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Known for its massive Stampede and its proximity to the Canadian Rockies, Calgary is a beautiful city that’s perfect for outdoor lovers. Hiking in Calgary is a fantastic (and cheap!) way to enjoy nature in and around the city. Within a few hours’ drive, you can have access to stunning mountaintops, flower-filled meadows, desert-like canyonlands, and evergreen forests. No matter what kind of trail you’re looking for, you can find a place to go hiking near Calgary that will take your breath away! We wrote this guide with 17 of the most beautiful hikes in and near Calgary for all levels – beginners to advanced enthusiasts – so you can plan your next adventure!

Looking for the perfect gift for your favorite hiker? Here’s a comprehensive list of our
35 favorite (practical) gifts for hikers, updated for 2020!

Easy Hikes Near Calgary

Bow River Pathway & Prince Island

  • Trail Distance: Up to 48 kilometers total (5 kilometer loop near Prince Island)
  • Location: Downtown Calgary

While there are several short urban hikes in Calgary, our favorite trail by far is the Bow River Pathway. Running for a total of 48 kilometers along the Bow River through the heart of the city, this is one of the most popular trails for running, biking, and hiking in Calgary. With mostly paved, flat trails, this trail is accessible for all levels of hikers.

As you stroll, you can see people fishing or kayaking in the Bow River, epic skyline views of the city, and you’ll even pass by Calgary’s famous bright red Peace Bridge. We’d highly recommend the Prince Island area of the Bow River Pathway if you want a nice blend of nature and city elements along your hike.

Photo Credit: necopunch (Flickr CC)

Grassi Lakes

  • Trail Distance: 4.3 kilometers
  • Location: Canmore, AB (Trailhead GPS: 51.08105, -115.39472)

Located in nearby Canmore, Grassi Lakes is one of the most popular easy hikes near Calgary and is a scenic, fun choice for hikers of all levels. While the trail does include an ascent, which is gradual and involves some stair climbing, the rewards at the top are excellent. You’ll see beautiful views of Ha Ling Peak, as well as the deep turquoise lakes below. If you’re looking for a wonderful, family-friendly spot for hiking (that isn’t too far off the beaten path), Grassi Lakes is a short and fantastic option.

Grotto Canyon

  • Trail Distance: 4 kilometers
  • Location: Grotto Mountain Provincial Recreation Area

As another one of the more well-known hikes near Calgary, the Grotto Canyon trail is a short, easy hike that takes you through huge rock structures and canyon areas. Here, local rock climbers can often be found scaling the vertical rock faces. After you’ve wandered past the rock climbers, you’ll hike through a boulder-filled trail and end at a waterfall, which makes for a really nice picnic spot or a scenic place to take a rest.

Photo Credit: Sabrina Setaro (Flickr CC)

Horseshoe Canyon

  • Trail Distance: 2.9 kilometers
  • Location: Kneehill County (Trailhead GPS: 51.41554, -112.88567)

At less than 1.5 hours from Calgary, Horseshoe Canyon may be one of the most unique spots for hiking near Calgary. With striated rock formations and plateaus, this strange landscape is located near the Canadian Badland. Instead of the common alpine landscapes of the nearby Canadian Rockies, you’ll find a much drier, desert-like landscape at Horseshoe Canyon. Pair a morning hike here with a trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park for a wonderful outdoor getaway near Calgary!

Troll Falls

  • Trail Distance: 3.4 kilometers
  • Location: Kananaskis County, AB (Trailhead GPS: 50.9364, -115.14133)

Known for being a fantastic family-friendly option, Troll Falls is located just over an hour from Calgary and is a great waterfall hike for all levels, including children. It’s just 3.4 kilometers, meaning you can pair it with other hikes in the Kananaskis area or simply take your time along the way. With dirt paths through the forest that lead hikers to a towering waterfall, it’s a nice, short, accessible option for hiking near Calgary. If you choose to hike in the winter, don’t forget to wear microspikes for safety!

Photo Credit: L F (Flickr CC)

Johnston Canyon

  • Trail Distance: 5 kilometers
  • Location: Banff National Park

Johnston Canyon is one of the most popular hikes near Calgary, and it’s easy to see why. Waterfalls meet narrow stone gorges with a raging turquoise river in this beautiful and easy cliffside trail, which is perfect for solo hikers, couples and families of all hiking levels. This Banff hike is unique because it consists of a series of cliffside metal bridges that take you through this stunning canyon…no uphills necessary!

There are a few different options for this hike, including a short version that takes hikers right up to the Lower Falls (the first set of falls), or the longer version that extends all the way through the Upper Falls to the “Ink Pots,” a colorful phenomenon that occurs in these natural pools in Banff National Park. If you want to avoid the crowds (and yes, this trail does get crowded), be sure to get started hiking early in the morning.

Ha Ling Peak glows in the distance. Photo Credit: Darren Tennant (Flickr CC)

Moderate Hikes Near Calgary

Ha Ling Peak

  • Trail Distance: 8 kilometers
  • Location: Canmore, AB

Open year-round, Ha Ling Peak is arguably one of the popular and most picturesque moderate hikes near Calgary. It’s on the shorter end of the hikes in Canmore, at 8 kilometers out and back. But don’t let Ha Ling Peak’s distance fool you – the hike is actually decently challenging, as you’ll ascend well over 800 meters one way in about 4 kilometers.

The peak itself rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the Bow Valley below, as well as nearby East End of Rundle and Lady MacDonald peaks. As this trail is among the most popular day hikes near Calgary, we’d recommend starting very early to find parking and beat the crowds (plus catch the early morning alpenglow on the mountains!).

Photo Credit: Terry Lawson (Flickr CC)

Ptarmigan Cirque

  • Trail Distance: 4.3 kilometers
  • Location: Kananaskis County, AB

For gorgeous mountain views in a glacier-carved cirque, the Ptarmigan Cirque trail is a fantastic, moderate trail for hiking near Calgary. Beloved by locals, this trail is fairly short, but has a lot of variety to offer along its gradual slopes. You’ll pass by jaw-dropping views of the surrounding peaks, tiny waterfalls in the rocks, and lots of beautiful wooded areas. This trail is especially beautiful in the fall, when the larches turn orange and bright yellow amidst the blue backdrop of the mountains.

Photo Credit: nucksfan604 (Flickr CC)

Plain of Six Glaciers

  • Trail Distance: 15 kilometers
  • Location: Banff National Park (Park at Lake Louise)

As one of the most popular trails for hiking in Banff National Park, the longer, more difficult (and arguably more beautiful) sister of the Lake Agnes Tea House hike is the Plain of Six Glaciers trail. Rocky, winding dirt trails take hikers from the crowded shores of Lake Louise into secluded getaways deep in the Rocky Mountains. In our opinion, this is one of the most spectacular hiking trails in Banff National Park, and we’d recommend doing this one if you’ve got limited time in the park.

Visitors can expect to see beautiful, towering glaciers, craggy mountain peaks, and scenic passes through the wilderness. In the summer, hikers can stop for a quick rest at the Plain of Six Glaciers tea house, where they serve hot beverages and snacks for passers-by.

But before descending back down the way you came, be sure to stop by Abbots Pass for some of the most jaw-dropping views in the park.

How to get there: Park in the Lake Louise parking lot, pass the Chateau Lake Louise, and take the trail head that begins to the right of the lake at the edge of the forest. Once you are there, you will see signs to the Plain of Six Glaciers hike (it’s the same one as the Lake Agnes Trail).

Hoo Doo Trail

  • Trail Distance: 3.5 kilometers
  • Location: Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park

Try not to get too confused: there are several hikes in Alberta called the Hoo Doo Trail, but the one we’re talking about is in Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park. With 3.5 kilometers of pathways through the strange, eerie “hoodoo” rock formations of the park, you’ll see why this trail is one of the most notable hikes in Calgary and the surrounding areas. The drier terrain in this area of Alberta is a welcome change to the otherwise evergreen, alpine scenery farther north.

Photo Credit: mark goble (Flickr CC)

East End of Rundle (EEOR)

  • Trail Distance: 5.6 kilometers
  • Location: Canmore, AB

One of our personal favorite hikes near Calagary is East End of Rundle, lovingly called EEOR by locals. This moderate to difficult hike isn’t for the faint of heart – while it’s not too technical, you’ll certainly need to use your hands and do some scrambling to reach the summit, especially once you’ve cleared the tree line. However, along the way, you’ll see beautiful views of the Bow Valley, nearby Ha Ling Peak, and the surrounding mountains.

Note that there are a few false trails that stray away from the main area – be sure to take note of your surroundings and make sure you follow the same pathway down from the top of the mountain as you did when you ascended.

Resting on a rock after completing the chain course on the Mount Yamnuska Trail

Difficult Hikes Near Calgary

Mount Yamnuska

  • Trail Distance: 11 kilometers
  • Location: Bow Valley Provincial Park

By far, Mount Yamnuska is one of our favorite adrenaline-pumping, muscle-throbbing hikes in Calgary and the surrounding areas. Known as the “gateway to the Canadian Rockies,” this 11-kilometer trail takes you through an evergreen forest, up a steep rocky scramble, around a chain cliffhanger (seriously), and up to the summit of this iconic Canmore peak. It’s a whopping 900+ meters of elevation gain, so be ready for some SERIOUS uphills and downhills if you choose to tackle this one.

Bourgeau Lake and Harvey Pass

  • Trail Distance: 17.5 kilometers
  • Location: Banff National Park

One of the most incredible day hikes near Calgary, Bourgeau Lake and Harvey Pass is a challenging but memorable hike to tackle. Located in Banff National Park, his full-day hike brings you to some of the best landscapes in the park, including many peaceful, secluded lakes, and panoramic views of the park.

Although this is the longest challenging hike on our list, it’s well worth the effort for a full day of adventuring through alpine trails and forests.

Throughout the hike, you might see some wildlife, including little chubby marmots (that we thought were adorable!). You’ll pass through Bourgeau Lake and Harvey Lake, both perfect places for a snack or a break. You also have the option of summiting Mount Bourgeau, although it is definitely a difficult scramble!

Photo Credit: Andres Alvarado (Flickr CC)

Mount Lady MacDonald

  • Trail Distance: 9.9 kilometers
  • Location: Canmore, AB

The Mount Lady MacDonald hike, named after the wife of the first Prime Minister of Canada, is a challenging trail that has breathtaking views start to finish. We definitely would not recommend this hike for beginners, but experienced hikers will absolutely have a blast. You’ll walk through evergreen forests, past a heli-pad, and all the way up to the rocky, scree-filled summit. Be prepared for some wind! We’d strongly recommend trekking poles for this one, as there are a lot of difficult ascents where they could come in handy.

Smutwood Peak

  • Trail Distance: 17.9 kilometers
  • Location: Kananaskis County

Easily one of the most beautiful summit views near Calgary, Smutwood Peak’s trail isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll hike, you’ll scramble, and you’ll gawk and the stunning, stunning views of the ridge and the alpine lakes and valleys below. Definitely not for the faint of heart, this long but vastly beautiful trail is best for experienced hikers who have already summited other peaks in the area. This hike is best to do in the summer or fall, when the snow has mostly melted.

Additional Resources for Hiking in Calgary

What to Pack for Hikes in Calgary

  • Hiking boots – You can’t hike without appropriate footwear, period. For most trails, we recommend an all-purpose waterproof boot with ankle support. We recommend Salomon hiking boots or Keen hiking boots for a comfortable hike.
  • Breathable hiking clothes – For warmer hikes, you’ll want to stay cool in a sweat-wicking shirt/tank top and breathable pants, like these PrAna hiking pants for men and women. For cold-weather hikes, we recommend dressing in layers, including merino wool baselayers, an insulated puffer jacket, and a waterproof outer shell. And don’t forget a pair of the best hiking socks in the world!
  • Trekking poles – You won’t need these for every single hike, but we recommend throwing them in your car anyway just in case. We recommend the Black Diamond foldable trekking poles, which are lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Water bottle – Having water available at all times is a huge must. To spare disposable plastic, we recommend bringing your own refillable water bottle. We’re obsessed with Hydro Flask bottles because they keep water cold for hours, but a good old Nalgene works very well too.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray – This should be self-explanatory, but sweatproof sunscreen and DEET bug spray can help you avoid sunburn and bug bites, two of hiking’s most annoying after-effects.
  • A brimmed hat or cap – The sun can be brutal in open hikes, so always pack a brimmed hat or cap for day hikes in the sunshine.
  • Emergency blanket and first aid kit – We’d strongly recommend bringing a first aid kit and a lightweight emergency blanket on every hike. Why? Because the unfathomable can happen, and it’s always best to play it safe.
  • Durable day pack – A durable day pack is the perfect spot to stash all your hiking gear. While any backpack will do, we recommend Osprey day packs because they’re comfortable and breathable for long hikes.

Wondering what exactly you should pack for your next hike? Visit our Complete Day Hiking Packing List for our full list and our top gear recommendations.

Related Links

Calgary is Alberta’s gateway city to the Canadian Rockies, making it a prime spot for outdoor activities year-round. Snow sports are no exception! While you may only think about Calgary as the home of the annual Stampede, there are tons of fantastic, world-class slopes for snowboarding and skiing near Calgary, many of which are just a short drive away. In fact, the 1988 Winter Olympics was hosted in this very city and its surrounding peaks. Interested to know more? We’ve compiled this list of the best ski resorts near Calgary to help you plan your next outdoor winter adventure.

Best Ski Resorts Near Calgary

WinSport

  • Distance from Calgary: 15 miles (~30 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Known for being the host to t he 1988 Winter Olympic Games, WinSport is the closest and one of the most famous places to go skiing near Calgary. WinSport is a training facility for snow sports, especially across many youth programs in the Alberta area. Because of this, the ski area has terrain for beginners to experienced athletes, including jumps and a terrain park that’s suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers. There’s also a skating rink for those looking to take a break from the slopes. Calgary locals call WinSport their “city hill,” as it’s just a half-hour from the center of the city.

How to Get There: If driving, start on Bow Trail SW, merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Take the Canada Olympic Drive Southwest/Bowfort Road Northwest, then go to Canada Olympic Drive SW. If not driving, Calgary Transit has multiple buses a day that take you directly to the Olympic Park.

Photo Credit: Jock Rutherford (Flickr CC)

Nakiska Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Calgary: 99 miles (~1 hour, 10 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly intermediate

At just an hour from the city, Nakiska Mountain Resort is one of the closest ski resorts near Calgary. It’s more of a traditional ski resort as it consists only of downhill slopes. Located in the Kananaskis region of the Canadian Rockies, Nakiska was designed for racing and has an optimal mixture of snowmaking and natural snow. As most of the trails are beginner and intermediate-level, so it’s best for less experienced snowboarders and skiers.

The 79 trails at Nakiska are marked by wide, well-groomed, and long. Beginners especially love Sweetgrass and Sundance, while intermediate-level skiers and riders love Olympic Chair and all of the blue runs accessible from there. For Calgary locals, the early bird pass program is a great way to save on lift tickets to the closest traditional ski resort to the city.

How to Get There: If driving, start on Bow Trail SW, merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Keep left to continue on 16 Ave NW/Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W, follow signs for Banff, take exit 118 toward Kananaskis Country. If you are not driving, there are shuttle buses from the airport that take you to the mountain.

Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park

  • Distance from Calgary: 106 miles (~1 hour, 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels (Nordic)

Seated at the foot of the magnificent Mount Rundle, the Canmore Nordic Centre is a hub for all things Nordic skiing. It was originally built as a cross-country skiing hub for the 1988 Winter Olympics, and also served as the site for the 2005 Cross-Country World Cup. The area now has tons of trails open to cross-country ski aficionados (as well as hikers and bikers in the summertime).

There’s a 6.5 kilometer track that lights up in the night-time for night skiing, as well as several trails for more of a back-country feel. The best part? If you’ve got your own gear, there’s no fee to use the Canmore Nordic Centre area.

How to Get There: If driving, start on Bow Trail SW, merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Keep left to continue on 16 Ave NW/Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W, follow signs for Banff. Take exit 93 toward Three Sisters Parkway/Bow River Campground. If not driving, there are buses from Calgary to Canmore, and then a short walk or drive to the centre.

Sunshine Village - Ski Resorts Near Calgary
Photo Credit: Doug Zwick (Flickr CC)

Sunshine Village

  • Distance from Calgary: 143 miles (~1 hour, 40 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located on the Continental Divide of the Canadian Rockies, Sunshine Village is one of the four ski resorts near Calgary that’s located in Banff National Park. From the top of the slopes, you can see all the way out to the striking Mount Assiniboine – the tallest peak in the region. The resort occupies property across 3 mountains – Mount Standish, Lookout Mountain, and Goat’s Eye Mountain – and has trails ranging from beginner to expert levels.

Pro tip: If you’re slope-hungry, the SkiBig3 lift ticket that also gives access to Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay. You can also buy a SkiBig3 season pass for regular access to all 3 resorts.

Sunshine Village boasts high-speed gondolas (including a heated lift!) and a network of 139 runs spanning 3,500 acres. Goat’s Eye features a broad variety of terrain, while Mount Standish caters more to intermediate riders and skiers. Visitors love the views from the lifts and the top of the slopes, the resort’s annual Slush Cup event, as well as the well-maintained resort facilities.

How to Get There: If driving, start on Bow Trail SW, merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Keep left to continue on 16 Ave NW/Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W, follow signs for Banff,take the exit towards Sunshine. If not driving, you can get to Sunshine Village from Calgary with a SkiBig3 lift ticket (which includes transportation).

Mount Norquay

  • Distance from Calgary: 132 miles (~1.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: Mostly intermediate/advanced

As one of the other SkiBig3 resorts in Banff National Park, Mt. Norquay is one of the most beloved ski resorts near Calgary. Known for advanced slopes and terrain, experienced snowboarders and skiers will love the challenging runs that Mt. Norquay has to offer. It’s a bit smaller than the other two resorts in Banff, but it’s great for advanced skiers and snowboarders who want to train on some of the best runs in the area. In fact, many Olympic-level athletes use Mt. Norquay as a training facility!

When you’re ready for a break from the slopes, Mt. Norquay has a fantastic on-site cafe – the Cliffhouse Bistro – which was built in a former alpine teahouse. The resort is also very close to the town of Banff, where you have plenty of options for restaurants and bars. Visitors love the carpool/bring a friend discounts and the relaxed vibe of the resort, especially compared to others in the area.

How to Get There: If driving, start on Bow Trail SW, merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Keep left to continue on 16 Ave NW/Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W, follow signs for Banff, then onto Mt. Norquay road. If not driving, you can get to Mt. Norquay from Calgary with a SkiBig3 lift ticket (which includes transportation).

Lake Louise - Skiing Near Calgary
Photo Credit: Simon Pattern (Flickr CC)

Lake Louise

  • Distance from Calgary: 2 hr (182 miles)
  • Accommodations Available: not on site
  • Ability Level: all levels

As the largest and most popular Banff ski resort, Lake Louise is one of the most iconic places in Canada to plan a ski trip. With over 145 marked runs across 4 mountain faces and some of the most epic views in all of Banff, it’s one of our favorite places for snowboarding and skiing near Calgary. It’s also the host resort to the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup – the only destination in Canada where this event takes place.

Pro tip: Take a free guided tour of the resort when you first arrive to orient yourself, as Lake Louise is MASSIVE and somewhat overwhelming to navigate.

At Lake Louise, you can also find one of the largest terrain parks in North America, perfect for adrenaline junkies who want to shake up their skiing or snowboarding experience. The lifts are also organized in such a way that almost all of them service runs of all levels – perfect for mixed-level groups or families who want to ride up together!

How to Get There: If driving, start on Bow Trail SW, merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Keep left to continue on 16 Ave NW/Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W, follow signs for Banff, Take the Bow Valley Parkway exit toward Lake Louise. If not driving, you can get to Lake Louise from Calgary with a SkiBig3 lift ticket (which includes transportation).

Castle Mountain - Banff National Park
Photo Credit: Gord McKenna (Flickr CC)

Castle Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Calgary: 243 miles (~2.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly intermediate and advanced

Located about 2 and a half hours driving from Banff National Park, Castle Mountain Resort is an experienced snowboarder’s and skier’s dream. Its name can sometimes be a point of confusion, as it is not located on Castle Mountain (pictured above), but rather on the Castle River and Windsor Mountain’s Castle Peaks. The resort served as the site of the 1975 Canada Winter Games and is well-known in the Western Canada community. If you’re hoping to escape the crowds of Banff’s ski resorts, head to Castle Mountain for a more laid-back, less crowded experience.

Despite its local feel, Castle Mountain is the second largest in all of Alberta, and one of the largest ski resorts near Calgary. The resort features 78 ski trails, with a mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced slopes, although due to the mountain’s steep faces, runs here tend to lean more on the difficult side.

How to Get There: If driving, start on AB-2 S, then turn right onto AB-3 W (signs for Crowsnest Pass/Fernle/Crowsnest Highway). Continue straight onto AB-774 W (signs for Castle Mountain). If not driving, bus lines 100 and 300 stop at Castle Mountain from Calgary.

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Calgary: 275 miles (~3 hours, 15 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: Mostly advanced

While Kicking Horse Mountain Resort sits over 3 hours away from Calgary, the drive is worth it if you are an advanced skier. While there are several trails accessible to beginner and intermediate-level skiers and riders, the resort prides itself on having the most accessible steep and challenging terrain in BC/Alberta. This is one of the few places in North America where both beginner skiers and advanced skiers can ski above the trees and clouds. Needless to say, this resort is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Kicking Horse has 120 runs over 3,400 skiable acres, 60% of which are rated as advanced. The Golden Eagle Express lift can take you straight from the resort entrance all the way up to the summit. Although it leans heavily on expert level trails, there is a single long beginner trail that extends from the summit of the mountain all the way to the front entrance of the park. For advanced skiers and snowboarders looking for adrenaline, Kicking Horse offers Purcell Heli-Skiing. Visitors love the stunning views of 6 surrounding national parks from the summit, as well as the secluded location of the resort.

How to Get There: If driving, start on Bow Trail SW, merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Keep left to continue on 16 Ave NW/Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W, follow signs for Banff, then onto Kicking Horse Dr. If not driving, there is a bus from the Calgary International Airport to Kicking Horse that runs twice a week, not including in lift ticket price.

Fernie Alpine Resort

  • Distance from Calgary: 294 miles (~3 hours, 15 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located in the Lizard Range in the southern Canadian Rockies, Fernie Alpine Resort is a more remote place for snowboarding and skiing near Calgary, known for its high yearly snowfall and powder skiing. The resort’s 142 runs are a pretty even split between beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, meaning there’s truly something for all levels on this mountain range. The runs here follow ridges and not peaks, making for a unique skiing experience with a lot of terrain to explore. Beginners and families will love the Mighty Moose section, which has wide, beautiful runs for first-timers and less experienced folks.

How to Get There: If driving, start on AB-2 S, then Turn right onto AB-3 W (signs for Crowsnest Pass/Fernle/Crowsnest Highway), turn onto Fernie Ski Hill Rd. If not driving, there is a bus to Fernie from the Calgary International Airport. It’s advised to book seat in advance, and the shuttle runs 5 times a week.

The Radium Hot Springs area in the Canadian Rockies

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

  • Distance from Calgary: 298 miles (~3 hours, 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All levels

For those looking for more of a holistic winter getaway than an intense skiing experience, the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is the perfect, secluded place to enjoy the slopes and the comforts of a full-service mountain resort. Located on the site of Canada’s largest natural hot mineral pools, the industry here revolves around wellness and the relaxing warm waters of the springs. All lift tickets come with FREE access to the hot springs – a great 2-for-1 deal.

Back to the topic of winter sports… There are just 12 runs and 2 terrain parks on-site that are mostly beginner and intermediate-level, but there are also tons of other winter activities you can experience, such as Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, skating, and snowmobiling, as well as an on-site spa. Visitors love hitting the slopes for half a day, then soaking in the hot springs right afterward to relax.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to the Fairmont Hot Springs is to drive. If driving, start on Bow Trail SW, merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Keep left to continue on 16 Ave NW/Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W, follow signs for Banff. Take the AB-93 S exit toward Radium Hot Springs. Turn left onto Fairmont Resort Rd.

Panorama Mountain Village

  • Distance from Calgary: 296 miles (~3.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at Panorama Lodge
  • Ability Level: All levels

Panorama Mountain Village is a bit of a haul from the city, but it’s one of the best spots for skiing and snowboarding near Calgary if you make the trip! This resort has 129 runs that are mostly intermediate and advanced, but there are plenty of areas for beginners and first-timers.

Known for long runs, big bowls, and beautiful views of the Canadian Rockies, Panorama really lives up to its name. Located near Kicking Horse, many people opt to pair the two resorts together in one trip. It’s one of the sunniest resorts in Canada, boasting 60 days of sun on average during the season. Plus, the on-site resort and lodge here is absolutely stunning, with opportunities for ski-in, ski-out rooms.

How to Get There: If driving, start on Bow Trail SW, merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Keep left to continue on 16 Ave NW/Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W, follow signs for Banff. Take the AB-93 S exit toward Radium Hot Springs, turn right onto Athalmer Rd (signs for Invermere/Panorama), to Panorama Dr. If not driving, there is a bus to Panorama from Calgary International Airport, runs twice a day, not included in lift ticket price.

Kimberley Alpine Resort

Kimberley Alpine Resort

  • Distance from Calgary: 394 miles (~4.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located in the Purcell Mountains, Kimberley Alpine Resort is a fantastic mid-sized resort that offers a variety of terrain across all levels. With 80 runs across beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, visitors love the resort for family or group trips, as there’s something for everyone here. The resort also boasts the longest night skiing runs in North America!

Beginners will enjoy the ski school and gentler slopes on the front side of the mountain, while advanced practitioners can fly down the tree glades in powder snow. With ample ski-in, ski-out accommodations, Kimberley is beloved by Calgary locals and visitors alike as a fantastic winter getaway destination.

How to Get There: If driving, start on Bow Trail SW, merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Keep left to continue on 16 Ave NW/Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W, follow signs for Banff. Then, take the AB-93 S exit toward Radium Hot Springs, Continue straight onto Kimberley Hwy/BC-95A (signs for British Columbia 95 Alternate). If not driving, there is a bus to Kimberley from Calgary International Airport.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Calgary: 413 miles (~4 hours, 40 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly intermediate and advanced

Home to North America’s greatest vertical (1,713 meters/5,620 feet), Revelstoke Mountain is one of the more adrenaline-inducing ski resorts near Calgary. The longest run on-site, The Last Spike, is a whopping 9.5 miles long, and there’s tons of opportunities for off-piste skiing/snowboarding as well.

While there are not very many runs for beginners, intermediate and advanced snowboarders and skiers will thrive here with the resort’s steep runs and powder snow. It’s a perfect place for experienced folks to learn more about navigating backcountry trails with lots of trees and challenging terrain. There’s also heli-skiing available for those looking for the experience of a lifetime!

How to Get There: If driving, start on Bow Trail SW, merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Keep left to continue on 16 Ave NW/Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W, follow signs for Banff, Turn left onto Townley St (signs for CIty Centre/Skl Area). Then, turn right onto Camozzi Rd. If not driving, there is a bus to Revelstoke from Calgary (Westbrooke Mall), and the resort provides a free shuttle to the resort from the town of Revelstoke.

Photo Credit: Alan Paone (Flickr CC)

Marmot Basin

  • Distance from Calgary: 418 miles (~5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels

With its stunning location in Jasper National Park, Marmot Basin is one of the most beloved getaways for snowboarding and skiing near Calgary. It’s about a 5-hour drive, but the views along Canada’s Icefields Parkway are worth the trip alone. As it’s a bit more out of the way than the Banff resorts, the crowds are often smaller and more manageable than some of the more popular places.

Home to 91 trails across four mountain faces, it has hosted the Canadian National Team for training several times. There’s a fairly even spread of beginner, intermediate, and advanced slopes here, so mixed-level families and groups will all have something to enjoy. You can also ski for free on your birthday!

How to Get There: If driving, start on Bow Trail SW, merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Keep left to continue on 16 Ave NW/Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W, follow signs for Banff, Take the Alberta 93 exit toward Jasper/Rocky Mointain House, to Marmot Rd. If not driving, there is a bus to the resort from Calgary International Airport.

Whitefish Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Calgary: 463 miles (~5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly intermediate and advanced

We wouldn’t include Whitefish Mountain Resort on our guide if it weren’t an absolutely epic place for snowboarding and skiing near Calgary. It’s just 31 miles from Glacier National Park (in Montana), and the views from the resort and in the surrounding areas are absolutely spellbinding.

Whitefish boasts 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, including 105 trails that are mostly rated intermediate and advanced. People love tackling Hellfire, the 3.3-mile run that’s the longest in the park. Visitors love the community feel of the resort, and rave about the gorgeous vistas in the area between the resort and Glacier National Park.

Pro tip: Pair your getaway to Whitefish with a drive through Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park; it’s absolutely worth the extra effort!

How to Get There: The only way to get to Whitefish from Calgary is by car. If driving, head east on 9 Ave SW toward 3 St SW S/Barclay St SW S. Keep left to continue on AB-2 S. Turn right onto Crowsnest Hwy/AB-3 W (signs for Crowsnest Pass/Fernle/Crowsnest Highway. Turn left onto BC-93 S (signs for Roosville/US Border), then turn right onto Big Mountain Rd.

Things to Know for Snowboarding or Skiing Near Calgary

What to Pack

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of things to pack, read our guide on What to Wear Skiing & Snowboarding and our Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List to view our full packing list and gear recommendations for the slopes!

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