Tour Kananaskis Country in the Canadian Rockies

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Kananaskis Accommodations, Tours, Dining and Weather

Kananaskis Country, a short forty-five minute drive west of Calgary in the rugged eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies, is like few other areas in the world. From its inception, it was designed to accommodate a multitude of recreational users, traditional uses such as ranching, and limited resource extraction. The name Kananaskis originates from a Cree native, reportedly struck by an axe but not killed.

In contrast to the neighbouring national parks, Kananaskis is a relative newborn established in 1977 as a recreational playground for Albertans and their guests. Containing 4,000 sq. km (1,544 sq. mi.) of spectacular recreation area, Kananaskis Country features the highest driveable point in Canada along with the highest maintained hiking trail in the Canadian Rockies. Other highlights include two Robert Trent Jones golf courses, a five-star hotel, two alpine ski resorts, extensive horseback, mountain bike and 4WD trails, and even a former German prisoner-of-war camp.

Touring Kananaskis

At the same time that the Kananaskis Country Provincial Recreation Area was created, an area of 304 sq. km around the Kananaskis Lakes was preserved in what is now known as Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. While not technically a Provincial Park itself, Kananaskis Country now contains seven different Provincial parks. The area is managed under a multiple-use concept, thus allowing it to support a wide variety of activities that are generally not permitted within the National Parks. Kananaskis Country straddles the transition from the foothills to the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies. This provides a dramatic landscape with a varied plant and animal population.

Provincial funds have been lavished on Kananaskis Country. Outdoor enthusiasts will find a range of recreational opportunities and well-equipped facilities. There are more than 3,000 auto-accessible campsites in approximately 20 campgrounds. Unlike campgrounds in the National Parks, many of these accept reservations. For hikers and trail riders, the backcountry provides more than 30 campgrounds. Kananaskis accomodations.

The most popular tour destination in Kananaskis Country is Peter Lougheed Provincial Park surrounding the Kananaskis Lakes. The park visitor center is on Hwy 40, 56 km south of the Trans Canada Highway. With its diverse and accessible terrain, the park appeals to mountaineers, hikers, cyclists, mountain bikers, trail riders, boaters, campers, and fishermen. There are also excellent facilities for the handicapped.

Bow Valley Provincial Park off of Hwy 1X is also a popular tour spot with half a dozen short walking trails, several picnic areas and a campground. Visitors to the park marvel at the impressive cliffs of Yamnuska that loom to the north.

En route to Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Hwy 40 passes Kananaskis Village, a year-round resort that features three hotels, two world-class golf courses, tennis courts and an RV park. Kananaskis Village was host to world leaders at the G8 Summit in the summer of 2002. In winter, nearby Nakiska at Mount Allan (the site of the alpine skiing events during the 1988 Olympic Winter Ganes) and Fortress Mountain provide exceptional downhill skiing without the crowds typically found at Lake Louise and Sunshine Village in Banff National Park.

Also in Kananaskis Country is the Canmore Nordic Centre, the site of the Nordic skiing events at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. Just south of Canmore on the Smith-Dorrien / Spray Road, it features 56 km of cross country ski trails that are used for hiking, mountain biking and interpretive walks throughout the summer. Continuing south from the Nordic Centre, the Spray Road climbs steeply between Chinaman's peak and Mt Rundle to the Spray Lakes Reservoir. This area was formerly within Banff National Park but was removed in 1930 to allow for a hydro-electric development. The Smith-Dorrien / Spray Road eventually loops back with Peter Lougheed Provincial Park that is more commonly accessed from Hwy 40.

Canadian Rockies

  Banff, AB
  Canmore, AB
  Kananaskis Country, AB
  Lake Louise, AB
  Waterton, AB
  Jasper, AB
  Radium, BC
  Invermere, BC
  Fairmont Hot Springs, BC
  Panorama, BC
  Kimberley, BC
  Fernie, BC
  Golden, BC
  Special Collection
  Accom Index

Canadian Rockies

Lake Louise
Rockies Destination Index

          Additional Resources while touring Kananaskis:

            Kananaskis Country Campgrounds
            Summer Trail Maps
            Winter Trail Maps
          Kananaskis' Recommended Sights, Attractions, Hikes and Activities:

          • Kananaskis Village
          • Kananaskis Golf Course
          • Mt. Kidd from Kananaskis Village
          • Boundary Ranch trail riding
          • Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes
          • Rafting on Kananaskis River
          • Drive to the top of Highwood Pass
          • Trout Fishing (permit required)
          • Barrier Lake
          • Hunting big game in Autumn
          • Kananaskis Visitor Centre
          • Hike Ribbon Creek Trail
          • Mount Assiniboine
          • Ski Fortress Mountain

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