Road rides in the Banff area
Banff National Park
|Sundance Trail||3.7 km one way|
|Tunnel Campground Loop||6.4 km loop|
|Banff Legacy Trail||29 km one way|
|Golf Course Drive||10.9 km loop|
|Vermilion Lakes Drive||4.3 km one way|
|Lake Minnewanka Road||13.1 km loop|
|Tunnel Mountain Drive/Road||10.7 km loop|
|Bow Valley Parkway (Banff to Lake Louise)||57.5 km one way|
|Mount Norquay Road||6.1 km one way|
|Mountain Avenue||3.4 km one way|
|Sunshine Village Access Road (Trans-Canada Highway to Sunshine Village parking lot)||8.2 km one way|
Family Friendly Rides
3.7 km one way
Elevation gain 75 m, elevation loss 60 m
Starting Point: Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Tunnel Campground Loop
6.4 km loop
Elevation gain 70 m
Starting Point: Tunnel Mountain Campground
Perfect for beginners and children, this simple trail forms a large loop around Tunnel Mountain Campground. Wider tires are best for this loose gravel trail and there are many places to stop and rest. Be sure to watch out for strolling campers, elk, deer and coyotes.
Banff Legacy Trail
29 km one way
Elevation gain 24 m, elevation loss 113 m
Starting Points: Valleyview, Cascade Ponds, Vermilion Lakes and Fireside day-use areas or east end of Banff Avenue
The Banff Legacy Trail offers cyclists, runners, roller skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts 29 km of paved trails and roadways with breathtaking views, rest stops and picnic areas. The trail connects the Bow Valley Parkway with the town of Banff, Cascade Ponds, the Banff East Gate and the town of Canmore. This three-season trail is typically snow-free and ridable from April to October. An absolute must.
Golf Course Drive
10.9 km loop
Elevation gain 68 m, elevation loss 68 m
Starting Point: Bow Falls parking area
Cross the bridge over the Spray River at the end of the parking area, and you’re off. Perfect for a family outing, this road winds gently along the golf course before it loops back. This is a peaceful road with lovely views over the Bow River and surrounding peaks. While close to town, be alert – wildlife also enjoy this area.
Vermilion Lakes Drive
4.3 km one way
Starting Point: Fenland day-use area, paved trail to Vermilion Lakes Drive
Vermilion Lakes are a series of three shallow lakes surrounded by marshland – a rich oasis for wildlife. The ride along this narrow road provides classic views of Banff’s signature peak, Mount Rundle. There are benches, bike racks and small docks where you can relax with a snack and enjoy the view. Connector: Banff Legacy Trail to the Bow Valley Parkway.
Lake Minnewanka Road
13.1 km loop
Elevation gain 160 m, elevation loss 160 m
Starting Points: Cascade Ponds and Lake Minnewanka day-use area or the Banff Legacy Trail
Lake Minnewanka Road is popular with cyclists and offers a pleasant ride through varied terrain, with panoramic views and many attractions including Cascade Ponds, Bankhead, Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake. This narrow road can be busy, so ride with caution and be on the lookout for bighorn sheep on the slopes above Two Jack Lake. Connector: Banff Legacy Trail.
Tunnel Mountain Drive/Road
10.7 km loop
Elevation gain 180 m, elevation loss 180 m
Starting Point: Central Park parking area, West end of Buffalo Street
Start by heading east on Buffalo Street, rising gently past Surprise Corner with its extraordinary view over Bow Falls and the world famous Fairmont Banff Springs. Continue climbing and bending around its lower slopes to join the Tunnel Mountain Road. Turn right (East) and pass the campgrounds for incredible viewpoints before you drop back down to the Banff Legacy Trail. Go left into town, or right towards Lake Minnewanka. Elk and deer are common along this narrow roadway.
Bow Valley Parkway
57.5 km one way (Banff to Lake Louise)
Elevation gain 340 m, elevation loss 177 m
Starting Points: From downtown Banff, access the trail via Vermillion Lakes Drive and the Banff Legacy Trail or begin at Fireside (49 km one way).
The Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy 1A) ride is a classic, gently rising and falling as it meanders through the Bow Valley to Castle Junction, and beyond to Lake Louise. On your trip, stop and enjoy the many picnic areas and rest stops along the way. From Banff ride this narrow road to Johnson Canyon (50 km return), Castle Junction (65 km return), Baker Creek (90 km return) or Lake Louise (115 km return). Whatever your route, wildlife sightings are common, so keep a look out and be prepared.
In the spring and fall, vehicle use will be restricted along a 17 km stretch of the eastern portion of the Bow Valley Parkway to allow for an motorist-free cycling pilot.
Mount Norquay Road
6.1 km one way
Elevation gain 327 m, elevation loss 12 m
Starting Point: Mount Norquay Road, on the north side of the Trans-Canada Highway
This challenging climb up the mountain rewards riders with a spectacular panoramic view of the town of Banff and surrounding Bow Valley. The Norquay Green Spot Viewpoint opens onto a grassy slope – a great place to stop for a picnic lunch or for photos. From the viewpoint, the road continues up to the Mount Norquay ski area. Watch out for Bighorn Sheep on or near the road and the sharp turns, especially on the way down.
3.4 km one way
Elevation gain 214 m, elevation loss 32 m
Starting Point: Mountain Avenue, on the south side of the Banff Avenue Bridge
This route is a gradual, but continuous climb ending at the Banff Upper Hot Springs. Gains in elevation from the valley bottom provide riders with exceptional views of the Bow Valley and the rugged profile of Mount Rundle. Mountain Avenue offers ample width for riders, however, vehicular traffic is heavier during the summer.
Sunshine Village Access Road
8.2 km one way
Elevation gain 271 m, no elevation loss
Starting Point: Sunshine Ski Area Road, 7 km west of Banff on the Trans-Canada Highway
The Sunshine Road begins its steady rise almost immediately, and offers a few steep ramps along the way to its termination at the ski area parking at the base of the Sunshine gondola. Vehicular traffic is moderate in the summer months, but be aware as the road is narrow and twisty throughout its length. Watch for wildlife.
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