The mountains near Canmore are huge and intimidating, but there's plenty of superb, easier ski tours to be had amongst and beneath them. Here are 5 of the best!Less
This is a classic snow shoe and beginner ski tour in Kananaskis. A gentle grade and undulating forest trail make this a scenic and mellow ski tour. Great for kids and beginners or on higher hazard days the tour takes you to a pleasant frozen lake which is a great lunch spot. Even if you don't reach your destination you will enjoy the pleasant forest you travel through. There are a few strategic bench rest spots en route that provide for some nice places for a snack out of the snow.
The Chester Lake Ski tour is a lovely double track trail that winds through the forest before opening up to an expansive valley with towering peaks on either side of a beautiful lake. This ski tour is a go-to classic for people of all ages in the Canmore/Kananaskis area. If you don't go beyond the lake you are not in avalanche terrain, which makes this a great outing with minimal risk.
Burstall Pass is a classic Nordic Ski Area on the Smith Dorrien road. Parking is easy to find with a well established trail sign to Burstall Parking. You will get on a non track set Nordic Trail which is heavily used for snow shoeing, walking and nordic skiing in the winter.
This is an awesome beginner ski tour with well spaced trees and a gentle slope. There is very little overhead hazard unless you ascend higher onto the ridge or continue further down the valley between Mount Engadine and The Tower. The ski in is usually a well packed dual use trail between snow shoers and skiers. The ascent route is straightforward as you gently wind through the giant burnt tree forest. The runs are short but that just means you can do a few laps if you like.
Black Prince has long been a favourite touring spot for backcountry enthusiasts. Many Avalanche safety training courses are held here and it's a great, user-friendly spot to get good turns. Most of the ski terrain is at treeline or below but you do pop into the alpine before descending, affording you some great views.