Calgary to Kananaskis – Planning Your Family Vacation in Alberta

by ampmlimo, on Jan 25, 2020 9:27:49 PM

Drive west one hour from Calgary to reach Kananaskis Country and Kananaskis Village, a year-round adventure destination. In winter, Nakiska Ski Area, built for the 1988 Olympics, beckons with skiing, snowboarding and tubing. Nearby there are loads of cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails – a few of which can be used for fat biking. In spring, summer and fall there are phenomenal hiking opportunities.  You can also enjoy biking, and even some boating.

For a small area, Kananaskis Village offers quite a range of accommodation options. In addition to the four-star Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, where you can  arrange for a visit the Kananaskis Nordic Spa – there are less expensive hotel options, and even a hostel. 

What can you do in winter near Kananaskis Village?

Visit the Nakiska Ski Area

Dreaming of a family ski vacation in the gorgeous Canadian Rockies? If you’re anxious to hop off the plane and onto the slopes, Nakiska Ski Area is the place to go. This wildly popular destination is the closest mountain to Calgary, so visitors flying into Calgary International Airport (YYC) have only a 115 km drive to get there. That’s less than 1.5 hours of shaking off the jet leg before hitting the snow!

And speaking of SNOW… Nakiska guarantees a winter wonderland, no matter what the weather brings. The resort’s state-of-the-art snowmaking system can produce one to two feet of snow per hour, depending on the current temperature and time of year.

Fun fact: Nakiska Ski Resort was host to freestyle moguls skiing and 10 alpine events for the 1988 Winter Olympics!

When you’re bringing the whole family along for your ski trip, you’ll need something for everyone, children and adults alike. Nakiska’s got it covered – this resort has it all…

  • Skiing and snowboarding for all experience levels
  • Nakiska park Ski Cross Course
  • Wanidu Tube Park
  • Snowshoe Tours
  • Scenic ski lift
  • Private/group lessons for kids & adults, including the “Mini Ski Monsters” program for children 3-4 years of age
  • Packages for large groups & corporate / school functions
  • Multiple nearby lodging options
  • Close driving distance to Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise

Want a sneak preview? Nakiska’s mountain cams let you take in the scenery long before you take your trip.

 Downhill skiing at NakiskaDownhill skiing at Nakiska

Try cross-country skiing

You can rent cross-country ski gear from Kananaskis Outfitters in Kananaskis Village. In the general area there are approximately 60 km of trails to explore – across a full range of difficulties. Some can be accessed from Kananaskis Village via the Terrace Trailhead or Bill Milne Trail.

For an easy outing take the Bill Milne Trail to Kovach Pond and even the Mt. Kidd RV park. If you’re very energetic you can continue to Wedge Pond – and get a great workout. If you love climbing, ski to Skogan Pass and enjoy a super fun, fast downhill. The Ribbon Creek trails are also lovely.

View from Skogan PassView from Skogan Pass

Go snowshoeing

Again, you can rent snowshoes at Kananaskis Outfitters and then literally head out from the shop on the Village Loops Trail. Other good options include Ribbon Creek, nearby Troll Falls and a snowshoe to the Evan Thomas Waterfall via the Evan Thomas Fireroad.

 Snowshoeing to the Evan Thomas WaterfallSnowshoeing to the Evan Thomas Waterfall

Give fat biking a go

If you want to try something different rent a fat bike and explore the trails and even the roads around Kananaskis Village. This is a great option on a cold winter day as you warm up quickly. It’s best done when the snow is hard-packed – and not after a fresh dump of powder.

Soak in the Kananaskis Nordic Spa

Reserve your time slot in advance so you can enjoy a soothing – and invigorating soak in the hot and cold pools at the Kananaskis Nordic Spa. They also have different types of saunas – like the Finnish and the Banya sauna. Relax in oversized hammocks, book a massage, hang out by the fire pits, and enjoy a drink or meal in their bistro.

Kananaskis Nordic SpaKananaskis Nordic Spa

Kananaskis Village in summer (and spring/fall)

Kananaskis Country has been discovered thanks to Covid. No longer to you have the roads and trails to yourself - but that’s because the mountains here are almost the equal of what you’ll find in Banff and Jasper National Parks.

Plan on a hike

Barrier LakeBarrier Lake

There are loads of hikes close to Kananaskis Village. One of the easiest ones takes you to Troll Falls. But there are more interesting hikes if you are up for a minimum 3 – 4 hour outing.

Nearby is Wasootch Ridge. Although it’s very steep to start, once you get to the first high point, the hike just rolls along the ridgeline with lovely views over to the Nakiska Ski Area.

Another excellent choice is the Mt. Allan – Centennial Ridge combination behind the Nakiska Ski Area. It is 16 km in total and climbs 1400 metres, so you need to be in shape to tackle it, but the rewards are superlative views and a mushroom garden full of interesting looking rocks.

Scenery on the Mt. Allan – Centennial Ridge hikeScenery on the Mt. Allan – Centennial Ridge hike

Go for a paddle

If you can transport a boat, you can rent sturdy canoes and inflatable stand up paddleboards from Kananaskis Outfitters. Head for one of the local lakes like Barrier Lake, not far from Kananaskis Village – and explore at leisure, keeping in mind that the water can be glacially cold.

Take a spin on a bike

Kananaskis Outfitter rents all types of bikes – including suspension bikes, e-bikes and mountain bikes. There are trails that leave from Kananaskis Village like the Bill Milne that you can follow to Wedge Pond.

Super keen cyclists can contemplate the bike ride to the top of Highwood Pass on Canada’s highest public road. It’s a good idea to carry a can of bear spray on this and any of the other rides as well.

It’s hard work getting to the top of Highwood Pass but a whole lot of fun going down It’s hard work getting to the top of Highwood Pass but a whole lot of fun going down

Getting to Kananaskis Village and Nakiska from Calgary International Airport (YYC)

Private chauffeured transportation service is recommended for your drive from Calgary to Nakiska Ski Resort. Harsh winter weather and icy roads in the region frequently cause navigational hazards that are best handled by an experienced professional driver who knows the area’s roadways and has been specially trained for driving in perilous conditions.

When it comes to ensuring safety, security and comfort for yourself and your travel companions, it’s worth a few extra bucks to hire an expert private transportation provider, rather than entrusting the well-being of your party to ‘cheap’ (and unpredictable) public shuttle options.

Professional Transportation to Nakiska Ski Area

At AM PM Limo, we provide expert driving professionals and a fleet of top-of-the-line vehicles that are well-maintained, immaculate, and luxuriously comfortable. Our family business provides safe, reliable transportation to Nakiska and other must-visit destinations throughout Alberta.

Here’s just part of what makes us the transportation service of choice for Alberta travelers:

  • World-class professional transportation
  • Unparalleled customer service
  • Extensive fleet of late-model vehicles for any sized group + ski equipment
  • We will wait and meet you if your flight is delayed
  • Short-notice bookings are available
  • Courtesy airport meet & greet for domestic or international arrivals
  • Accommodation for late arrivals & early departures
  • Flexible reservations to account for harsh weather
  • Expert drivers with spot-free safety records

Prices for transportation to Nakiska Ski Area from Calgary International Airport (YYC):



2-4 passengers car

Cadillac XTS Sedan 

Chauffeured luxury vehicle suited for smaller groups of 2-4 passengers.


Cadillac Escalade ESV

Spacious yet elegant, and great for tours & excursions. Ideal for groups of 4-6 passengers.


10-13 passengers van

Chevrolet Mini-Bus Shuttle

Spacious interior, luggage space and ease of boarding/exiting the vehicle make this the ideal transportation for 10-13 passengers.


24 passengers shuttle bus

GMC 5500 Shuttle Bus

Ample space for up to 24 passengers to ride in comfort, with extra luggage room at the rear and in overhead bins.


16 passengers limousine

Dodge Ram Truck Stretch Limousine

The first of its kind in Alberta! A Dodge Ram pick-up stretched to limousine proportions, with the half-ton rear-end enclosed for storage space. The roomy vehicle interior comfortably accommodates up to 16 passengers.


18-30 passengers party bus

Party Bus

The ultimate mode of transportation for groups of 18-30 passengers. Custom lighting effects, state-of-the-art sound system and plenty of room for moving around in the interior make this ride as extraordinary as the destination.




How to Book Transportation to Kananaskis Village and the Nakiska Ski Area

Our courteous and responsive reservation specialists are happy to answer any questions you may have, at any time of day or night. To reserve transportation for your long-awaited family ski vacation, call 403.475.5555 and we’ll handle all the details for your ride!


Topics:Nakiska Ski ResortBlog


Limousine News

AMPM Limo & Party Bus updates in Calgary, Lethbridge, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Banff, Canmore & Red Deer.

Subscribe to Updates