Canmore, Alberta, Canada is the doorway to the Bow Valley Wildland Park and the Bow Valley Provincial Park.
The Bow Valley Wildland Park is a rugged park established to protect wildlife and the sensitive natural habitat in the region. The park , in many ways, is divided into 3 sections on each side of Highway #1. The wilderness park is 329 square kilometres of alpine mountains and sub alpine forests. It is the more rugged of the two parks.
During the summers in the Bow Valley Wildland Park activities enjoyed include backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, wilderness camping, rock climbing, horseback riding, canoeing, rafting, kayaking, wind surfing, fishing and more.
During the winter months, after the snow has fallen and the temperatures have dropped, the activities enjoyed include ice climbing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Some of the highlights in the park includes the Bow River which is popular for fishing, rafting and kayaking. The cliffs of Yamnuska are popular rock climbing walls. The gravel roads and wilderness trails are shared by hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers and cross country skiers. The winds on Lac des Arcs are ideal for wind surfing and maybe not so ideal for ice fishing. There are so many more to list.
The Bow Valley Wildland Park is decorated in mountains. The Fairholme Mountain Range lies east of Canmore. While the Ehagay Nakoda Mountain Range, Wind Ridge and the Three Sisters (Little Sis at 2694 metres, Middle Sis at 2760 metres, Big Sis at 2936 metres) are located just south of the community.
Some of the mountain peaks in the park includes the Ha ling Peak at 2407 metres, Mount Lawrence Grassi at 2545 metres and Mount Fable at 2702 metres. And within the valleys and peaks live black bears, cougars, wolves, elk, bighorn sheep and others.
There are many wilderness trails in the Bow Valley Wildland Park leading to wilderness campsites and sightseeing destinations. Some of the more popular adventure routes include the Three Sisters Pass, Stewart Creek Trail, Skogan Pass Trail, Centennial Ridge Trail, Grotto Mountain Trail, Ha Ling Trail and Grotto Canyon Trail.
The Bow Valley Provincial Park was established in 1959. It is a campground park with mountain meadows, hiking trails, rivers and lakes. It is the more serviced of the two parks with day use areas, campgrounds, amphitheater, recreation tenting sites, interpretive trails, paved bike paths, canoe launches, boat launches and picnic sites.
During the summer months in the Bow Valley Provincial Park some of the activity highlights include rafting and kayaking the Kananaskis River, boating, wind surfing and canoeing on Barrier Lake and hiking the Stoney, Morraine and Middle Lake Trails.