16 Best Things To Do At Quarry Lake Canmore

By Jill

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Nestled amidst the breathtaking backdrop of the Canadian Rockies, Quarry Lake Canmore is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

This glacial-fed lake offers a wide range of outdoor activities, from summer swimming and paddleboarding to winter snowshoeing.

With its crystal-clear waters, well-maintained trails, and stunning mountain views, Quarry Lake serves as a year-round haven for locals and tourists.

So, let’s dive in and explore our choice of 16 of the activities that make this lake a beloved Canmore attraction.

Walk The Quarry Lake Loop

A calm quarry lake canmore in the fall with yellow trees and bright blue sky reflected in the water
Quarry Lake In The Fall

The Quarry Lake Loop is an excellent option if you’re looking for a shorter, more relaxed walk. This trail is approximately 1.2 km long and takes about 30 minutes, making it perfect for a quick nature fix.

The loop is flat and well-maintained, making it accessible for people of all ages, including those with strollers. It’s an excellent way to get a quick dose of nature without committing to a longer hike.

Swim In The Refreshing Lake

In the pristine water rocks identify the shallow area for children at quarry lake canmore
Rocks Separate The Children’s Area At Quarry Lake

When the sun is shining, there’s no better way to cool off than by taking a dip in this swimmable lake. The water is clean and refreshing, making it ideal for swimming.

The water can be icy, though, and only suitable for swimming in the summer months, especially in the deeper sections.

Designated swimming areas for small children ensure everyone can enjoy the water safely. So, don’t forget to pack your swimsuit!

Enjoy A Picnic At Quarry Lake Park

Quarry lake canmore picnic area in the fall with yellow trees and a bright blue sky
Quarry Lake Picnic Area

Quarry Lake Park is more than just a lake; it’s a full-fledged park equipped with amenities that make it ideal for a day out. Picnic tables are strategically placed, offering stunning views of the lake and Ha Ling Peak. There are also public washrooms at either end of the lake.

The grassy areas are perfect for laying down a blanket and enjoying a meal al fresco. So pack your picnic basket and head to Quarry Lake Park for a meal with a view.

Mountain Bike On Quarry Lake Trails

Mountain biking enthusiasts, rejoice! The trail system around Quarry Lake Park offers a range of terrains that promise an adrenaline-pumping ride. These trails will keep you on your toes from steep inclines to fast descents.

The trails are well-maintained, ensuring a smooth ride, and are clearly marked to keep you on track. If you didn’t bring your mountain bike, no worries. Several bike rental shops in Canmore offer various options, from basic models to high-end mountain bikes.

Visit The Off-Leash Dog Park At Quarry Lake Park

The off-leash dog park at quarry lake canmore alberta with ha ling peak in the background
The Off-Leash Dog Park At Quarry Lake

If you bring your four-legged friend along, you’ll be happy to know that Quarry Lake’s off-leash dog park is a designated area where dogs can roam freely. It is one of the few places in Canmore with a large off-leash area.

However, be aware that Quarry Lake’s off-leash area is separate from the Quarry Lake recreational area, and dogs are not allowed by the lakeside. Just follow all the posted rules to ensure everyone has a good time.

Hike The Trails Around Quarry Lake

Quarry Lake Canmore is surrounded by a network of hiking trails that offer something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, you’ll find a trail that suits your level. The trails are well-marked, and maps are available at the trailhead, ensuring you won’t lose your way.

As you hike, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the Canadian Rockies, making every step worth the effort. The flora and fauna along the trails add to the experience, with wildflowers blooming in the spring and summer and the chance to spot wildlife like deer and even the occasional elk.

Observe Birds In Their Natural Habitat

A male three-toed woodpecker pecks at a tree near quarry lake canmore alberta
A Male Three-Toed Woodpecker

The area’s diverse habitats attract a variety of bird species, from waterfowl to songbirds. Armed with binoculars and a field guide, you can enjoy a peaceful day identifying and observing these feathered residents.

This is all set against the stunning backdrop of the Canadian Rockies. Early morning or late afternoon are usually the best times for bird watching.

Paddleboard Across Quarry Lakes Calm Waters

Calm early-morning water at quarry lake canmore alberta with ha ling peak in the background
Calm Early-Morning Water At Quarry Lake

Paddleboarding at Quarry Lake Canmore offers a unique way to explore the lake’s tranquil waters. The lake’s calm conditions are ideal for both beginners and experienced paddleboarders.

There are several rental shops nearby to get all the necessary equipment. It’s a fantastic way to explore the lake from a different perspective.

Get Married

Tie the knot uniquely at Quarry Lake by making its natural beauty and impressive mountain vistas your wedding backdrop. Contact the Town of Canmore to make arrangements for yourself and up to 170 guests.

Enjoy the straightforward, peaceful environment of Quarry Lake Park as you exchange vows, embracing the simple serenity that surrounds your special day..

Practice Yoga By The Lake

A mist hangs over quarry lake canmore alberta early in the morning as the sun rises
The Serene Beauty Of Quarry Lake

To find inner peace, why not try some yoga by the lake? The serene environment makes it the perfect setting for deep relaxation and meditation.

Whether you join an organized yoga session or bring your mat for some solo practice, the natural setting enhances your focus and deepens your sense of inner peace.

It’s a workout for your body and a rejuvenating experience for your mind and soul.

Gaze At Stars Over Quarry Lake

Trees are lit up by the moon on a starry night over quarry lake canmore alberta
A Starry Night Over Canmore

Star gazing at Quarry Lake Canmore is a serene experience, offering clear, dark skies ideal for observing celestial wonders.

The lake’s reflective waters amplify the beauty of constellations and meteor showers. Whether you bring a telescope or enjoy the sky, this tranquil setting makes for a memorable night under the stars.

Snowshoe Through Winter Wonderland

Seven people snowshoeing through the woods on a sunny winter day quarry lake canmore alberta
Snowshoeing Through The Woods

Quarry Lake Canmore is not just a summer destination; it’s equally enchanting in winter. Hiking and biking may be off-limits, and the lake is frozen, but there are plenty of opportunities for snowshoeing around the area.

The well-marked trails offer a peaceful escape into snow-covered forests and provide stunning views of the frozen lake against the backdrop of the Canadian Rockies. Cross-country skiing trails can also be accessed from the nearby Canmore Nordic Centre.

Capture The Beauty Through Photography

Early sun hits ha ling peak over quarry lake canmore alberta
Early Sun Hits Ha Ling Peak Over Quarry Lake

If you love photography, Quarry Lake Canmore offers countless opportunities to capture its beauty. Whether it’s the crystal-clear waters, the surrounding mountains, or even portraits, your camera will be busy.

The best times for photography are usually early morning and late afternoon, and the scenery at Quarry Lake will make every shot a potential masterpiece.

Run Trails Surrounding Quarry Lake

Trail running in the open park area surrounding Quarry Lake offers an exhilarating experience that combines the thrill of running with the beauty of nature.

The well-maintained trails around the lake provide a variety of terrains, making it suitable for runners of all levels. Whether you’re looking to tackle steep inclines for a challenging workout or prefer a more leisurely pace on flatter ground, you have options.

Watch The Sunrise And Sunset

Orange and purple colours of a stunning sunrise over quarry lake canmore alberta
A Stunning Sunrise Over Quarry Lake

One of the most magical experiences at Quarry Lake Canmore is watching the sun rise or set over the mountains. The sky turns into a palette of colours, casting a warm glow over the lake and surrounding mountains.

These moments offer not just incredible photo opportunities but also a chance for quiet reflection. Whether you’re an early riser or a sunset chaser, the tranquil setting and breathtaking views make Quarry Lake an ideal location to witness the day’s most awe-inspiring transitions.

Identify Wildflowers Along The Trails

Purple and yellow rocky mountain flowers typical of those at quarry lake canmore alberta
Rocky Mountain Flowers

As you explore the trails around the lake, you’ll come across a diverse array of wildflowers, especially during the late spring and summer months.

Whether you’re a seasoned botanist or a casual nature lover, bringing along a wildflower identification guidebook or app can enrich your understanding of this vibrant ecosystem.

It’s a wonderful way to connect with nature on a deeper level while enjoying Quarry Lake Canmore’s scenic beauty.

The Best Time To Visit Quarry Lake Canmore

Choosing the right time to visit Quarry Lake can significantly enhance your experience. While the lake is accessible year-round, each season offers a unique set of activities and scenic beauty, making it a versatile destination for all types of visitors.


Stunning quarry lake canmore alberta on a sunny summer morning with mountains and trees reflected in the water
View Over Quarry Lake In Summer

Summer is undoubtedly the most popular time to visit Quarry Lake. The warm weather makes it ideal for water activities like swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking.

The park’s trails are clear for hiking and mountain biking, and the fields are lush and green, perfect for picnicking or playing frisbee.

However, remember that summer is also the peak season, meaning parking fees are at their highest, and the area can get crowded.


If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting during the fall. The weather is still pleasant, but the crowds have thinned out.

The changing foliage offers a stunning backdrop for photography and hiking. It’s also an excellent time for bird watching as many species migrate through the area.


For those who enjoy the snow, winter offers its own activities. While swimming is off the table, the surrounding trails are popular for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

The winter landscape provides a serene and peaceful environment, perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle.


Spring is a time of renewal at Quarry Lake. The melting snow feeds into the lake, and the surrounding area bursts into bloom with wildflowers.

It’s an excellent time for hiking and wildflower identification, but be prepared for some muddy trails.

Wildlife Encounters: Staying Safe with Quarry Lake’s Four-Legged Locals

A young deer with white spots in the woods around quarry lake canmore alberta
A Young Deer In The Woods Around Quarry Lake

Quarry Lake is a stunning location, but remember, you’re sharing this beautiful space with some of Canada’s most iconic wildlife, including grizzly bears, black bears, elk, and cougars. So, how do you stay safe while enjoying all Quarry Lake offers?

Firstly, timing is important. You’re most likely to encounter wildlife during the quieter moments at the lake, typically at the beginning and end of the day. Why? Animals are generally more active during dawn and dusk, seeking food and water while avoiding the midday heat and human activity.

Grizzly bears and black bears are often spotted in the area. Always carry bear spray, especially if you are out on the trails, and know how to use it. Maintain a safe distance and never approach or feed them.

Elk can be seen daily in and around Canmore. These large mammals may look docile but can be aggressive, especially during the fall mating season. Keep at least 30 meters away, and never get between a mother and her calf.

Cougars are rare, but sightings do occur. If you encounter a cougar, make yourself look bigger by raising your arms and speaking loudly to assert your presence. Never turn your back or run away.

Being aware and prepared can make your Quarry Lake experience safe and enjoyable. So, pack your bear spray, keep your eyes peeled, and most importantly, respect the wildlife that calls this area home.

Parking At Quarry Lake: What You Need To Know

Quarry lake canmore parking lot on a sunny fall day against a mountain backdrop
Quarry Lake Parking Lot

If you’re heading to Quarry Lake Canmore and wondering about parking, here’s the scoop. Quarry Lake parking lot is conveniently located on Spray Lakes Road, around 100m from the lake.

Canmore residents with a parking permit can enjoy up to three hours of daily parking at Quarry Lake, but note that time spent in paid zones at the Town Centre is also included in this time allowance.

For visitors and residents without a pass, the parking fee varies. During the peak season, usually summer, it’s $20 for up to four hours; during off-peak times, it’s $10 for up to four hours.

This paid parking system supports the area’s upkeep, ensuring that locals and visitors can enjoy its stunning surroundings while preserving its beauty.

The Quarry Lake parking lot can accommodate around 60 vehicles and gets very busy in the peak summer months.


A misty sunrise over quarry lake canmore alberta in summer
A Misty Sunrise Over Quarry Lake

Quarry Lake in Canmore is a destination that offers something for everyone. This lake covers you whether you’re into water sports, hiking, or simply enjoying nature.

So why wait? Plan your visit to Quarry Lake and experience the best of what Canmore has to offer. Trust us, you won’t regret it!

About Us

We’re Kevin and Jill, a couple who traded the UK for the serene beauty of Canmore almost two decades ago. We love exploring the mountains, eating and drinking out and can offer a family-friendly perspective. We hope to share our enthusiasm and knowledge with locals and visitors alike.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.