Canmore – Lake Minnewanka Loop via the Legacy Trail (Spring Road Closure Option)

Cascade Mountain snowcapped in the Spring

Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating: Beginner to Intermediate

Distance: 55.6 km

Estimated time: This ride takes approximately 3 hours Based on cycling speed of 20 km/hr

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Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, Route Combinations

It is possible to connect from Canmore to Lake Louise through bike pathways, low volume side roads, and the Bow Valley Parkway to experience a variety of biking options that are pretty much limitless. The following are just a few of the possibilities.

2021 Biking Season: The Bow Valley Parkway will be closed to motorized traffic for a portion of this year. This is an amazing opportunity to cycle this historic route without having to worry about sharing the road with cars. Please check with Parks Canada to verify the timing of the closure.

Start of the Bow Valley Parkway

Canmore through to Lake Louise : Two groups could leave from either end and then exchange keys as they pass on the Bow Valley Parkway. This avoids the downtime required for a car shuttle.

Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

Distance: 80 Km

Estimated time: Based on cycling speed of 20 Km per hour it would take roughly 4 hours

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Legacy Trail – Canmore to Banff with Vermillion Lakes extension Out and Back

The Legacy Trail is part of The Great Trail (previously called the Trans Canada Trail). It is well marked and a dedicated pathway for non-motorized modes of travel between Banff and Canmore. The trail is used by Olympic calibre roller skiers, distance runners/walkers/wheel chair athletes and cyclists of all abilities. You will note the ‘Be Kind to Slower Cyclist’ signs along the route. This past year we have noticed the addition of Max 20 km/hr speed signs.

Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating – Beginner

Distance – 55.5 km (a shorter option at only 44 km is to exclude the Vermillion Lake extension and turnaround at Banff)

Estimated cycling time – 2.75 hours if you go all the way to Vermillion Lakes, 2 hours if not. Based on 20 km/hr cycling speed.

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Banff to Lake Louise

Getting organized for the Banff to Lake Louise ride : Start of Bow Valley Parkway at Vermillion Lakes
Stunning views along the Parkway

Summer/Fall 2021: Part of this route is closed to motor vehicle traffic this year which provides a unique opportunity to cycle the Bow Valley Parkway without any motor vehicle traffic. Check the Parks Canada website before heading out. As of June 25, 2021 there is some construction just where the road splits for the second time at ~km 36 past Castle Junction towards Lake Louise.

Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating –  Beginner or Intermediate. The majority of this ride has grades less than 2%, and as an out and back you can always turn back at any point. It is a nice gradual uphill ride but just 5 km out from Lake Louise there is a steep uphill grade to the turn off to Lake Louise, then a steep downhill grade into town.

Distance – 111 km out and back

Estimated cycling time – 5.5 hours assuming 20 km/hr

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Four Hills of Banff

Map includes distance markers (in white) from the Cascade Pond parking area. Points of interest are labelled 1-4. Look at those switch backs up the Mt. Norquay road!

Ride Statistics

Mt Norquay road has been recently paved so it is a nice smooth ride up the six switch backs. Watch for mountain sheep on this steep road.

Ride Difficulty Rating – Intermediate and Expert

Elevation Gain – 848 m

Distance – 49.7 Km combination of loops and out and back routes

Estimated cycling time – 3 hours due to steep grades

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