canmore?
Banff National Park
The east entrance to Canada’s oldest national park sits just a few minutes outside of town. The 2,500 square miles of snow-capped mountains and scenic mountain lakes bring visitors to hike, bike, ski, fish, raft, and mountain climb, in various seasons, and to simply enjoy the jaw-dropping scenery all year-round.
With five ski areas within 50 miles, visitors can pick from the snowcat-served Fortress Mountain, the nearest spot; Mount Norquay; or the Olympic hill of Nakiska. The 1988 Winter Olympics also brought the Canmore Nordic Centre, for visitors looking to cross-country ski, while the local curling club offers a true taste of Canadian sports.
Banff National Park developed from a small thermal hot spring reserve, and you can still soak in the warm mineral waters at the various hot springs that dot the area, including the popular and easily accessible Banff Upper Hot Springs, 30 minutes from Canmore.