5 Must-Sees within an hour of Canmore, Alberta

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Written by Patrick J. Smith posted on Monday, August 9th, 2010

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Canmore, Alberta is certainly one of the Canadian Rockies‘ top vacation destinations. You’ve got everything here: great activities, lodging, restaurants and awesome views. But hey, as long as you’re here, you might as well see a little more of what the Canadian Rockies and Alberta have to offer.

Lake Louise is definitely a must-see if you're staying in Canmore.

Below you’ll find 5 great places to see within an hour’s drive of Canmore. You can get a great look at Canmore itself, and the surrounding mountains, by visiting the Canmore webcam.

1. Field, Alberta: Drive about 1 hour 2o minutes to this area west on Highway 1, passing through Banff. In Field you’ll find numerous attractions include the Takakkaw Falls (one of the highest measured waterfalls in Western Canada) Spiral Tunnels and Emerald Lake.

2. Kananaskis Lakes: These famous Canadian Rockies lakes are about 1.5 hours from Canmore. Reach it by following the TransCanada Highway east to Highway 40. At Nakiska, continue south on Highway 40 approximately 30 minutes further. You will locate the exit for the Kananaskis Lakes Trail, where an classic Rockies hike awaits you. Make sure to bring binoculars and your camera for this one.

3. The Highwood Summit: You’ll find this vacation spot about 1.5 hours drive from Canmore. Take the TransCanada Highway east to Highway 40. Highway 40 starts  a steep elevation gain as you make your way to the Highwood Summit. This is the highest paved pass you’ll find in the Canadian Rockies. It’s a great place to see wildlife, but keep in mind that this section of Highway 40 is closed from December 1st until June 15th inclusively.

4. Calgary: At only a 1 hour and 15 minute drive from Canmore, you’ll definitely want to make a visit to this city that shines on Alberta’s plains. Travel east on Highway 1 from Canmore and you’ll head straight there. Within an hour you’ll see such sites as the ski jumping towers on the right at Canada Olympic Park. Once you’re in Calgary you should check the Calgary Stampede grounds, Heritage Park, the Glenbow Museum, the Calgary Tower, and of course the Calgary Zoo. In the event that you are visiting in the winter months and you are a hockey fan, or perhaps just interested in seeing your first National Hockey League game, Calgary is the home of the Calgary Flames, and you may well be able to catch them on home ice.

5. Moraine Lake and Lake Louise: These lakes are on just about everyone’s list of “must-sees” in the Canadian Rockies, and are only about 1.5 hours from Canmore.G et their by jumping on the TransCanada (Highway 1) for the duration of the trip or alternately via the Bow Valley Parkway (the scenic route). In either case travel time will be between one and one and a half hours. In the winter, Moraine Lake Road is closed to vehicle access and used as a cross country ski trail.

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