Canmore XC Skiing

Region in Alberta, Canada
Canmore XC Skiing Map

XC skiing routes in Canmore

Cross-country skiing in the Kananaskis area near Canmore is sublime, with excellent snow, amazing views, and well-groomed trails. Though virtually unknown outside of Alberta, Kananaskis is the playground for Calgarians looking to get some great XC Skiing near Calgary.

As Canmore is the best base for skiing in the Kananaskis, we have combined the best trails in the Kananaskis, near Bragg Creek, and in Canmore to find the 10 best cross-country ski areas in this incredible region.

The Kananaskis is a series of Provincial Parks that feature a wide array of great cross-country ski trails. Our top ten XC ski trails in the Kananaskis include a variety of routes that will take you through snowy forests, open lake shores, and along stunning winter trails. Cross-country skiing is an excellent way to experience the Canadian Rockies in winter.

THE TOP 10 XC SKIS AROUND CANMORE, ALBERTA

#1. Goat Creek to Banff Springs (19.1km, 178m, 3-4h): A local’s favourite XC ski trip that starts at the Goat Creek Parking lot above Canmore and follows along the Spray River to Banff. A scenic rest area makes a great place for a snack. No stopping at 4.5km-5.0km due to avalanche risk.

#2. Canmore Nordic Centre (13.2km, 156m, 2-3h): The Canmore Nordic Centre has some of the best cross-country ski trails, with exceptional grooming and trails suitable for all abilities.

#3. Ribbon Creek (10.9km, 288m, 1.5-3h): When the snow is good, the trails around Ribbon Creek are a joy. Not only are these cross-country ski trails close to Calgary, they also offer nice views, fun descents and the nearby Kananaskis Mountain Lodge for apres-ski meal.

#4. Pocaterra (22.3km, 521m, 4-6h): The Pocaterra network of XC trails, near Kananaskis Lakes, offer some of the best snow and grooming in the Rockies. There are a wide variety of trails, from easy to advanced.

#5. West Bragg Creek (9.0km, 152m, 1-2h): West Bragg Creek offers some of the best XC Skiing near Calgary. The base at West Bragg Creek offers a wide range of trails, from beginner to expert. When the snow is good, skiing at West Bragg Creek is a joy.

#6. Elk Pass (12.0km, 282m, 2-3h): The cross-country ski to Elk Pass, near Kananaskis Lakes, is a fun ski. This XC Ski trail typically has great snow and good grooming. Combine this with a run up to Blueberry Hill (for experts) for a great day out.

#7. Skogan Pass (18.6km, 682m, 2.5-5h): The XC Ski up to Skogan Pass is a classic cross-country ski trail in the Kananaskis. Located adjacent to Nakiska, Skogan Pass is a joy when conditions are good, though the way back down can be a challenging XC Ski for beginners and intermediates.

#8. Evan-Thomas and Wedge Pond (10.4km, 103m, 2-3h): The Evan Thomas cross-country ski trail in the Kananaskis is a fun trail for beginners and intermediates. Cross-country skiing out to Wedge Pond offers very pretty views. This trail is in the valley bottom, so make sure snow conditions are good.

#9. Mt Shark (13.8km, 177m, 2.5-4h): The network of XC trails at Mt. Shark offer everything from beginner to expert ski trails. The high elevation means great snow as well.

#10. Sandy McNabb (4.4km, 91m, 1-1.5h): The Sandy McNabb area near Turner Valley offers a wide range of cross-country ski trails, focusing mostly on intermediate and beginner trails. When the snow conditions are good, cross-country skiing at Sandy McNabb is great. Unfortunately, the warm Chinook winds mean that the season here is short.

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The best XC skiing routes in Canmore

01. Goat Creek to Banff Springs
Difficulty

19.8km 178m 3-5h

Cross-country skiing from the Goat Creek parking lot above Canmore to the Banff Springs Hotel is a classic XC ski… Read More

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02. Canmore Nordic Centre
Difficulty

13.3km 156m 2-3h

We love to cross-country ski at Canmore Nordic Centre. The trails are usually in great condition and there are so… Read More

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03. Ribbon Creek
Difficulty

11.3km 288m 1.5-3h

We love to ski at Ribbon Creek when conditions are good. This is some of the closest cross-country skiing to… Read More

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04. Pocaterra
Difficulty

22.9km 521m 4-6h

The Pocaterra cross-country ski area in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park has some of the best snow in the Kananaskis region.… Read More

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05. West Bragg Creek
Difficulty

9.2km 152m 1-2h

The West Bragg Creek cross-country ski trails are an outstanding network of XC ski trails a short drive from Calgary.… Read More

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06. Elk Pass
Difficulty

12.2km 282m 2-3h

The Elk Pass cross-country ski route is a popular ski route in the Kananaskis Lakes area. With a base elevation… Read More

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07. Skogan Pass
Difficulty

19.0km 682m 3.5-5h

The trip up Skogan Pass is a classic XC Ski in Kananaskis. Starting at the Nakiska ski hill this cross-country… Read More

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08. Evan-Thomas & Wedge Pond
Difficulty

10.6km 103m 2-3h

The Evan-Thomas cross-country ski trail offers wonderful XC skiing in Kananaskis. These trails are good for strong intermediates, and offer… Read More

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09. Mt Shark
Difficulty

14.1km 177m 2.5-4h

Mount Shark is a great area for cross-country skiing, with trails ranging from beginner to expert. This is some of… Read More

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10. Sandy McNabb
Difficulty

4.5km 91m 1-1.5h

Cross-country skiing in the Sandy McNabb area can be brilliant, though it is the area with the worst snow conditions.… Read More

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