Exploring Bow Valley's Winter Wonderland: A Skiing Guide for All Enthusiasts

Downhill Skiing Delights:

Are you ready to carve your way through some of the most breathtaking slopes in the world? Look no further than the Bow Valley, home to premier downhill skiing destinations like Nakiska, Norquay, Sunshine, and Lake Louise.

  • Nakiska Ski Area: Host to the 1988 Winter Olympics, Nakiska offers 79 runs for all skill levels and a tube park, set against the stunning backdrop of Kananaskis Country.

  • Mount Norquay: Located near Banff, Mount Norquay boasts challenging terrain across four mountain faces, along with panoramic views of Banff National Park.  Norquay offers tubing for those not looking to hit the slopes but want a quick adrenaline hit and night skiing on weekends.

  • Sunshine Village: With abundant snowfall and vast terrain, Sunshine Village promises unforgettable powder days and thrilling chutes.  Sunshine also offers some great ‘slack-country’ skiing so if you have Avalanche training & equipment, bring your skins & beacon to head out of bounds when safe to do so.

  • Lake Louise Ski Resort: Nestled in Banff National Park, Lake Louise features diverse terrain across 4,200 acres, making it a favorite among skiers and snowboarders alike.

Cross-Country Skiing Serenity:

While the Bow Valley is renowned for its downhill skiing, it also offers a haven for cross-country skiing enthusiasts, with the crown jewel being the Canmore Nordic Centre.

  • Canmore Nordic Centre: Situated just minutes from downtown Canmore, the Canmore Nordic Centre is a world-class facility that hosted the Nordic events during the 1988 Winter Olympics. Boasting over 65 kilometers of meticulously groomed trails, the Centre caters to skiers of all abilities, from beginners to elite athletes. With its stunning mountain backdrop and variety of terrain, the Canmore Nordic Centre provides a picturesque setting for a day of cross-country skiing.

  • Banff National Park: For those seeking a wilderness experience, Banff National Park offers an extensive network of track-set trails that wind through pristine forests and meadows. From easy loops to challenging routes, there's something for everyone to enjoy amidst the breathtaking scenery of the Canadian Rockies.

  • Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (PLPP): Venture into the heart of Kananaskis Country and discover the beauty of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. With well-maintained trails that traverse a diverse landscape of forests, lakes, and alpine meadows, this park offers an ideal setting for cross-country skiing adventures.

  • Mount Shark: Located south of Canmore, Mount Shark is a hidden gem for cross-country skiers. With its remote location and stunning mountain vistas, Mount Shark provides a peaceful escape from the crowds, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the backcountry while exploring its groomed trails.

Whether you're gliding through the manicured tracks of the Canmore Nordic Centre or exploring the pristine wilderness of Banff National Park and beyond, cross-country skiing in the Bow Valley offers a serene and rejuvenating experience amidst some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Nordic Pulse is a great resource to see current grooming and trail conditions.

Backcountry Bliss (with Caution):

For those seeking a more adventurous skiing experience, the Bow Valley and Canadian Rockies offer unparalleled opportunities for backcountry ski touring and splitboarding. However, it's essential to remember that venturing into the backcountry requires advanced skiing abilities and a thorough understanding of avalanche safety.

Before embarking on any backcountry adventure, be sure to familiarize yourself with avalanche awareness and practiced rescue knowledge, proper equipment, and always check the Avalanche Forecast & Weather Conditions before heading out. With the right skills and precautions, backcountry skiing in the Bow Valley can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience, allowing you to explore untouched powder and breathtaking landscapes far from the crowds.  AST1 is a must and AST2 is recommended, click here for current course offerings.

Whether you're drawn to the adrenaline rush of downhill skiing, the serenity of cross-country skiing, or the thrill of backcountry exploration, the Bow Valley offers something for every winter enthusiast. So grab your skis or snowboard, and get ready to discover the winter wonderland that awaits in this spectacular corner of the Canadian Rockies.

Please note for Nakiska, the Canmore Nordic Center, PLPP & Mount Shark, a Kananaskis Conservation Pass is required to park your car at any of these locations.  For Norquay, Sunshine, Lake Louise and any cross-country trailheads in Banff National Park (including the Town of Banff & Lake Louise Village & Lake), a Discovery Pass is required to park in any of these locations.  Passes for both Kananaskis and the National Parks can be purchased ahead of time or on the way to your location.  At the time of publishing this blog post, a daily family National Park pass is $22 or annual is $151.25 so if you are going to go into any of the National Parks (Banff, Kootenay, Yoho, etc.) more than 7 days in a 12 month period, it’s best to buy the annual pass and the Kananaskis Pass is $15 for the day or $95 for the year so again, you only need to go 6 days in a 12 month period to make it worthwhile just to buy the annual pass.  If you are visiting both areas, you need both passes - the Kananaskis Conservation pass and the National Discovery Pass are independent of each other - which is especially fun if you’re hiking to Assiniboine via Sunshine to Mount Shark and you car drop at both locations.. and have to have both park passes.


Navigating the Waste Maze: A Guide to Canmore's Garbage, Recycling, and Compost Collection

Hey Canmore neighbors! Let's talk trash—literally! Living in the mountains is a dream, but managing our waste can sometimes feel like navigating a maze. Fear not, for today we're diving into the world of municipal garbage, recycling, and compost collection in our beloved town, along with some cool tidbits about the Large Item Pick-Up program and the Boulder Crescent Recycling Depot.

Sorting Out the Basics: Garbage, Recycling, and Compost Collection

Canmore takes its waste management seriously, and for good reason. We all want to keep our little slice of mountain paradise pristine - not to mention, a fed bear is a dead bear! The town operates a comprehensive system for garbage, recycling, and compost collection. It's all about separating the goods to ensure they get the proper treatment they deserve.

First and foremost, there is no such thing as curb-side pick-up.  Which means you never have to worry about forgetting to put your bins out the night before!  Instead, bear-proof garbage, recycling (paper, glass & metals) and compost bins are strategically placed throughout residential neighbourhoods and you just walk (or drive ;)) your full bags or bins whenever they fill up. This ensures both convenience for residents and mitigates the risk of attracting wildlife where it’s not safe for them to be.  There is a larger recycling center between SaveOn Foods & Canadian Tire too - here you will also find donation bins for lightly used clothing and household items.  If those daily Amazon deliveries are adding up and you’re going to overload your neighbourhood bin, please consider driving it down to the larger bins which are also emptied more frequently #neighbourly.

Large Item Pick-Up Program: Out with the Old!

Got an old couch that's seen better days or a mattress that's begging to be replaced? Say hello to Canmore's Large Item Pick-Up program! It's the perfect solution for those bulky items that just won't fit in your regular bins. You simply need to fill out the form on their website to schedule the large item pick up service. It's like a mini furniture rescue mission right at your doorstep! And better yet, it’s FREE once a year! (Learn from my mistake: Mattress collection is only on Mondays so book early for mattress pick up).

Boulder Crescent Recycling Depot: Where Recycling Gets Serious

Now, let's talk about the hidden gem of waste management in Canmore—the Boulder Crescent Recycling Depot. This place is a recycling enthusiast's paradise!  Need to drop off more than your standard recyclables?  They accept items like electronics, household hazardous waste, bike tires, car batteries, used oil & antifreeze and more. It's a one-stop-shop for all things recycling!

Pro tip: Before heading over, check out the guidelines on the town's website to ensure you're bringing in the right stuff. Let's keep it green, folks!

Canmore Bottle Depot: A Little Extra Change in Your Pocket

Just up the road from the Boulder Crescent Recycling Centre is the Canmore Bottle Depot.   In Alberta, eligible drink containers take a refundable deposit whenever you purchase one and you need to take the empty bottles/cans to a bottle depot to get the deposit back.  The Canmore Bottle Depot ensures a seamless process for residents eager to redeem their refundables.  So, the next time you finish that refreshing drink and they start piling up, check out the Canmore Bottle Depot to make your contribution to a greener community while enjoying the added perk of a refundable return. Cheers to recycling made easy!  Open 9:30am-4:30am Tuesday-Saturday.

So, there you have it, Canmore pals! Managing our waste doesn't have to be a headache, even if we do it a little different than you’re probably used to to keep our wildlife safe. With the town's efficient garbage, recycling, and compost collection system, coupled with the awesome initiatives like the Large Item Pick-Up program and the Boulder Crescent Recycling Depot, we can all do our part in keeping our mountain haven clean and green. Happy recycling!

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.