SkiBig3 Tips: Guide to Canmore in Winter

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SkiBig3 Tips: Guide to Canmore in Winter

Whether making this location your ski vacation ‘home base’, or simply checking it out on your rest days,  here’s your guide to Canmore in winter.

If a winter ski vacation to the Canadian Rockies has ever been on your bucket list, chances are you’ve heard of a town called Canmore. Neighbouring the town of Banff just east of the Banff National Park gates, you’ll find this charming mountain community with a homey, down-to-earth vibe, spectacular scenery, and a pace that’s unique from Banff and Lake Louise. You’ll rub shoulders with everyone from Olympic athletes to seasonal ski bums, to families who have lived there for generations.

SkiBig3’s guide to Canmore in winter

Where is Canmore?

Canmore is the first major centre you arrive at when driving into the Canadian Rockies from the Calgary International Airport (YYC). Once you depart the airport, you can expect to arrive in this idyllic mountain town in just over an hour. Canmore is located:

  • 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of the town of Banff
  • 30 kilometres (19 miles) from Mt. Norquay
  • 40 kilometres (25 miles) to Banff Sunshine Village
  • 80 kilometres (50 miles) to Lake Louise Ski Resort


Canmore is known for it’s active, outdoor culture. It’s Nordic Centre is a world-class training ground for Olympic athletes! | Photo by Travel Alberta

How do you get to Canmore?

Getting to Canmore is easy! A seamless airport shuttle will get you from A to B in no time, or for more flexibility, personal vehicles are available for hire from the Calgary International Airport (YYC).

Getting from Canmore to Banff and Lake Louise

Public transit is available, via ROAM Transit, between the towns of Banff and Lake Louise and Canmore. SkiBig3 ski shuttles, however, only operate between the town of Banff, the village of Lake Louise, and the three resorts. You will need to get to Banff, via ROAM Transit, before taking a ski shuttle to one of the three resorts.

ROAM Public Transit connects Canmore to Banff and Lake Louise with an easy, affordable bus service. | Photo by ROAM Transit

Do I need a Parks Canada pass?

Yes! While Canmore itself is not located in Banff National Park, you’re still required to purchase a park pass if stopping at any of the SkiBig3 resorts with a personal vechile. Be sure to stop at the park gate (on the highway) to pick one up, or purchase a park pass online to avoid car queues and save time.

Where to stay in Canmore

Condos in Canmore

Canmore is a condo haven! Great for families and group getaways, you’ll be spoilt for choice for trendy mountain lodging in this beautiful town. Larger units, condos, and one to two-bedroom units complete with kitchenettes are plentiful here.

Clique Hotels are a great start to finding the best condo for you. Or, you can give our Vacation Specialists a call at 1 844 754 2443, to see what Ski & Stay packages we have available in Canmore. Stoneridge Mountain Resort, Falcon Crest Lodge, and Blackstone Mountain Lodge all offer spacious, luxurious condo-style suites with the best amenities for an enjoyable stay – hot tubs, fitness centers, WiFi and outdoor pools.

Hotels in Canmore

Other options include Solara Resort, complete with a movie theatre and on-site One Wellness Spa to indulge and unwind. Grande Rockies Resort offers everything from Economical Guest Rooms to Grande Penthouses – no matter which room you choose, you can enjoy their indoor swimming pool, 3-storey water slide, and indoor/outdoor hot tub. We also recommend The Malcolm Hotel, located in beautiful Spring Creek, if you’re looking for a slice of luxury.

Basecamp Resorts Canmore is another great place to stay, centrally located in Canmore with great value and added services.

Spring Creek, in Canmore, is a lovely area with shops and hotels, including the luxurious Malcolm Hotel. | Photo by Travel Alberta

What to do in Canmore

Non-ski activities in Canmore

If you’re sticking around the Rockies for a while, there’s plenty to explore off the ski resort slopes. The Canmore Nordic Centre, home to several 1988 Winter Olympics events, features a variety of cross-country ski tracks suitable for all abilities.

Kids need to burn off some energy? Take them to Elevation Place – a family-friendly recreation centre featuring massive climbing walls and an aquatics centre, complete with a waterslide and a children’s play area.

Elevation Place is a public recreation facility with a rock climbing wall, a big pool, and a 25-person hot tub. A great place to unwind or burn off extra energy! | Photo by the Town of Canmore

Want to enjoy the fresh winter air a bit longer? Outdoor skating is great fun no matter your age. Whether at a maintained rink or ice au naturel, you’ll love the magical experience of skating amongst snowy, towering mountain peaks. Check out these favourite skating spots in Banff, too!

If your ski legs are in need of a little R&R, just walk them on down to Wild Heart Canmore. This Yoga Barre Studio is taught by instructors who are skiers themselves, and know the best stretches and poses to suit this style.

WildHeart, in Canmore, is a local fitness favourite – offering barre and yoga classes. | Photo by WildHeart

Where to eat in Canmore

While you’ll find the exciting bustle in Banff and the reclusive ‘off-the-grid’ feel in Lake Louise, Canmore is the happy medium of upbeat nightlife and downtown energy.

Where to eat and drink in Canmore at night

Where to eat in Canmore during the day

  • Chez Francois is a sure-to-please brunch spot, specializing in eggs benny and crepes.
  • Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. is a popular spot to get breakfast on the go (if you aren’t enticed to settle into their comfy chairs by the fire)
  • Communitea Cafe’s bright and open corner location offers healthy menu items sourced from local and organic ingredients whenever possible. Plus, they specialize in gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options.


Exterior shot of Tavern 1883, Canmore, Alberta.
Photo courtesy of Tavern 1883.

Book your SkiBig3 Canmore vacation

Consider making Canmore your base for a SkiBig3 adventure! Our friendly Reservations Team is always happy to share their local knowledge and experience to help you find the best Ski & Stay package for your style and budget. You can reach them via Live Chat (scroll up for the Live Chat link at the top of our website), or by calling 1-844-754-2443.