Here in Canmore, if you want to order a mountain view, you might have to specify which mountain you are interested in. There are the iconic Three Sisters, a major landmark view to the South of the highway and East of downtown Canmore.
There is Lady MacDonald, to the North of the highway and East of downtown. Then there is one part of Mount Rundle to the South of the highway and West of downtown. Ha Ling South and West, Mount Shark and Mount Lougheed tucked in behind the Three Sisters to the South and East are in the Kananaskis Valley, and all of the other peaks in between these major sentinels. Stand on any corner and turn around to see peaks in all directions!
Each mountain has a unique personality and viewpoint. Each one has crags and crannies, slopes to climb and explore and many, many ways to enjoy them. From the Canmore Nordic Centre on the Spray Lakes road to Kananaskis, South of town, lies the pathway to Grassi Lakes and the pathways to climb the Three Sisters. A little further down south on the same road, you can find the access points to hike Mount Shark and Mount Lougheed. You can climb many of these on foot, on horseback, dogsled, or snowshoes, cross-country skis, or jog through the area. Every season (360 degrees) brings new opportunities to explore in all directions. Some of the slopes are easy to climb like the mountain roadway up to Grassi Lakes to see the incredible green lakes at the top. Mountain climbers meet there and you can often see them scaling the sheer sides of the cliff looming above the Grassi Lakes. Others bring picnic lunches and enjoy the lakes.
Many families enjoy the pathways and if you go early in the morning, later at night or during the off-season, you may experience the utter serenity of the zen beauty to be found beside these amazing lakes. In this way, 360 degrees can be vertical as well as horizontal! Don’t forget to look down at your feet. The layers of rock and vegetation can be as beautiful as the vast vistas.
If you are lucky, along the way, while you are enjoying the mountain views from a distance or up close and personal, you may also experience an encounter or two with our local wildlife. They live in the mountains and we are the visitors to their home. Sometimes they come down into the town or you may surprise them around a corner as you climb, drive through or get up and close with the mountain landscape. The key here is to respect their space, their distance and help to keep them wild by refraining from feeding them.
If you want more adventure and a serious climb, try Ha Ling or Lady MacDonald, or hike up the challenging route to the Grassi Lakes and experience the beauty of the massive waterfall. If you want to stick with canyons and river valleys, try the river walk right from downtown Canmore. A beautiful boardwalk has been built for your pleasure walking on water along the wetlands of the river valley. Take a short drive to Chester Lake along the Spray Lakes road to climb to the shores. Whatever direction you choose to go in, you will find beauty and an endless supply of mountain vistas. Come and enjoy our 360 Degree views!