Canmore is a lovely Alberta mountain town in the heart of the Rockies, just west of Calgary and South of Banff. It is a vibrant town, nestled in between dramatic peaks and breathtakingly beautiful blue glacier filled rivers. There is a huge variety of Things To Do In Canmore for so many different visitors like shopping and dining. But, there is also the side of Canmore that attracts world class athletes and adventure travelers. The wilderness is expansive, the rockies, unwavering.
Summer road trips are as iconic as apple pie. Load the kids in the car, pack with precision the bags and the gear and hit the road … destination, freedom from work and school and all responsibility. The road trip is a double edged sword. It’s cheaper than flying, it allows families to make an adventure out of the trip, and schedules are flexible. Yet, still, parents of young children struggle to survive the drive.
According to the US Department of Transportation, the average road trip, in the summer, is 314 miles, one way. What about an 8000+ mile road trip to Alaska? We are currently traveling with our family on a 4 month road trip from Colorado to Alaska. She is taking it slow and enjoying the amazing Canadian Rockies.
One of our favorite stops so far is Canmore, Alberta. Adventures await in Canmore for those whose hearts live in the wild. Below are 10 Adventurous Things To Do in Canmore, Alberta in the Summer With Kids.
Caving with Canmore Cave Tours
If you are anything like us, adventure gets your blood flowing, and caving is no exception. I, personally, have a love/hate relationship with caving. It’s exciting and fun, but it is also scary. Caving with Canmore Cave Tours takes most of the fear out of caving and leaves only the fun and excitement. It’s freeing to know you don’t have to remember the way out, and that you have an experienced guide should anything unexpected happen.
I was beyond pleased with my experience and, as such, it is my top choice for Things To Do In Canmore with Kids in the Summer!
Our guides, Sarah and Gabby, were super fun and knowledgeable. They educated us on the evolvement of the rocks we stood on. They pointed out fossils and trees on the hike up. They gave us the history of the area and they did all this in a way that was engaging for our kids.
The other totally cool thing about Canmore Cave Tours guided tour of Rats Nest Cave is that it’s not a show cave. There aren’t lights and sounds that make you go Ooooh. Nature does that all on her own. One of the highlights of our tour was when we were asked if we wanted to try something uber cool. We then turned off all our head lamps and navigated back in the pitch black that only is found in caves. It’s 100 times scarier and more challenging than you would ever imagine and equally as fun!
If you find yourself in Canmore with kids 10 & over, without a doubt, give these guys a call. It’s education in spades as well as a highlight of our time in Canmore! Definitely a top choice of Adventurous Things To Do In Canmore with your kids!
Rafting the Kananaskis & The Bow River
As whitewater kayakers, our draw, originally, was the rivers surrounding Canmore, including the Kananaskis and the Bow River. The Kananaskis is a great beginner Class II/III run, with 6 features that are easily portaged if you aren’t comfortable running them. The Bow River is a Class III/IV run, more of an intermediate section that offers great fun and wild rides.
There are many local outfits to choose from, and is a great way to beat the heat and add some energy to your visit. Whitewater Rafting is fun and it’s an adrenaline rush, especially if you choose a higher class of river. We spent a few days on the Kananaskis with our younger kids in their kayaks. Great practice, fairly short run, which leaves everyone wanting more … always good.
There is also the option of renting a Canoe, Kayak or a SUP and mobbing down the river on your own at your own pace … A quick google search will lead you in the right direction in terms of where to rent and the pricing. Check out Bow Valley Surf for leads on SUP’s! Hitting the river as a family is one of the best adventurous Things To Do In Canmore!
Camping is, without a doubt, a top choice of Things to Do In Canmore. And, camping in Canada’s Provincial Parks will not break the bank as most are very primitive. There are many that don’t offer any amenities, beyond vault toilets. However, what they are lacking in luxury is easily made up by the beauty of the surrounding mountains. If amenities are a must-have for you, rest easy, there are a plethora of private campgrounds in and around Canmore that offer everything from huts to full service sites.
Hailed as Canmore’s indoor playground, it is the locals pride and joy and a top choice of Things To Do in Canmore. This place was as cool as it was a fabulous bargain for our family. Day admission for two adults and all our gaggle of kids (including our adult kids) was a mere $18! That’s cheaper than stopping somewhere to pay for showers, even!
While we were in Canmore, fires were raging in the surrounding forests and the air quality was less than stellar. We were advised of Elevation Place by a local who said the kids would absolutely love it and it would give us a break from the smoky air.
Here, we played at the pool and the climbing gym until we were ready to drop and left happy. My gym crazy kids hit the gym and this made them ridiculously happy as well!
While I’m not the biggest fan of hiking, we are basically hiking our way through Alberta! In Canmore there are literally hundreds of kilometers of trails for all levels of trekkers. One of our favorite hikes was Ha Ling Peak (5.4 km), a series of switchbacks leading to incredible vistas of the valley below.
And for those of you who would feel more comfortable with a guide … check out Kananaskis Outfitters or Earth and Pine for guided hikes!
Mystery town tours are a thing in New Orleans as well and I’ve always wanted to do a Mystery Tour in NOLA. And while this would have been incredibly fun, we just didn’t have the time to fit it in. Alas, it’s more of a bonus, check it out, it’s most likely uber fun and something we could all recommend as being a top choice for those looking for adventurous Things To Do In Canmore.