XC Ski Trails in Kananaskis Country
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The best XC Ski Trails in Kananaskis Country
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