Planning a Trip
Canmore is an hour west of Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway, at the Banff Park gates, and is served by Greyhound Canada (tel. 800/661-8747 or 403/260-0877; www.greyhound.ca) and Brewster (tel. 403/762-6767; www.brewster. ca) buses, and by private shuttle services that run between Banff and Calgary. Banff Airport Taxi (tel. 877/992-2633 or 403/678-2776; www.banffairporttaxi.com) is a private shuttle with service to Canmore for C$400 return (C$200 one-way) for up to four people, or C$595 (C$350 one-way) for up to 10 people. The advantage is having a vehicle waiting at your gate when you arrive. Kananaskis, which is reached directly by car by exiting onto Highway 40 south from the Trans-Canada about 15 minutes east of Canmore, can be reached via numerous tour operators from Canmore as well.
For information on Kananaskis and Canmore, contact Kananaskis Country (tel. 866/432-4322; www.kananaskisvalley.com) or the Barrier Lake Visitor Information Centre (tel. 403/673-3985). In Canmore, your best bet is the very good Canmore Tourism Office (907 7th Ave.; tel. 403/678-1295; www.tourismcanmore.com). The provincewide Travel Alberta Visitor Information Centre, at the Bow Valley Trail exit off Highway 1 at Canmore (tel. 403/678-5277), also has lots of information on Canmore.
Highway 40 isn't open half the year, and even the half that it is, between June and November, still sees a fair complement of snow. That's because the 40 runs through the Highwood Pass, the highest-elevation roadway in Alberta at 2,206m (7,237 ft.). This is spectacular, rugged territory, the truest backcountry you can reach by road -- made all the more so because of its half-year closure. Wildlife abounds here, so keep your eyes peeled -- if you can unglue them from the jaw-dropping scenery that surrounds you, that is.