Alberta | Kananaskis Country
Welcome now what? Explore!
Some of the best kept secrets in the Rocky Mountains are hidden in the valleys directly south of Canmore. These valleys are full of natural history that includes the Stoney Indians, Captain John Palliser, and many of the early pioneers who discovered Canada’s National Parks.To know more about Kananaskis Country, you can go to the official website here. Thumbs up to the incredible job they do!
For a great trip from Calgary or Canmore, head to Highway #40 South, the gateway to Kananaskis Country. Kananaskis Country is a massive collection of provincial parks, over 4000 square kilometres. Each park is designated for different activities, from quiet solitude to off-road motorized sports.
To do a complete circuit of the Kananaskis Valley that takes you back to Canmore, try the spectacular backcountry Smith Dorrien/Spray Lake road. It’s a wildlife corridor second to none. Access this road after you have visited Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and the large North and South Kananaskis Lakes.
From the Visitors' Centre onwards, many first-class recreational activities are just minutes away.
In the summer, hiking, biking (both on single track and paved bike paths), horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, fly fishing and even golfing at one of Canada’s premier golf courses are available.
In the winter, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, and snowshoeing are easily accessed on both professionally groomed trails and in the backcountry.
winter in Kananaskis and the Spray Valley is magical. Snowfall near
Burstall Pass usually triples that of Canmore or Banff: With groomed
trails at Sawmill, Chester Lake, and at the Mount Shark ski trails,
it’s a paradise for cross-country skiers and snowshoers.
As well, there are plenty of locations for ice fishers, dog sledders, and ice skaters, especially on the Spray Lake at the north end of the Spray Valley.
Above awaits you a virtual tour to the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park. The Day Lodge is just facing you! Spray Valley Provincial Park is in the background. Ha Ling Peak on your left and Rundle Range on your right.
Moose, elk, deer, and bear frequent the Spray Valley, and many moose calves are sighted throughout the summer and fall. A great wildlife viewing spot is at the bridge near the Mount Engadine Lodge turnoff.
In mid-October, the golden eagle migration passes overhead in Kananaskis. The Festival of Eagles offers opportunities to learn about these magnificent birds of prey and their larger ecosystem, as well as to participate in nature hikes that take you closer to the birds in flight.
A great stopping off spot for lunch is the Kananaskis Village, which also includes first-class overnight hotel accommodation. They have a general store, a recreational rental shop, restaurants, bistros, and bars. The Village also has a number of shopping options from souvenirs to luxury mountain apparel.
For campers, a
variety of options, from fully-serviced RV locations with kids’
swimming pools to private backcountry tenting sites, are spread
throughout Kananaskis, including overnight stays in authentic tepees.
Click on this link, you'll be brought to the Travel Alberta Visitor Information Centre exit in Canmore, as shown in above photo. You'll be facing the Three Sisters and can continue on your trip through Canmore!
(Tips: you're coming into Canmore from the West. By double-clicking the small map on your left, you can place yourself somewhere else. Use your mouse to turn around and enjoy the scenery. But make sure you're heading in the right direction. I know, as it happened to me too!)
Another virtual trip to Kananaskis Country below. You'll be brought heading East, coming from Canmore on the Trans-Canadian Highway, at the turn-off to Highway #40, going south to Kananaskis Country. Look at the signs on your right, exciting isn't it?
Now, you're at Barrier Lake Information Centre, on Highway #40, in Kananaskis Country.