Nestled in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, Kananaskis is a stunning natural region protected within numerous parks. It’s home to the rock climbing peak of Mount John Laurie and the picture-perfect waters of the Grassi Lakes, together with countless hiking and cross-country skiing trails.
Things to do in Kananaskis
Hike or rock climb at the Grassi Lakes, two adjacent lakes backed by soaring cliffs overlooking the town of Canmore. Photograph their striking emerald colour, then witness more than 1,000-year-old Kootenai rock paintings inscribed near the top of a canyon nearby.
Combine your visit to the Grassi Lakes with a stop in the Bow Valley Provincial Park, which sprawls across an arch of the Bow River where it meets the Kananaskis River. Take in the spectacular mountain scenery while hiking through its open meadows and forests or test your luck at fishing for trout in the waterways.
Also within the Bow Valley Provincial Park is the Barrier Lake, a picturesque reservoir created for hydropower generation along the Kananaskis River. During summer it’s a popular destination for hiking, boating and water skiing while in winter its scenic shores are marked by cross-country skiing trails.
Attempt the “great scramble” to the peak of Mount John Laurie, which rises to 2,240 metres tall on the northern side of the Bow River Valley. It boasts more than 100 different climbing routes along its sheer face and offers spectacular views from a ledge hanging over the valley below.
Getting around Kananaskis
Kananaskis lies around 30 minutes’ drive west of Calgary and Calgary International Airport. Having your own vehicle is the best way of getting around.