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Trail Running in Canmore, Banff and the Canadian Rockies

The region of Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise and the Bow Valley in general boasts exceptional terrain that is perfect for trail running enthusiasts. Whether you're seeking alpine ultra-distance routes, vibrant meadows, or challenging ridges, this area caters to runners of all levels of expertise. We have curated a selection of the finest trail runs in and around Canmore and the Bow Valley for your enjoyment.

Around Canmore

  • Nakiska to Dead Man's Flat via Mt Allan (19 km)

Exshaw and Lac Des Arcs

Kananaskis - Highway 40

  • The Big Traverse - Old Baldy to McDougall to Volcano Peak
  • Turbine Canyon

Kananaskis - Smith Dorrien Trail

Banff to Castle Junction

Lake Louise to Field

Icefields Parkway - Highway 93 North

Highway 93 South

Classic Long Runs in the Rockies

    You can download the GPX files and open them in a GPS app like Gaia GPS or directly on your running watch. 
    • Plan that it will take you longer than the same distance on roads or somewhere where the trails are flatter
    • Bear Spray: people do  encounter bears on trails from time to time. Carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it is a habit you should have if you are going to run in the mountains. Being loud, avoiding using headphones and running in groups is also a great way of reduce wildlife encounters. More details here

    • Water/hydration: From bladders and soft flasks to pocket filters (like a Katadyn BeFree), you will want to bring water on runs longer than 60 to 75 minutes. Light running vests like Nathan or Ultimate Direction allow you to carry you phone, water, some food and extra clothes. Keep in mind that you will need more water if you run in the sun on a very hot Summer day. 
    • Phone or Emergency Satellite Device: Most areas around Canmore get cell reception and telling someone where you’re running and some sort of ETA for return times can make sure someone is looking for you if something goes wrong. In the backcountry, carrying an emergency satellite messenger like an InReach is recommended. 
    • Respecting the trails: The trails pass through delicate ecological areas. It is crucial to stay on the designated trails and adhere to any trail closures. Familiarize yourself with and follow the principles of "Leave no trace" ethics, promoting responsible outdoor practices that minimize environmental impact.

    See you on the trails!