Canmore for a few days

Apr 17th, 2017, 06:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 139
Canmore for a few days

My wife and I are headed to a wedding in Canmore, AB in early June. We are flying in on Wednesday night for a wedding on Friday. We are thinking of staying through Tuesday so we can take in some of the beautiful area. I believe Lake Louise and Banff are both about an hour from Canmore. Suggestions on what to do? We love hiking and the outdoors. Which area would be the best to visit? Suggestions on where to stay? There seem to be a number of VRBOs/Airbnbs that are frequently condos in some of the lodges or private homes.

Look forward to some great suggestions (which I've grown to rely on from these forums).

nelcarp is offline  
Apr 17th, 2017, 08:33 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 581
If you want to stay additional days in Canmore, I'd book ASAP. Things are looking to be very busy this summer, with peak time extending from early June to late September.

There are a variety of rentals available in Canmore, some of which are listed on VRBO and/or AirBnB. You do need to make sure they are legal rentals - there are illegal rentals listed on such sites. The town is cracking down on illegal rentals (there's a major issue with affordable housing for residents/workers - at times vacancy rates are literally 0%), so if the rental is illegal, you could end up without a place to stay.

Best to go with a condo in a rental complex or make sure to ask for proof of a business license. One good way to suss out likely illegal rentals is to look and see if they have photos of the outside of the house/condo. Those that don't may well be illegal - lack of photos is often a way to hide the location.

There are different kinds of rentals - there are complexes like Solara or Blackstone which are essentially hotels with condo-style lodging. YOu have a condo, but also they tend to have things like spas, a restaurant and pools. Other complexes are much more basic - you're just renting a condo. One example is the Canadian Rockies Chalets.

If you have several days in the area, you could easily spend a day at Lake Louise. Early June is likely to be too early for much hiking around Lake Louise - the teahouses are usually open, but there is often still quite a bit of snow on the trails at higher elevations. You'd want solid boots, layers and hat/mitts. Certainly can head up to Moraine Lake as well, though also limited to no hiking at that time of year. Johnston Canyon, about half way between Lake Louise and Banff is worth a visit.

Around Banff, you can check out Lake Minnewanka, take the gondola, go to the Whyte Museum, Tunnel Mountain, Bow Falls etc.

Canmore also has lots of adventures and is likely to have the most hiking. Ha Ling is a longer hike, but great views. Also Grassi Lakes, EEOR, walks along the Bow River and on the Benchlands. Great rec centre and interesting shops.
kgsneds is offline  
Apr 19th, 2017, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 93
Our daughter's wedding was in Canmore about a year ago an outdoor wedding in March - magical!

I would recommend a place like Solara as well, where we typically stay in fact. there's also a few lower priced places that are essentially condos, eg Mystic Springs - has an outdoor pool open year round. Weather can be so variable in the mountains, you could be sitting poolside with a drink or making a dash for the hot tub!

That general area around Solara, Blackstone, Mystic Springs etc. has easy walking access to Canmore town, vs the Three Sisters area that would require car and parking. Some of our wedding guests stayed at the Lady MacDonald Country Inn, and said they really enjoyed it. Also a convenient location. Check for availability asap!

Banff is about 30 minutes down the highway from Canmore, and Lake Louise another 30 minutes. Don't miss them - check into a reservation for lunch at the Lake Louise "Station Restaurant" if you enjoy history, it's the old train station where tourists arrived and would then go on up to Chateau Lake Louise.

Hiking will still be limited by remaining snow, I recommend using gaitors that time of year especially. But the snowmelt makes for spectacular churning waterfalls and rivers. Do check out Grassi Lakes, a popular hike for good reason. Consider going further along to the Smith-Dorian Trail for a look at some back country and maybe a stop for a hike and afternoon tea at Mount Engadine Lodge.

Welcome to our world! =)
out_and_about is offline  
Apr 19th, 2017, 07:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 139
Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, Solara is booked. We can get in at Blackstone for 3 days. It looks like we'll have 2-3 full days (without wedding activities to explore the area). We're trying to determine if we need two or three full days (can't rack more due to work). What would you suggest for a 2-3 day itinerary of things to take in considering any limitations of the weather in early June?
nelcarp is offline  
Apr 20th, 2017, 07:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 93
Glad you can get in at Blackstone! Walk into town via a creekside boardwalk by exiting at the traffic circle and following the creek path. I think you'll enjoy that route! There are some good restaurants in town, but I recommend reservations.

kgsneds posted great suggestions for things to do, like Johnston Canyon. It is a walk/hike open year round, between Banff and Lake Louise. We like to access it via the Bow Valley Parkway which parallels the main highway. At one time it was "the" highway going west from Banff. It ends near Lake Louise town site, signage is very clear. From there you can go on up to Lake Louise. The tea house trails are sure to be at least wet in early June, with ice/snow as you go upward. You can always take the lakeside trail, flat and wide, to the end of the lake and then take the trail up as far as you wish. Spectacular views in every direction, including looking back along the lake toward the Chateau and beyond to the ski area on the other side of the valley. That would be a very full day's outing, made possible by our extended evenings that time of year! Lake Louise town is very small, but there are a few good places to have lunch or dinner.

You could spend a day in the Banff area, kgsneds suggested taking the gondola up Sulpher Mountain, you can snack or dine at the top. Pricey, but a fun experience. You'll likely want your hoods up with gloves/mitts but it will depend on the day's weather. If you like hot springs, Banff's Upper Hot Springs are on the same road as the gondola entrance, open in any weather.

Do you like biking? There's a great bike trail between Canmore and Banff, rentals are available. just throwing that in here!

By the way, Canada's National Parks Passes are free this year, part of our 150th celebration. Check with the airport Visitors Centre on arrival and avoid vehicle lineups at Banff Park Gates.
out_and_about is offline  

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