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    Best trails near Canmore

    XC Ski Trails in Canada

    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

    Showing 1 to 20 of 20
      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 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 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.
      Open details for Elk Pass

      Elk Pass

      Hard
      12.2 km
      282 m
      2-3h

      The Elk Pass cross-country ski route is a popular ski route in the Kananaskis Lakes area. With a base elevation of 1,730 m, this usually means pretty nice snow, and is a favourite both early and late in the season.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      10.0
      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 Skogan Pass

      Skogan Pass

      Very Hard
      19.0 km
      682 m
      3.5-5h

      The trip up Skogan Pass is a classic XC Ski in Kananaskis. Starting at the Nakiska ski hill this cross-country trail is an uphill challenge all the way to Skogan Pass. The route down is fun, but can be challenging in icy conditions.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Evan-Thomas & Wedge Pond

      Evan-Thomas & Wedge Pond

      Easy
      10.6 km
      103 m
      2-3h

      The Evan-Thomas cross-country ski trail offers wonderful XC skiing in Kananaskis. These trails are good for strong intermediates, and offer wonderful views. We love to extend the trail to Wedge Pond, a pretty pond at the far Southern end of this ski trail.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Pipestone Loop

      Pipestone Loop

      Very Easy
      13.3 km
      251 m
      2-3h

      The Pipestone area offers a series of xc-ski trails near the Lake Louise Ski Hill. The Pipestone Loop offers great snow and a fun ski, though limited views. This trail features tight turns and hills, making it an exciting, moderate trail in the Lake Louise area.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Mt Shark

      Mt Shark

      Moderate
      14.1 km
      177 m
      2.5-4h

      Mount Shark is a great area for cross-country skiing, with trails ranging from beginner to expert. This is some of the best snow in the Canadian Rockies, and the variety of trails mean this is a great place to come and explore and work on your cross-country skiing.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Chateau to Village on Tramline and Bow River Trail

      Chateau to Village on Tramline and Bow River Trail

      Moderate
      17.4 km
      360 m
      3-4h

      This wonderful trail combines two classic cross-country ski trails in Lake Louise. Starting with the Tramline at Chateau Lake Louise it descends to Lake Louise Village where it connects with the Bow River Trail, which explores both banks of the Bow River. We love doing this as a return trip, though you could do it as a 1-way trip starting at either Chateau Lake Louise or Lake Louise Village.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Moraine Lake Road

      Moraine Lake Road

      Easy
      18.4 km
      275 m
      3-4h

      A morning spent cross-country skiing along the Moraine Lake Road is a must-do route in the Canadian Rockies. This XC-ski trail is usually kept in the best condition in Banff National Park, with regular track-setting and great snow conditions. While it doesn’t descend down to Moraine Lake, it is still a great day out skiing.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      10.0
      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 Sandy McNabb

      Sandy McNabb

      Very Easy
      4.5 km
      91 m
      1-1.5h

      Cross-country skiing in the Sandy McNabb area can be brilliant, though it is the area with the worst snow conditions. When there is good snow and recent grooming, the ski trails at Sandy McNabb offer cross-country skiers with a wide variety of skiing options.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Redearth Creek

      Redearth Creek

      Very Hard
      26.3 km
      428 m
      3-4h

      This multi-use forested trail is a pleasant cross-country ski, and you can go all the way to Shadow Lake Lodge. This trail sees a lot of fat-bike use and doesn’t see as much track-setting as other trails, but it is still a very pleasant intermediate ski. Many avalanche paths pose threats to the trail so be aware, and do not stop in runout zones.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Tunnel Mountain

      Tunnel Mountain

      Very Easy
      4.7 km
      29 m
      1-1.5

      Cross-country skiing at Tunnel Mountain is perhaps the best place to learn to cross-country ski in Banff National Park. These trails are track-set and flat, allowing a skier to confidently learn to ski, with great views of surrounding mountains.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      10.0
      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.

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