Iconic Three Sisters near Canmore are every visitor’s favourite. While you can see them from almost anywhere in town, there are a few incredibly scenic spots where you can photograph Three Sisters with reflection in the water.
Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, the Three Sisters in Canmore, Canada, stand as a trio of majestic peaks that beckon adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.
These iconic mountains, Faith, Charity, and Hope offer breathtaking views from the moment you’re arriving to Canmore on the highway. They’re visible almost anywhere in Canmore and are iconic landmarks on town souvenirs.
Photographing the Three Sisters is one of the most popular activities in Canmore.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how to find the best views of the Three Sisters, including several viewpoints, how to get there, and even the hiking options to summit each of these remarkable peaks.
Overview of the Three Sisters, Canmore
The Three Sisters, collectively referred to as the “Sisters,” are located just outside the town of Canmore, Alberta. These peaks are part of the Canadian Rockies and are situated within the Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, offering pristine wilderness and stunning vistas in every direction.
Each of the Three Sisters has its unique character:
Faith (Big Sister)
Faith is the tallest of the three, approximately 2,936 meters above sea level. It offers an excellent viewpoint for those who wish to capture the beauty of the surrounding peaks and valleys.
Charity (Middle Sister)
Slightly shorter than Faith, Charity boasts an elevation of around 2,769 meters. Hiking Charity provides an opportunity to experience the rugged terrain and unmatched views.
Hope (Little Sister)
Hope, the smallest of the trio, has an elevation of approximately 2,694 meters. Despite its lower stature, it offers spectacular scenery after the challenging climb to the summit.
How to find the best view of Three Sisters, Canmore
The Three Sisters Viewpoint – the best view of Three Sisters, Canmore
To get the absolute best view of Three Sisters with their reflection in the water, head to the named Three Sisters Viewpoint by Policeman Creek.
Located just outside of Canmore, this viewpoint is accessible by car. From downtown Canmore, drive south on Bow Valley Trail (Highway 1A) for approximately 2.5 kilometres until you reach the viewpoint’s parking area on your right. It’s just a small rocky area where you can park, not officially marked as a parking lot.
The trail to the Three Sisters Viewpoint is not marked but easy to find and accessible year-round. The small pond with the reflection is as stunning in winter as in summer. Don’t miss the viewpoint if you’re visiting Canmore in winter.
From the parking lot, walk down to the creek bed and under the bridge/railway tracks. Keep following the wide path until you reach a narrow path (see below) on your right, leading to the viewpoint.
In winter, when there’s a lot of snow, we park at this off-leash dog area across the road just to be safe, as the rocky parking lot might get slippery. If you park at the dog area, head down to the creek bed and under the three tunnel bridge (with the road above you).
Then, you walk under the bridge with railway tracks and follow the same path explained above. It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to reach the Three Sisters Viewpoint.
I recommend getting to the viewpoint early in the morning or for sunset when the water is the calmest with the best reflection.
Sulphur Pond is located along Bow River south of downtown Canmore. We usually park at Riverside Park, cross the bridge towards Public Boat Launch and follow the dirt trail along Bow River, one of the best bike trails in Canmore. It takes about 15 minutes on the bike to reach the Sulphur Pond.
Not only can you see Three Sisters, but you can photograph them with a gorgeous turquoise foreground.
Canmore Nordic Centre
Another great spot to view the Sisters is from the Canmore Nordic Centre. This Olympic training facility offers numerous trails for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing.
The Nordic Centre also has some vantage points from which you can admire the Three Sisters. To access this area, head to the Nordic Centre from Canmore town center and follow the signs for the best viewpoints.
Because Canmore Nordic Centre is located in the provincial park, you need a Kananaskis Conservation Pass to visit.
Hiking the Three Sisters
If you’re up for a more adventurous experience and want to conquer the summits of the Three Sisters themselves, be prepared for challenging hikes that offer unforgettable rewards.
Faith (Big Sister)
To reach the summit of Faith, you’ll embark on a challenging, steep scramble. Start at the Spray Lakes Road parking lot, approximately 13 kilometres south of Canmore on Smith Dorrien Trail (Highway 742). Hike the Spray Lakes Trail from here until you reach the Three Sisters Pass junction.
Follow this path to the col between Faith and Charity, where you’ll have a stunning view of the valley. Continue your ascent to reach the summit of Faith. This scramble is about 16 kilometres round trip and features an elevation gain of roughly 1,000 meters. I highly recommend having a helmet and scrambling experience before attempting the summit of Faith.
Charity (Middle Sister)
Reaching the summit of Charity is an easy scramble and involves similar starting points as the Faith scramble. Begin at the Spray Lakes Road parking lot and follow the Spray Lakes Trail to the Three Sisters Pass junction. From there, ascend Charity’s slopes to reach its summit.
This hike is roughly 14 kilometres round trip with an elevation gain of around 1,100 meters. Charity offers breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and the Bow Valley.
Hope (Little Sister)
Though the smallest of the Sisters, Hope still presents a challenging ascent usually only done by experienced climbers. Start your journey from the Spray Lakes Road parking lot and follow the Spray Lakes Trail to the Three Sisters Pass junction. Afterward, continue along the ridge to reach the summit of Hope.
The round trip for this hike is approximately 12 kilometres, with an elevation gain of about 1,050 meters. The views from the summit are equally rewarding, with a unique perspective of the other Sisters.
For easier hikes in the Canmore area with stunning mountain views, I recommend:
More Canmore travel guides:
- Grotto Canyon Ice Walk Near Canmore
- 8 Awesome Winter Hikes in Canmore
- 12 Best Airbnbs in Canmore With Breathtaking Views
Enjoy the leisurely drive to a viewpoint, and the breathtaking beauty of the Canadian Rockies will leave an indelible mark on your memory. Remember to respect the environment and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring landscapes that make the Three Sisters Canmore a natural wonder of Alberta.