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.
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