Ride Difficulty Rating: Intermediate due to the distance
Distance: 84.3 km
Estimated time: 4 hours and 15 minutes based on cycling speed of 20 km/hr
Elevation Gain: 670 m
Maximum Elevation: 1276 m
Maximum Grade: 4.1 % downhill at the 35.1 km mark followed by the 5.1 % uphill at the 37.3 km
Best Parking Option: Park in the town of Sundre. Just after crossing the Red Deer River as you enter the town heading west on Hwy 27, turn north on to Centre St N. Park where you can find a spot. Anywhere along this road will do as you will be heading north up Centre St N to start the ride. Do not block driveways.
Points of Interest: The Town of Sundre is worth a visit on your way back.
Amenities: There are washrooms at the Bearberry General Store. Ask the owner for permission before using the facilities.
Comments from our test riders:
Beginner Road Cyclist: Long, long, long. But Beautiful !
Intermediate Road Cyclist: A great training distance on low motor vehicle traffic roads. Definitely stop in Sundre for a treat after!
Expert Road Cyclist: Some wonderful climbs and descents. Definitely gets the legs working.
What to expect from this ride
This ride passes through some of the most beautiful ranch country in Alberta. It is a bit of a drive from Calgary to Sundre, so get an early start. Sundre is a 112 km drive from Calgary, or about an hour and twenty minutes. We prefer to drive up through Cochrane and Cremona, along the scenic Cowboy Trail (Hwy 22), but you can also head north from Calgary on Hwy 2 north and then head west to Sundre. It is definitely worth the drive. Pick a warm, calm summer day for this ride. Pack a lunch and some layers of clothing and head on out.
Once in Sundre, head north as you wind your way through Sundre and out into the country side. At about the 6.4 km mark head west onto Twp Rd 334. After ~ 18 km along Twp Rd 334 the road will veer north for a short bit. Turn west onto Range Road 72 A (follow the signs to Bearberry). Bearberry is a great pit stop location. If the Bearberry Saloon and Grill is open you could stop here for lunch. This part of the province has an interesting history of First Nations and homesteaders. For more information visit click here.
Continue heading west and follow the winding Hwy 584 all the way until the road is no longer paved which is just before you cross over the Lower Stoney Creek which is a tributary of the Red Deer River. If you peek through the trees you will see the cozy Bearberry Cabins, a year round destination.
This is the turn around point. Head back along Hwy 584. Pass back through Bearberry but this time stay on the 584 and head south. This is a fabulous stretch of road with some fun descents. Enjoy this section!!! Stay on the 584 as it heads west back towards Sundre.
The roads get very busy the closer you get to Sundre so we recommend heading north on the very sleepy Range Road 60 at the McDougal Chapel Missionary Church intersection. Then head east and back the way you left town four hours ago.
We found the motor vehicle traffic extremely light and polite on this road. Giving us lots of room to cycle. Cycle single file for your safety and best to have a rear light on your bike or wear bright clothing.
If you want a slightly shorter ride, omit the out and back section from Bearberry to the Bearberry Cabins. This cuts about 20 km off the length of this ride.