13 Reasons to Visit Sundre
This wonderful destination for recreation and culture is only 75 minutes from Calgary.
With trails, rafting, camping, performing arts and other adventures, Sundre is ideal for Calgary explorers. Combining nature-loving recreation with Western charm, go for a day trip or settle in for a while and discover all the area has to offer.
Sundre is a major destination for campers, with a range of camp sites in the surrounding area. From RV resorts to campgrounds like the Town of Sundre's own Greenwood Campground, located right on the banks of the Red Deer River, there are options to suit everyone. Stock up in Sundre before heading to the wilder region west of town, where you'll find plenty of unserviced campsites.
A conservation area, the Snake Hill combines raw nature with kilometres of groomed recreational trails to hike, run or explore on your mountain bike. Home to many deer and moose, this is a gem located right in the heart of Sundre. Snake Hill is also home to the annual Snake Hill Slam, a 5 km obstacle run held in the late summer.
This 18-hole course is one of Canada's finest, and it’s only 75 minutes from Calgary. A tournament destination, the Sundre Golf Club is surrounded by the tree-covered foothills of the Sundre area and owned and operated by the same folks as the famous Greywolf Golf Course in B.C.
The Best Western Plus Mountainview Inn & Suites is a 3.5 star property with an indoor pool and hot tub, fitness centre, restaurant, meeting facilities and beautifully designed rooms. The inn belongs to the Sundre Golf Club family, and offers great Stay ‘n’ Play golf and hotel packages.
Not your typical bed and breakfast, Rustlers Lodge has the amenities of a hotel with the friendliness and affordability of a B & B. Every night's stay includes a complimentary hot breakfast served poolside. Rustlers Lodge is set along the western foothills, backdropped by the mighty Rocky Mountains.
Nestled among boreal evergreens on the banks of the Red Deer River just outside Sundre, you’ll find Alberta's premier camping and RV resort. Bring your camper to re-energize, reconnect and reflect on the natural beauty of your surroundings.
7. Otter Rafting Adventures (and Pottery Studio)
Raft the eastern slopes of the Rockies on the Red Deer River’s Class 3 rapids — the most fun rapids you can experience (but not too dangerous), not to mention the closest rafting outfit to Calgary. Or, stay on dry land and explore the Otter Pottery studio for wonderful handmade decor, art and gifts.
Let Sunset Guiding lead you into the wild mountains west of Sundre. You’ll travel on horseback, and you’ll also discover some of Alberta's wild horses. Relax in a fine cabin after being served a great dinner, and wake up to the smell of breakfast being cooked for you.
This deli restaurant serves some of the best barbecued fare north of Memphis. Kodiak brought in two 22-foot smokers from Houston, Texas, where joints of meat (and sometimes entire hogs) smoke for hours over apple wood chips to develop the succulent, natural flavour that barbecue lovers find so irresistible. Kodiak also does catering.
10. Sundre Museum and Pioneer Village, featuring the World of Wildlife exhibit
The Sundre Museum features the astounding World of Wildlife, an exhibit showcasing hundreds of animals from around the world that were acquired in the name of conservation efforts. Stepping outside, the museum also features a replica pioneer village, directly adjacent to the Red Deer River.
The Sundre Arts Centre features an intimate theatre hosting live plays, music, dance, events and other forms of art throughout the year. The venue has hosted big name acts like Big Sugar and The Trews. Check its online calendar to find out when you should come down for a weekend and see a show in this beautiful setting.
12. Sundre Pro Rodeo (and Bulls and Wagons!)
Come in June for the Sundre Pro Rodeo, one of Alberta’s most popular and successful professional rodeos. You’ll see the same stock and stars that perform at the Calgary Stampede—two weeks ahead of the crowds in Calgary. Into bull riding and chuck wagon racing? Return in August for the Bulls n Wagons Rodeo.
13. Wild horses
Photograph by Sherry Quintilio
In the rolling foothills and mountains just west of Sundre roam some of Alberta's most iconic creatures — wild horses. When in Sundre, make time to venture west and explore the back roads. You might be fortunate enough to spot a small herd of horses, usually guarded by a robust and brave stallion. Be sure to bring your camera. There's nothing quite as emotionally evocative as seeing a wild horse.