Planning a visit to Canmore, and wondering what the weather might be like when you come? Dressing for the weather in the Canadian Rockies can be challenging. One thing I’m always fond of saying is that its not uncommon for us to see every season in a day! As a long-time local, I’ve experienced almost every type of weather possible here. I’ve been camping during warm nights in January, and have been snowed on in a tent on Canada Day (July 1)!
In this article, let’s break down what Canmore weather is like in each season, and what you should bring to ensure you’re prepared for your outdoor activities. Dressing for the weather is an important part of enjoying your visit and getting the most out of your time in the mountains.
Canmore Spring Weather
Here in the mountains, Spring may seem like it starts late. Thats because we can often get snowfall well into June! While this might not be your typical spring weather if you’re visiting from another part of the continent, you should certainly come prepared for it. During the Spring months (Mid March – Mid June), you can expect:
Amazing powder snowfalls in March to May. Some ski hills will actually have their biggest dumps of snow AFTER they close for the season!
Quick melts after snow falls
Higher day time temperatures (averaging 3-8 degrees Celsius in Mar-May)
Warmer temperatures in the afternoon and in the sun.
How to Dress for Canmore in the Spring
Wear warm winter clothing in the start of the spring.
Dress in layers for hiking in the spring so you can cool off or warm up as needed.
Wear a waterproof jacket for precipitation.
Canmore Summer Weather
Summer is a magical time in Canmore! This is perhaps the busiest season in our mountain town. Hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and sightseeing are all very popular activities bringing visitors to our area. The summer months (Mid-June to Mid-September) bring warmer weather, bright sun and ample opportunities to get outside. You can expect:
Bright sun and long days! The sun can set as late as 10:00pm in June, with twilight continuing later still.
Intense heat and dry conditions later in July & August. Daytime highs can reach into the 30s but mainly stay in the mid-20s Celsius.
Sporadic thunderstorms and precipitation that passes through the valley quickly.
Depending on the year, some smoke from BC may drift into the valley.
How to Dress for Canmore in the Summer
Wear shorts and moisture-wicking clothing to keep cool.
Bring layers to put on in the shade or at higher elevations where it may be colder.
Sunscreen and sun-protective clothing are essential! We are MUCH closer to the sun than other communities due to our elevation!
Canmore Fall Weather
Fall is a lovely time of year in Canmore. It’s short though! Compared to other locations, our autumn is relatively brief (or at least, it can feel that way). Typically, in September, nights will start to get cooler and we can see snowfall dust the mountaintops. It is not uncommon to get a small (or large) snowfall in late September or early October. From here, we either tend to see an Indian Summer (I was wearing shorts into late October this year!), or an early start to winter. You can expect:
Cooler nighttime temperatures, with daytime highs still feeling like summer.
Gorgeous yellow leaves on Aspen trees and Larches burning gold at high elevations!
Potential for snowfalls and rainy weather.
A quieter feel in town as kids return to school and tourism slows.
How to Dress for Canmore in the Fall
You’re probably sensing a pattern: LAYERS! Wide swings in temperatures mean layers are your friend, particularly during physical activities like hiking.
Bring a warm jacket and decent shoes or light boots, in case of inclement weather or for chilly evenings outdoors.
Lighter layers and even shorts are a good idea; sun protection is still essential as days remain bright.
Canmore Winter Weather
If you’re a skier or snowboarder – winter is going to be a favourite season for you in Canmore! We have some of the best conditions in the world for snow activities. Champagne powder and bluebird days abound in the winter, creating the perfect snow globe for family fun outdoors. Temperatures can reach extreme freezing lows – but Chinook Winds can also bring warm weather through that makes you want to throw off your coat. Here’s what you can expect in the Winter:
Average temperatures ranging from -9C to -1C. Extreme cold temperatures a couple times each winter, reaching into the -20C and -30C ranges at night. Warm winds bringing daytime temperatures in the +5C and +10C ranges sometimes as well.
Lots of beautiful blue skies and sun! Typically we will see 2-3 days of big snowfall, followed by a freeze and then weeks of sunshine.
Big dumps of snow! We can receive over 40cm of snowfall on average in most of our winter months. February tends to be the driest, but falls can happen at any time.
How to Dress for Canmore in the Winter
Bring plenty of warm layers, including hats and gloves. Snow pants and a good snow jacket are essential for fun outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding and sledding.
Long johns and base-layers that wick moisture are key for extreme cold. Hand and foot warmers are brilliant on chairlifts as well!
Sun protection is still essential with our clear skies and reflective white snow.
I wouldn’t pack any shorts… but bring a swimsuit for a hot tub on a cold winters’ day!
You’re Ready for a Mountain Adventure!
No matter when you plan to visit our area, the most important thing to pack is a great attitude! Weather is always something to anticipate, but don’t let it spoil your fun if it doesn’t work out the way you expected. Even if your ski trip is missing world-record-breaking snow, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some groomers and a hot chocolate with friends. Likewise in the Summer: camping in Summer snow can be a great story you will always remember!
As always, I’m here if you have any questions about our area or your visit. Cheers and hope to see you on the trails!