If you’ve seen the film Brokeback Mountain, you’ll already have seen some of the finest scenery in Kananaskis Country – since it was the location for much of it.
Yet most first-time visitors to the region race straight from Calgary to Banff, ignoring Kananaskis Country, the dramatic foothills area that lines the eastern boundary of Banff National Park. Created out of various existing provincial parks to take pressure off Banff, Kananaskis remains almost the exclusive preserve of locals, who come to ski in winter and hike, bike and camp in summer. The mountain scenery rivals the region’s national parks and the possibilities for outdoor activities are, if anything, even better, thanks to more liberal protection policies.
Canmore is the region’s natural focus and plenty of excursions are possible on foot from the town itself, but to get deep into adjacent provincial parks you’ll need your own transport.