On Friday my good little Albertan child said: “Mama, let’s go to the mountains for some fresh air.” And, off we went to Grassi Lakes in Canmore for fresh air, sunshine, and a snowy mountain hike.
Canmore has not always had it’s reputation for healthy living and outdoor adventure; founded in 1883, the town was one of the largest coal mining centres in southern Alberta until the town shut down operations in 1979. In the 1980s it made a rapid descent towards ghost town status when it was noticed and declared the location of Nordic events for the 1988 Olympics.
For tourists, Canmore is a fairly quick hour drive west of Calgary (TransCanada); it’s not considered part of Banff National Park so visitors don’t need a park pass to visit (Canmore was kicked out of the Park in 1930 because of it’s mining activities); and, there’s lots to do in the town centre: coffee, eats, kids playgrounds, etc. One piece of advice if you plan on hiking: try and hit the trails early to avoid the really large afternoon groups (and be mindful of people coming down the trails rapidly on bike or sled).