Ensure you are prepared for rapid weather changes, wildlife encounters, equipment breakdowns and accidents. For more safety info
- Avalanche Report
- Avalanche Terrain Ratings & Exposure Scale
- Backcountry Safety
- Wildlife Safety
- Winter Survival in the Backcountry booklet
Kananaskis Country has hundreds of kilometres of cross-country ski trails suitable to all ski levels and techniques – skate skiing, classic technique, skiing with dogs.
- Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park has many trails groomed for skate skiing.
- Other trails that are recommended for skate skiing include Mount Shark Trail and Terrace Trail, north of Kananaskis Village.
Dogs on Ski Trails
- Dogs are NOT permitted on the groomed ski trail system accessed via the Kananaskis Lakes Trail in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park or at the Canmore Nordic Centre.
- Dogs are allowed on non-groomed trails IF on a leash.
- Mount Shark is a recommended area for skiing with a dog on leash.
- You must remove your dog waste from the area.
Winter Trail Etiquette
- Watch out for accidental litter at lunch or snack breaks.
- Step off the track to let others by. Tuck in your poles when you pass.
- If you stop to eat, change clothing or take a photo, step off the trail.
- Yield to skiers coming downhill. It’s easier for an uphill skier to step off the trail than it is for the faster skier coming down.
- Carry a plastic bag and toilet paper for when nature calls and there’s no outhouse. Pack out your used paper and sanitary supplies.
- Professional guides are available to take you on a dog sledding or skijoring adventure.
- If you have your own dog sledding team, we recommend using West Side Road, directly west of the Spray Lakes Reservoir. Please ensure that you don’t interfere with commercial dog sled operations in the area.
Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
- Nakiska Ski Resort, located a few minutes drive from Kananaskis Village
- Fortress Mountain with cat skiing is located 18 kilometres south of the Kananaskis Village access road.
- Check here for information on fat biking trails, etiquette and backcountry safety.
- Ice climbing is a popular sport in Kananaskis Country.
- Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale – Ice Climbing
- Ice fishing is a popular winter activity in Spray Valley Provincial Park and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.
- Alberta residents between 16 and 65 years must have an Alberta angling licence to fish. All non-residents must obtain an Alberta angling licence. Check Alberta Guide to Sportfishing Regulations for details.
- Use caution on ice.
- There are outdoor skating options in Kananaskis Country, in particular Sheep River Provincial Park and Kananaskis Village.
- The Mount Shark trails network is the recommended area for skijoring.
- For additional information, search “Skijoring” in Trails.
Kananaskis Country has three snow vehicle areas with challenging trails.
- More than 200 kilometres of trails
- Winter camping facilities in McLean Creek Provincial Recreation Area
- Access from the campground to Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) trails in McLean Creek Off Highway Vehicle Public Land Use Zone
- Unloading ramps
- More than 100 kilometres of trails
- Picnic areas in Cataract Creek Provincial Recreation Area
More than 50 kilometres of trails
Snowshoeing is allowed on designated snowshoe trails or off groomed trails.
- To find these trails, search “snowshoe” and look for the “Snowshoeing” icon.
- Many trails allow dogs on leash to accompany snowshoers. Dogs are NOT permitted on Elk Pass Snowshoe Trail in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.
- The designated snowshoe trails are designed for beginner or intermediate snowshoers. They are located in Simple-Class 1 Terrain. Review Avalanche Terrain Ratings for more detailed information.
- If you are not experienced in winter travel in the backcountry, stay on these marked trails.
- Do NOT snowshoe or walk on the ski tracks when you are on a trail shared with skiers. Travel along the edge of the ski trail.
Backcountry Snowshoeing Safety
If you are experienced and equipped for winter backcountry travel, you may snowshoe on other trails or areas. If you venture off marked trails you should have significant experience and confidence with
- Route finding
- Winter travel
- Dealing with natural hazards such as avalanches, cold temperatures and short days
Ensure that you let others know your route and return time. There are no “trail sweeps” by patrollers or Conservation Officers at the end of the day.