Panoramic view from Canmore Nordic Centre XC ski trail in Canmore near Banff National Park
Scenery of Canmore Nordic Centre XC ski trail in Canmore near Banff National Park

XC Ski Trails in Kananaskis Country

Region in Alberta, Canada
Kananaskis Country XC Skiing Map

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

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 KANANASKIS TRAIL, ALBERTA

  1. Goat Creek to Banff Springs (11.9mi, 584ft, 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 2.8mi-3.1mi due to avalanche risk.
  2. Canmore Nordic Centre (8.2mi, 512ft, 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 (6.8mi, 945ft, 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 (13.9mi, 1709ft, 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 (5.6mi, 499ft, 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 (7.5mi, 925ft, 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 (11.6mi, 2238ft, 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 (6.5mi, 338ft, 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 (8.6mi, 581ft, 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 (2.7mi, 299ft, 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 Ski Trails in Kananaskis Country

Cross country skiing in Alberta

01. Goat Creek to Banff Springs
Difficulty

12.3mi 584ft 3-5h

Cross-country skiing from the Goat Creek parking lot above Canmore to the Banff Springs Hotel… Read More

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9.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery of Canmore Nordic Centre XC ski trail in Canmore near Banff National Park

02. Canmore Nordic Centre
Difficulty

8.3mi 512ft 2-3h

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

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8Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Ribbon Creek XC ski trail near Kananaskis and Canmore

03. Ribbon Creek
Difficulty

7.0mi 945ft 1.5-3h

We love to ski at Ribbon Creek when conditions are good. This is some of… Read More

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9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Pocaterra XC ski trail near Kananaskis and Canmore

04. Pocaterra
Difficulty

14.2mi 1,709ft 4-6h

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

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Scenery of West Bragg Creek XC ski trail near Kananaskis, the Canadian Rockies

05. West Bragg Creek
Difficulty

5.7mi 499ft 1-2h

The West Bragg Creek cross-country ski trails are an outstanding network of XC ski trails… Read More

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9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Elk Pass XC skiing trail

06. Elk Pass
Difficulty

7.6mi 925ft 2-3h

The Elk Pass cross-country ski route is a popular ski route in the Kananaskis Lakes… Read More

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Scenery on Skogan Pass XC ski trail in Canmore and Banff National Park

07. Skogan Pass
Difficulty

11.8mi 2,238ft 3.5-5h

The trip up Skogan Pass is a classic XC Ski in Kananaskis. Starting at the… Read More

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Scenery on Evan-Thomas & Wedge Pond XC ski trail near Kananaskis in the Canadian Rockies

08. Evan-Thomas & Wedge Pond
Difficulty

6.6mi 338ft 2-3h

The Evan-Thomas cross-country ski trail offers wonderful XC skiing in Kananaskis. These trails are good… Read More

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Mt Shark XC Ski Trail

09. Mt Shark
Difficulty

8.8mi 581ft 2.5-4h

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

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Scenery on Sandy McNabb XC ski trail in Sheep River Provincial Park near Kananaskis

10. Sandy McNabb
Difficulty

2.8mi 299ft 1-1.5h

Cross-country skiing in the Sandy McNabb area can be brilliant, though it is the area… Read More

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