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Top Things To Do In Kananaskis Country, Alberta

by Pankaj Upreti
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Things To Do In Kananaskis Country, Alberta

Kananaskis Country is one of the most enjoyable mountain cities to visit in Canada.
Kananaskis Country, AB | Photo Credit – Jan Mosimann

Kananaskis Country is one of the most enjoyable mountain cities to visit in Canada. The place is home to some of the most picturesque lakes, as they lay shrouded by snow-capped mountains. The area has several surreal glaciers that you can view as you enjoy a bonfire by the lakeside.

Kananaskis is a public favorite camping destination, known for its luxurious resorts and exquisite landscapes. There are many recreational activities like hiking, canoeing, snowboarding, or even dog sled tours that you can enjoy when in town. You cannot miss exploring the wilderness of Kananaskis Country when in Alberta, Canada!

Canoe riding at the Barrier Lake

Barrier Lake | Photo Credit – Jan Mosimann

How often do we get the opportunity to enjoy a canoe ride in a beautiful lake town? This is just the perfect place to take on an adventure and ride the Voyageur Canoe Tour with your friends and family. The canoes of this region are at least 25 feet long and a perfect evening activity to do with a large group.

The canoe tour is available all through the year and begins at 10 o’clock every morning. When on these tours, guides will give you the best Kananaskis country experience as you learn how to light a fire without ignition or observe some of the most unique wildlife of the region. 

Hike along the Upper Kananaskis Loop and get the best waterfall views

There are many gorgeous trails that you can hop on to for an adventure in Kananaskis Country, one of the most exciting ones is the Upper Kananaskis Lake Loop. It is considered to be an easy hike despite its length. The trails will leave you awe-inspired with a beautiful view of the Rockies and the surrounding waterfalls.

When hiking on this trail, you will come across the Kananaskis Falls and the Sarrail Falls. The Kananaskis Upper Lake Loop trail is approximately 16 km long and can take up to five hours to complete. It is a popularly visited route that you must explore when in Alberta.

Horse riding at the Cross Zee Ranch

Horseback Riding | Photo Credit – Guillaume Bonastre

Alberta in the summer can look like a gorgeous location from a Hollywood Western. There are many festivals and carnivals here where locals and tourists bring out their inner cowboys and have a great time. The Cross Zee Ranch is one such fun place where you can hop onto horses and ride them along the majestic Canadian Rockies.

People of all ages, yes even kids, are allowed to ride horses, and those who want professional help shall be able to get it here. There is something exhilarating about riding a horse in the countryside, watching the hills and the trees fly right past us. This is a great way to create cherishable memories with your friends and family.

A day at the beach at Quarry Lake

This region used to be a mining quarry which has now become one of the most fun recreational parks in Alberta. This is a great place to relax by the waters with your friends and family on a hot summer day.

The site is frequented by locals and tourists alike as it has become a tradition to swim here when in Kananaskis country. What is better than enjoying a full view of Mount Rundle, Ha Ling Peak, and the Fairholme Range as you swim in crystal clear water? Add a picnic basket and some fun outdoor games to the mix and you will have the best time here.

Wildlife spotting at the Sheep River Wildlife Sanctuary

Kananaskis Country is home to the Sheep River Wildlife Sanctuary
Sheep River Provincial Park | Photo Credit – Jan Mosimann

Kananaskis Country is home to the Sheep River Wildlife Sanctuary. This is an exciting biodiversity hub located within the Sheep River Provincial Park. The conservation area has several animals that are unique to the region that you can walk around spotting.

Some of these wild animals include the bighorn sheep, elk, and deers. When in the Sheep River Provincial Park, you cannot miss the waterfalls. The waterfalls are popular among tourists who come here all the way from Calgary and the Turner Valley for a quiet and relaxing time.

Camping at the Quaite Valley Backcountry

Camping is synonymous with Kananaskis Country. The place is the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation, making it a popular camping destination in Canada. There are two common camping types in Kananaskis, either those with vehicular access or those in the backcountry.

The backcountry camping option is ideal for those who wish to spend a quiet and private evening near the Kananaskis backcountry. You can then head on cycling trips or go hiking around the area as you enjoy the rugged lanes of the Canadian Rockies.

Most of these camping grounds provide food storage facilities, toilets, firewood for bonfires, and other essential utilities. You cannot miss this adventurous experience when in Kananaskis country.

Experience the Highwood Road Corridor and the Smith Dorrien Trail

Smith Dorrien Trail | Photo Credit – simpf

The Highwood Road Corridor has been heralded as the most beautiful driving corridor in Alberta and one of the most thrilling ones in all of Canada. This drive will give you an eagle’s eye view of the entire Kananaskis Country as you ride past green valleys and snow-capped mountains.

You can stop for pit stops along with some gorgeous viewpoints or grab a bit at local restaurants on your way. You can then join highway no. 40 to get on the Cowboy Trail and arrive at Canmore.

Rejuvenate at the Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino at Exshaw

Exshaw is a small but gorgeous hamlet in Alberta, located in close proximity to Kananaskis Country. It is a popular tourist attraction that offers a wide variety of experiences. When here, you cannot miss a visit to the Rafter 6 Ranch, get a closer look at the local lifestyle here.

You can visit the Barrier Lake Visitor Information Center as well, to get to know more about the place. After you have had a relaxing stay at the Stoney Nakoda Resort, you can also head to grab a bit of a good old Canadian dinner at the Heart Mountain Store Cafe in town.

Enjoy a dog sled tour in Canmore

Canmore is another underrated attraction of Kananaskis Country
Canmore | Photo Credit – Jan Mosimann

Canmore is another underrated attraction of Kananaskis Country. This place will offer your adventure every day that you spend here. Canmore is beautiful in the summers and winters as it is the perfect place for mountain activities. In the summers, you can go cycling, hiking, fishing, and golfing in nearby places, as you relax by some of the most beautiful landscapes you will ever see.

In the winters, you can get on dog sled tours around the region, or go snowboarding. The place also offers water activities like canoeing, rafting, and more. It is the best place to reconnect with your family and have a memorable vacation.

A walking tour with cowboys and coal mines

Local guides will take you on an engaging and fun walking tour of Canmore in this exciting walking tour of the region. It will last around 2 hours and you will cover several kilometers of the region.

You do not have to worry if you do not like hiking, the tour is mostly on flat surfaces and intends to be more informative than adventurous. It is the perfect way to know more about the city’s coal mines and cowboy traditions. Walking in a city is the best way to observe its people and conventions in action.

This walking day could be a great way to spend time in the region after exhausting hiking or snowboarding in the mountains. You will also be able to avail of a full refund if you cancel your booking twenty-four hours before the trip commences.

Hike along the Grotto Canyon

Grotto Canyon | Photo Credit – Alex

Grotto Canyon is a treat to sore eyes, especially if you prefer mountains to beaches. It offers a great hike for beginners that is only about 5 km long. The hike will take you across the curves and edges of the Canadian Canyon, you will eventually arrive at a fork in the road that will both end at exciting possibilities.

One of the roads will lead you to caves and the other to a waterfall! The hike offers a diverse range of experiences as it can be completely different in the winters than in the summers. It is easy and can be completed by kids as well, a great way to welcome them to the world of hiking and trekking. What better place to begin than the Canyon! The hike is open for visitors all throughout the year. 

Biking in Kananaskis Country

Mountain biking has a thrill of its own, speeding past the magnanimous Canadian Rockies as the cold air hits your face can be an adventurous activity for many people. This is a popular tourist activity as many people enjoy hopping on bikes to explore the region locally. There are many trails that you can join, the Stoney Trail Mountain Biking Trail is a popular favorite.

This trail is easy and will give you a fun combination of dust roads and gravel. If you are looking to challenge yourself, the Baldy Pass is a great place to go biking as well. There are several bike rental options in Kananaskis Country in case you do not have your own bike.

Sunday Breakfast at Mount Engadine

Mount Engadine Lodge Deck | Photo Credit – Remarksman

Waking up to breezy mornings in the mountains is one of the most enjoyable parts of a vacation. If you are a traveler who does not like to compromise on the food or the view, stopping at Mount Engadine Lodge will be the perfect choice for you. They curate their own menus every week and continue to offer their public favorite dishes like smoked salmon or banana and almond pancakes all through the year.

They serve unique cocktails and beverages that will refresh your palette like the Classic Canadian Caesar. The Lodge is located in the Spray Valley Provincial Park and offers a wide variety of accommodation options like cabins, tents, and rooms with a spectacular view of the mountains.

Enjoy a beautiful snowshoe tour under the full moon

Kananaskis Outfitters offers an exceptional guided tour in the snow in Kananaskis country. You can join the tour to explore the region wearing snowshoes, under a bright Full Moon. This is an exciting adventure as during your tour, you will be walking on a blanket of snow, under the clearest view of the stars.

This is the perfect romantic getaway for couples and families alike as the tour is open to children that are ten years old and above. The tour leaves from Kananaskis Village and covers many local destinations along the way. The crew will provide services such as first aid, snacks, and coffee. You can rest assured that this will be an experience you will never forget in your life.

Deep powder skiing at Fortress Mountain Resort

Skiing enthusiasts will tell you how exceptional deep powder snow can be for the sport. Kananaskis Country is one of the best places to ski with your friends and family. Fortress Mountain Resort in Kananaskis is one of the most frequently visited skiing destinations in Canada.

The extraordinary resort is located at the highest base elevation in Canada and spans over 2000 acres in the snow. It is the best place to visit for a sustainable, eco-friendly stay. The resort offers terrain parks where you can ski with expert guidance.

It has been the site for filming several iconic Hollywood films like Jumanji, Inception, The Revenant, and more! It is located in close proximity to Banff National Park and is thus frequently visited by travelers coming to explore Alberta.

Visit Firewood Glass Studio and Art Gallery

The artists at Firewood Glass Studio work hard at creating beautiful objects made from glass blowing. They sell handmade ornaments, vases, bottles, kitchenware and so much more.

The art gallery is run by independent artists that live here and often showcase their art through exhibitions and events. You must surely visit this beautiful studio in the snow to know more about the art and traditions of Alberta, Canada.

And if you are in Canada also check out things to do in British Columbia.

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