Best trails near Canmore

XC Ski Trails in Canada

Country in North America

Canada is perhaps the ultimate adventure holiday destination, with huge national parks, towering mountain ranges, crystal-clear alpine lakes, and lush forests. If you’re looking for a real experience in the Great Outdoors, Canada certainly won’t disappoint. The world’s second-largest country, Canada has enough awe-inspiring sights to satisfy even the most enthusiastic nature lovers!

Spreading across the top of North America, and extending all the way into the Arctic, Canada is home to an abundance of rare and wonderful wildlife. Travelers here must share the land with a whole host of creatures, including moose, bears, mountain lions, and wild Canadian geese, and if you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of some of these remarkable creatures in their natural habitat. Indeed, it’s Canada’s wildness that attracts many visitors – it’s one of the only places in the world where you can really escape from it all and immerse yourself in nature.

Canada’s most popular regions for adventure travel are Alberta and British Columbia, home to the Canadian Rockies and some of the country’s most spectacular scenery. Come here for hiking, backpacking, climbing, scrambling, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and much more! Whether you want to dip your toes in a crisp alpine lake or trek along some of the most exhilarating ridge walks in the Rockies, there’s something for everyone here.

Canada is so huge, and the possibilities for adventure travel so vast, it can be difficult to know where to start! To help you plan your journey, we’ve put together guides to all the best regions for adventure travel in Alberta and British Columbia. You’ll find activity guides, tour recommendations, and top tips for planning a trip – all you need to do is decide where to go first!

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XC skiing regions in Canada

    Best XC Ski Trails in Canada

    Open details for Fairview Loop

    Fairview Loop

    Easy
    6.2 km
    50 m
    1-1.5h

    The Fairview cross-country ski trail is a stunning XC ski trail near Chateau Lake Louise. It’s also not too busy, as other nearby trails are more popular, however we love the scenery of a cross-country ski trip on Fairview. We often combine this route with a return on the Moraine Lake Road trail.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    9.3
    Technical Difficulty
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Open details for Goat Creek to Banff Springs

    Goat Creek to Banff Springs

    Hard
    19.8 km
    178 m
    3-5h

    Cross-country skiing from the Goat Creek parking lot above Canmore to the Banff Springs Hotel is a classic XC ski in the Canadian Rockies. This ski trail takes in some epic scenery. The first half of the route is infrequently track-set, while the trail improves markedly once you enter Banff National park.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    9.5
    Technical Difficulty
    Advanced (Diamond)
    Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Open details for Canmore Nordic Centre

    Canmore Nordic Centre

    Easy
    13.3 km
    156 m
    2-3h

    We love to cross-country ski at Canmore Nordic Centre. The trails are usually in great condition and there are so many variants to explore, from beginner to expert. This is our favourite loop, which goes out on Meadowview and back on Banff Trail.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    8.0
    Technical Difficulty
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Open details for Lake Louise Lakeshore

    Lake Louise Lakeshore

    Very Easy
    4.0 km
    5 m
    1h

    Cross-country skiing on Lake Louise is the classic beginner XC ski trail in Banff National Park. This XC route goes over frozen Lake Louise, providing incredible views you can’t easily get in summer. This is also a fun trip to do with headlamps and some hot chocolate at dusk.

    User Ratings
    No Reviews
    Open details for Ribbon Creek

    Ribbon Creek

    Moderate
    11.3 km
    288 m
    1.5-3h

    We love to ski at Ribbon Creek when conditions are good. This is some of the closest cross-country skiing to Calgary, and the trails are fun and usually kept in good condition.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    9.0
    Technical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Open details for Goat Creek to Banff Springs

    Goat Creek to Banff Springs

    Hard
    19.8 km
    178 m
    3-5h

    Cross-country skiing from the Goat Creek parking lot above Canmore to the Banff Springs Hotel is a classic XC ski in the Canadian Rockies. This ski trail takes in some epic scenery. The first half of the route is infrequently track-set, while the trail improves markedly once you enter Banff National park.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    10.0
    Technical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Advanced (Diamond)
    Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
    Open details for Pocaterra

    Pocaterra

    Moderate
    22.9 km
    521 m
    4-6h

    The Pocaterra cross-country ski area in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park has some of the best snow in the Kananaskis region. While we have shared our favourite XC ski loop, there are plenty of easier loops to do in the area that are both shorter and with less elevation gain.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    10.0
    Technical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Advanced (Diamond)
    Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
    Open details for Great Divide 1A

    Great Divide 1A

    Moderate
    20.0 km
    140 m
    2.5-4h

    Cross-country ski through history on the old Lake Louise highway 1A. This ski is very popular with novice skiers, who often don’t complete the whole trail. You’ll pass the Great Divide and continue into British Columbia on this family-friendly out-and-back trip. The Great Divide typically has great snow and the wide road means you get better views than many other cross-country ski trails in Banff National Park.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    9.5
    Technical Difficulty
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Open details for West Bragg Creek

    West Bragg Creek

    Easy
    9.2 km
    152 m
    1-2h

    The West Bragg Creek cross-country ski trails are an outstanding network of XC ski trails a short drive from Calgary. There are trails for all abilities at West Bragg, and the higher elevation means their snow is typically far superior than that found in Calgary.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    9.0
    Technical Difficulty
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Open details for Cascade Valley

    Cascade Valley

    Hard
    22.6 km
    500 m
    3-5h

    This sunny, wide trail through the forest is the gateway to Banff’s backcountry. Ski as far as the Cascade Bridge (7.2 km one-way) for an enjoyable tour, or continue to Stoney Bridge near doubling your trip distance (15.4 km). With some wonderful views and a tranquil setting, this is a great day out cross-country skiing.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    9.0
    Technical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Advanced (Diamond)
    Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.

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