Your tour starts in Banff the oldest and largest town in the National Parks of the Rockies. Located 150 km (94 miles) west of Calgary, Alberta; Banff is situated in the scenic Bow Valley surrounded by Cascade Mtn, Tunnel Mtn, Mt. Rundle, Sulphur Mtn, and Mt. Norquay.
There is regularly scheduled air service to Calgary from across North America, with non-stop flights to Calgary from all major Canadian and many US centres, including: Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Dallas & Seattle. Additionally, non-stop international flights are available from London and Frankfurt.
A number of companies offer an airport shuttle service to Banff from the Calgary Airport. If you are flying home from Calgary Airport, a special transfer might be necessary to enable you to catch a flight on the same day as the tour end.
Arrival in Banff. This vibrant town is at the centre of some of the most scenic cycling routes found anywhere in the Rocky Mountains National Parks. Stroll about town searching for that perfect souvenir or visiting the excellent museums. If you arrive early enough enjoy a warm-up cycle out to The Cave and Basin – the location of the first hot mineral springs discovered in 1883.
Ride Distance: 10 km or 45 km.*
Banff to Lake Louise
Pedal the scenic network of roads around Banff — exploring Tunnel Mountain and the oddly shaped Hoodoos. Add on a loop up to Lake Minnewanka, one of the largest and deepest lakes in the Rockies. Once known as Devil’s Lake or Cannibal Lake, Minnewanka is the site of many ghostly occurrences in native legends. Then journey north along the Bow Valley Parkway to the staggeringly beautiful scenery of Lake Louise — the gem of Banff National Park. As you twist and climb along the Parkway, take in the magnificent views of the Sawback, Sundance and the Massive mountain ranges. Upon arrival in Lake Louise, soak up the natural splendour, take a canoe onto the lake, or enjoy a short walk into the mountains.
Ride Distance: 59 km, elevation gain 512 m.
Optional Ride to Moraine Lake – 30 km; 400 m gain.*
Lake Louise to The Crossing
Cycle along the splendid Icefields Parkway, soon cresting Bow Summit, the second highest point reached by a public highway in Canada. Take in the Peyto Lake viewpoint, or stop for a short hike into the Mistaya Canyon. Continue your journey north to the Crossing Resort.
Ride Distance: 85 km, 900 m gain.
The Crossing to Sunwapta Falls
Pedal past the braided streams of the North Saskatchewan River on your way to the Athabaska Glacier. Look out for moose grazing on the succulent water-plants in the Rampart Pond area. Relax beside the Weeping Wall of the Cirrus Mountain before you head up the challenging Big Bend and over the Sunwapta Pass. Continue to Sunwapta Falls Resort.
Ride Distance: 98 km; 1,200 m gain.*
Today you will encounter a variety of ecological niches on your way north. Cycle past an ancient forest (more than 700 years old) along the lower slopes of Mount Wilcox. Watch for mountain goats grazing on the precarious slopes of the Sunwapta Canyon gorge. Enjoy some time off your bike as you walk a short distance to the impressive Stanley Falls. In keeping with the rest of this tour, many magnificent viewpoints await your discovery—Mount Christie, Athabasca River and Whirlpool Valley. A short detour will take you to the thundering Athabasca Falls, set against the pink-purple cliffs of Mt. Kerkeslin. Arrive in Jasper — a burgeoning little town and the site of the earliest fur trade outpost in the central Rockies. Shopping opportunities abound.
Ride Distance: 76 km; 640 m gain.*
Take a little time to explore the town before beginning your voyage home or onward to your next adventure.
*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels available/chosen for specific departure.