You approach Banff National Park from the East. For a while it seems like the mountains are forever coming, and THEN they are THERE! Here are some of the more interesting elements of Canmore area’s natural attractions (listed from East to West):

Lac Des Arc to Canmore Attractions

Beautiful lac Des Arc with Mount Grotto

Mount Grotto

This is the mountain from which all of the limestone is being quarried for the cement factory at Exshaw.

Lac des Arcs

A shallow wind-swept lake between Canmore and Dead Man’s Flats, on the north side of the Trans Canada Highway. It is a favorite for windsurfers braving the lake’s just-above-freezing temperatures. On the north side of the lake is a limestone quarry for the manufacture of concrete. The glass-covered dome protects equipment from the area’s high winds. As you pass the lake on the wide bend in the highway, you will see a tiny island offshore with a picnic bench on it.

Deadman Flats is a popular rest and gas stop

Dead Man’s Flats

This town was originally named “Deadman’s Flats”, after a person found there by early trappers. The name was changed to “Pigeon Mountain”, after a proposed ski development (the clear-cut scars are barely visible from the eastbound Trans-Canada highway, after forty years), but the name was changed back in the 1980s. There is a teepee-style structure on the west end of the community, which used to be a tourist information kiosk

Mount Lougheed

This mountain, 10,200 ft (3,109 m) is the second highest in Kananaskis Country. This mountain is named after the first premier of Alberta, when Alberta became a Canadian province in 1905. The mountain is most visible from the Trans-Canada, on the south side just east of Canmore. you’ll see a rest stop on both sides of the highway with arrows pointing to the peaks around it.

Three Sisters, south of Canmore

The Three Sisters

This peak, with an elevation of 2,972 m (9,750 ft) is named after its resemblance to three nuns in their hoods. These peaks are most visible when you are driving east from Banff, on the south side of the highway. Below them is a gap in the mountains, leading to Spray Lake, which supplies Canmore its drinking water, and your pass the Canmore Nordic Centre  on the road up.

Lac des Arc, Alberta Area map