Alberta & BC Rockies Nearby - Kananaskis Attractions
Kananaskis Country, established by the Alberta government in 1977, is just 90 kilometers (56 miles) southwest of Calgary.
The Park encompasses over 5,000 square kilometers (2,600 square miles) of land, three provincial parks
and some of Canada's most spectacular rolling terrain.
The name was first given, by 1858 explorer John Palliser, to the pass over the continental divide,
in honour of a Cree amed Kineahkis who is said to have recovered from a blow to the head.
Since then the name is given to a lake, a set of falls, a mountain range, an alpine village and a provincial park.
The word "Kananaskis" comes from an Indian word that means either "meeting of the waters" or
"man with tomohawk in head". To get to "K-Country", as locals call it, take the Seebe exit
from the Transportation-Canada Highway (1) and then follow Highway 40 south.
Kananaskis has something to satisfy almost every outdoor interest. In addition to recreation,
the land also mixes livestock, forestry, and petroleum production to show that such activities
can co-exist with provincial parks, wildlife sanctuaries, recreation facilities and natural areas.
Business listings for Kananaskis
Kananaskis Country includes the following attractions (from north to south):
- Rafter Six Guest Ranch
- This ranch offers visitors a full ranching experience.
It has a three-storey lodge with guest rooms, individual chalets, a dining room and lounge
and conference facilites. Activities include barbecues, riding, rafting and camping.
- Barrier Lake
- This small lake is just off Highway 40, right inside the park entrance.
It was created by damming the Kananaskis River, and is a popular spot for boating and fishing.
This has great views of the park, and is a starting point for kayakers and canoists on the Kananaskis River
- This is the focal point of Kananaskis Country, with three hotels, two 18-hole
golf courses and plenty of shopping. There are lots of
nice hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing trails accessible from the village. For shopping,
dining and accommodation in the Kananaskis, visit the Kananaskis Village.
- Nakiska Ski Area
- Nakiska was host of the downhill skiing events in the 1988 Winter
Olympic Games. Nakiska receives 250 cm of snowfall (nine feet) per year, with a ski season from December
to April. The vertical drop is 750 m 2,460 ft, serviced by five lifts capable of handling 8,620 skiers per hour.
- Mt Allan
- This mountain is home to Nakiska, host of the downhill skiing events in the 1988
Winter Olympic Games. The very top of the Olympic downhill run is not served by lifts anymore, but there are
plenty of challenging runs left. From the top of Mt Allan (elevation 9,462 feet or 2,886 metres) you can see
the Canadian Rockies's skyscrapers, 50 miles away.
- Mt. Howard
- This is the spectacular ice-covered mountain to the southeast of the Kananaskis Village.
It is 9, 108 feet 2, 778 metres high.
- Mt. Evan-Thomas
- This mountain is just south of Fortress Mountain Ski Area, and on the east side
of the highway, at 10, 150 feet or 3, 093 metres, is the second highest peak in Kananaskis Country.
- Highwood Pass
- This pass, just south of Kananaskis Lake, which takes Highway 40 from
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park down the slopes of the foothills, has an elevation of 7,233 feet or
2,206 metres, and is higher than any of the Highway passes across the Continental Divide.
(This portion of the road is closed during winter months.)
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