Mountain biking trails in the Lake Louise area

Banff National Park

Important information:

Mountain biking trails in the Lake Louise area:

Trail Distance
 Bow River Loop  7.1 km loop
 Tramline  4.5 km one way
 Pipestone  7.2 km one way
 Ross Lake  7.3 km one way
 Moraine Lake Highline  9.3 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

Bow River Loop

7.1 km loop
No elevation gain
Trailhead: Lake Louise Campground or opposite the historic Lake Louise train station (Station Restaurant) beside Bow River bridge

Ideal for families, this gentle riverside trail travels both sides of the Bow River and can be shortened by cutting across any of the bridges. Interpretive signs along the way highlight the Bow River ecosystem. This trail is popular with pedestrians who may not hear your approach above the river’s sound; ride respectfully and make your approach known. This route connects with the Tramline Trail. 


4.5 km one way
Elevation gain 195 m
Trailhead: Opposite Lake Louise train station (Station Restaurant) beside Bow River bridge

This wide trail is the former route of a tramway (1912 to 1930). It offers a quiet ride up and down from the valley floor to upper Lake Louise. The trail comes out at the upper Lake Louise parking lots, an alternative starting point for a downhill ride on this trail.

 Moderate rides


7.2 km one way
Elevation gain 165 m
Trailhead: Slate Road, turn off Trans-Canada Highway, 1.5 km west of Lake Louise

This well-defined gravel and dirt trail heads up along the Pipestone River into the Pipestone Valley north of Lake Louise. Watch for horse users and bears. Not far from the trailhead, an 800 m side trail offers a short, sometimes muddy, trip to Mud Lake. Cyclists are not permitted beyond the bike turnaround point at km 7.2.

 Difficult Rides

Ross Lake

7.3 km one way, no elevation gain, difficult
Trailhead: Tucked behind the Chateau Lake Louise staff residences

One of the few trails that crosses from Banff to Yoho National Park, this trail winds and dips through sub-alpine forest to a small lake nestled against an impressive rock wall. Expect to yield to horse traffic on the first 100 m. A challenging 1.3 km trail down along Ross Creek connects to the Great Divide Road allowing a loop return.

Moraine Lake Highline

9.3 km one way, elevation gain 305 m, difficult
Trailhead: The trail begins 2.5 km up Moraine Lake Road. There is very limited all-day parking in the community of Lake Louise. There is no parking in the Great Divide parking lot or at the Moraine Lake junction.

The most demanding of the Lake Louise trails, this single-track trail climbs onto the shoulder of Mount Temple and then descends to Moraine Lake, one of the loveliest spots in the Canadian Rockies. Hikers are often encountered on the first km from the trailhead. Roots and rocks on the narrow trail might pose a challenge. The upper trail section, often exposed as it follows side hills, offers tremendous views. When buffalo berries (an important food for bears) ripen in mid to late summer, the upper section of this trail is closed to all users. This will allow grizzly bears to forage undisturbed and keep visitors safer. A stub trail allows access from the trail to the Moraine Lake Road at the bottom of the seasonal trail closure. Check with Lake Louise Visitor Centre staff and trailhead signs for closure dates and important information.

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