Road rides in the Lake Louise area

Banff National Park

Important information:

Road rides in the Lake Louise area:

Trail Distance
 Great Divide 10.5 km one way
 Bow Valley Parkway  28 km one way
 Moraine Lake Road  15 km one way
 Icefields Parkway  230 km one way

Elevations are an approximate to give riders an idea of what to expect on each route. Elevations are calculated as the total amount of elevation gained and the total amount of elevation lost (all the ups and downs) over the entire distance of an out-and-back trail or a loop. 

 Easy Rides

Great Divide

10.5 km one way
Minimal elevation gain
Starting Point: Parking lot at 3.6 km mark of Lake Louise Drive

This route (formerly the 1A Hwy) is closed to vehicles. Though paved, the surface is rough. It winds past the Great Divide at 7.5 km and continues to the Trans-Canada Highway in Yoho National Park. About 500 m west of the Divide, a challenging 1.3 km trail up along Ross Creek connects to the Ross Lake Trail. It allows an alternative return to the trailhead for advanced mountain bikers.

 Moderate Rides

Bow Valley Parkway

28 km one way
Minimal elevation gain
Starting Points: Lake Louise Visitor Centre

From Lake Louise to Castle Junction, the Bow Valley Parkway (1A) winds through montane forest near the Bow River. This is a busy road with narrow shoulders; consider riding midweek when traffic is lighter. Numerous short hikes, viewpoints and interpretive signs are accessible from the road. The Bow Valley Parkway continues farther eastward towards the town of Banff and reconnects with the Trans-Canada Highway or the Banff Legacy Trail, after an additional 21 km, making the entire Bow Valley Parkway 49 km in length or 98 km return to Lake Louise 

 Difficult Rides

Moraine Lake Road

15 km one way
Elevation gain 385 m
Starting Point: Lake Louise Visitor Centre

This narrow, mountain road has no shoulders and heavy mixed traffic. It’s best to ride Moraine Lake Road and Lake Louise Drive early or late in the day when traffic volume is lower. From the turnoff at the 3 km mark of Lake Louise Drive, Moraine Lake Road climbs to spectacular views of Consolation Valley and the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Mountain bikers can create a loop by combining with the challenging Moraine Lake Highline Trail.

Icefields Parkway

230 km one way
Moderate to difficult (depending on section or length of ride)
Starting Point: Lake Louise Visitor Centre. (You can access the start of the parkway by crossing the pedestrian bridge over the Trans-Canada Highway, near the western end of Sheol Road, then riding along the bike path beside Highway 1 westward, until it connects with the Icefields Parkway)

Whether it’s for a short ride or a bike tour over several days, the Icefields Parkway has a lot to offer. Hailed by many as one of the most beautiful scenic roads in the world, this route is famous for its bike touring opportunities. The Icefields Parkway follows the continental divide as it leads riders over two mountain passes. En route, cyclists will peddle past beautiful lakes, towering mountains, thundering waterfalls and awesome glaciers. Be cautious, this is a busy road in the summer. Fortunately, there is a wide shoulder in most places. If you just want to ride a section of the parkway, you can always drive to your chosen starting point. For more information, ask for the Icefields Parkway brochure at the Lake Louise Visitor Centre.


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