Canmore is Banff for locals, a former coal-mining town that reinvented itself as an outdoorsy hub during the 1988 Winter Olympics, when it hosted the cross-country skiing events. Spend time sitting in a downtown bar or cafe and you’ll quickly intuit that most of the population lives here because they love it – and no wonder! The hiking, cycling, skiing and spiky mountain vistas are magnificent, and the rock climbing – Canmore acts as HQ for the Alpine Club of Canada – is world-class. Quieter, cheaper and more relaxed than Banff, Canmore makes a good launching pad for the national park or the more hidden pleasures of Kananaskis Country to the south.
While not officially part of Banff National Park, Canmore is a mere 24km (15 miles) southeast of Banff Town and 7km (4.3 miles) from the park’s East Gate along Hwy 1.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Canmore.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Canmore.