What to do in Canmore – 5 Family Friendly Spots

Are you travelling to Canmore, Alberta soon? I highly recommend you check out these 5 family friendly spots we visited on our most recent trip to Canmore!

When I first became a wedding and family photographer, I knew scouting was a part of the job. What I didn’t realize is how satisfying it would be as a part of my life – especially exploring in the Rocky Mountains! Below I am going to share 5 amazing places I have found when travelling Canmore, Alberta.

Over and over we have created awesome memories exploring the Canmore area! Canmore, Alberta is our home-away-from-home and my most frequented family and wedding photography area. Bottom line: we have had lots of fun experiencing adventuring as a family and for sessions in the area and we are sharing some of those places with you!

Quarry Lake

Quarry Lake

We rarely visit Canmore without stopping by Quarry Lake for half a day. It has everything you could ask for on a beautiful day: 360 degree mountain view, lake where you can swim or paddle board, beach area for kids to play, off-leash dog park, walking paths surrounding the lake,  picnic benches under trees and plenty of space for frisbee or throwing a football around. There is even access to some hikes using the pathways in the area.

The parking lot can fill up fast on a warm day, so arrive early – especially if you want a prime picnic spot by the beach area for little ones. But don’t worry, there is plenty of grassy areas surrounding the lake for everyone to enjoy. 

Please note: Recently, parking fees have been introduced. $20 / 4 hours.

Elevation Place

Elevation Place

If you aren’t sure what to do in Canmore, Elevation Place is our go-to family friendly spot for awesome indoor activities! The building itself has beautiful wood and stone features and a mountain view from nearly every space! We have enjoyed rock climbing, swimming, mountain view exercise classes and more! I recently discovered they also offer childcare so you can go enjoy yourself for a little while. 🙂

Activities include: Swimming Pool + Lane Swimming, Rock Climbing, Fitness Centre, Fitness Classes and a Public Library. (More details on each space below).

ADMISSIONS. The prices are so reasonable! Check Elevation Place Website for updated pricing and facility information.

Full Facility

Individual – $16   //   Family (2 Adult, 2 Children) – $32

Aquatics Centre

Individual – $8   //   Family (2 Adult, 2 Children) – $18

 

SWIMMING – The swimming pool has something for everyone – a kid pool, lazy river, hot tub, large floating toys, basketball hoop + balls, steam room, and lane swimming. We even saw them hosting kayak lessons in the pool!

ROCK CLIMBING – Fun for any experience level and families too. There is a bouldering wall, self-repelling systems and three large climbing walls. The climbing gym is available for ages 4 and up. Equipment rentals are available.

LIBRARY – The Library was a great discovery on our last trip! Our kids loved finding the Lego and Berenstain Bears books and sitting down to read. I loved the cozy seats with mountain views in the quiet back corner.

FITNESS CENTRE + CLASSES – A workout class with a mountain view? Heck yes!! Click here to see their Fitness Class schedule.

CHILD MINDING – Enjoy an activity while your kids play in the childcare area! Click here to see Child Minding Options.

You could spend a whole day – or more! – enjoying all the activities here which means that rain or shine, you are going to have a fantastic trip to Canmore.

Legacy Trail

There are a million bike paths to discover in Canmore but this is the only paved trail. For anyone who loves longboarding, roller skating, or for little kids new to biking, this paved trail will be your go to! The Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail is a 26.8 km paved trail stretching between Canmore and Banff, AB. Head over to the Travel Alberta Visitor Information Centre in Canmore and park in the parking lot. Cross the street and you are on your way! We completed an exhilarating 1 km with our littles who are just learning how to bike. But rest assured, we are just warming them up for years to come, enjoying beautiful views as we bike through the mountains!

West Canmore Park

I discovered this beautiful park completely by accident! The first time I walked the path was scouting for a graduation photography session. To my surprise I found an open field with a 360 degree mountain view, picnic benches, bike paths, a creek and a fantastic playground that every family will love.

Here’s the catch: there is no parking lot. It can only be accessed by pathways. Below you will see that I included a map of where we park and the path we walk to get to this beautiful area. It might look like a long walk in the photos, but I promise its only 5 min!

Directions to West Canmore Park

  1. Find Prospect Heights on your map and park along the street.
  2. Look for a gravel walking path heading down the hill.
  3. Walk down the path and continue North to the bridge. Enjoy the river and mountain views as you go.
  4. Cross the bridge and you will see the wide open field. On the Left you will see the playground.

Whether you want to drive, walk or bike over, you will not be disappointed setting up a picnic here!

The Hoodoos

Canmore Hoodoos

Did you know there were hoodoos in Canmore? It was a fun surprise for us! Surrounded by wandering trails, this spot is so great for exploring.

If you look carefully, you can see the hoodoos from the highway as you drive through Canmore. The hoodoos are perched half way up the ridge. They can be enjoyed from the top of the ridge, or you can venture down the pathway to the base. The pathway down to the hoodoos is steep, so make sure to bring shoes with good grip. Our 3 year old managed the trail on his own with a careful hand guiding him.

Don’t stop at the hoodoos! Take a lovely stroll along the weaving trails. You might even see some deer like we did!

Directions to the Canmore Hoodoos

  1. Look up 100 Benchlands Trail, Canmore AB
  2. Drive to the end of the road and park in the circle.
  3. Walk to the small set of stairs that heads down to the ridge. (Surprise! You are now at the Best View in Town – Read more below!)
  4. Walk to the Right and follow the path down to the hoodoos.

Best View of the Canmore Valley

Three Sisters Sunset Canmore

Here’s a bonus for you!! When in the mountains: watch the sun set. This is my FAVORITE spot to watch the sun set in Canmore (and the patio at Iron Goat Pub). Bring along a picnic or favorite drink and choose a bench to sit on. You can also enjoy a walk along the length of the ridge as the descending sun lights the western edges of the iconic Three Sisters mountain. 

Directions to the The Best Valley View in Town, Canmore, AB

  1. Look up 100 Benchlands Trail, Canmore AB
  2. Drive to the end of the road and park in the circle.
  3. Walk to the small set of stairs that heads down to the ridge. 
Check out this epic sunset I captured while on our honeymoon in 2014:
Three Sisters Sunset Canmore

One final tip while travelling in Canmore…

BRING ME ALONG!! 😀

In my biased photographer opinion… you should totally hire a photographer while you are in the mountains! Let me show you more of my favorite spots and capture your family adventure with gorgeous views. It’s a perfect time to update family photos. Imagine coming home with a gallery like these photos below:

Have any questions about family photography? I would love to chat!
Email me at: [email protected] or fill out our Contact Form.

Enjoy planning your trip to Canmore!
– Ashley

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