Cochrane to Water Valley out and back

This group of cyclist are enjoying the route. Note how their solid colour jerseys show up well and they are all riding single file.

Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

Distance: 81 km

Estimated time: 4 hours based on cycling speed of 20 km/hr

Elevation Gain: 800 m

Maximum Elevation: 1347 m

Maximum Grade:8.7 % uphill at 58.7 km , 7.8 % downhill at 22.8 km

Best Parking Option: The strip mall at the corner of Hwy 1A and Horse Creek Road in Cochrane or along Horse Creek Road just as you turn north off of Hwy 1A onto Horse Creek Road. Note: Hwy 1A is ofter referred to as Bow Valley Trail on maps. If you park at the strip mall, park well away from the business entrances.

Points of Interest: At ~ 23 km you will cycle past the Dartique Lodge – currently used as a community hall this historic building was constructed in 1934. As of summer 2021 a new metal roof has been installed so the building is being well maintained.

Water Valley has some interesting spots including the General Store (open 7-7 daily and offers ice cream and coffee) and the Water Valley Saloon (popular with the motorcycle crowd but very welcoming of the lycra clad cyclists!).

Amenities: Washrooms at the Water Valley General Store (please support them with a purchase!)

Comments from our test riders:

Beginner Road Cyclist: A long ride!

Intermediate Road Cyclist: A great training ride with some varied terrain.

Expert Road Cyclist: Awesome!!! You can really get going on this ride as there are very few STOP signs and traffic to contend with.

Water Valley General Store.

What to expect from this ride

This fantastic route was made possible with the ~2017 paving of a short section of Horse Creek Road that now allows for a ride all the way from Cochrane to Water Valley on paved surfaces. This route has very low motor vehicle traffic and passes by lovely acreages and farm land. The occasional group of motor cyclists will pass you and usually give you lots of room. If you decide to stop for lunch, you may meet up with the motorcyclists at the Water Valley Saloon. There are some nice climbs but none are too long so this makes for a very pleasant cycle and would make a great route if you are planning a group ride with friends.

This area can be subject to winds so be prepared and plan to do this route on calmer days. For most of the route you will be on a variety of pavement surfaces, but generally very good and as of Sept, 2021 pot holes have recently been filled. Most roads have no lines or designated shoulders once you get past Twp Rd 280.

Very, very quiet roads!

Mountain View – Bearspaw to Cochrane Out and Back

Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating – Beginner for shorter route, Intermediate with add on.

Distance – 44.1 Km out and back (with short loop near the end), 52.3 km with Cochrane hill alternative extension for Intermediate and Expert riders

Estimated cycling duration – Just over 2 hours…

Continue reading “Mountain View – Bearspaw to Cochrane Out and Back”

Big Hill Springs Out and Back

Look at that Alberta sky!!! June, 2020 Bearspaw Rd

Note: as of July 23, 2021 the Big Hill Springs park is still closed. I believe this may be temporary due to Covid…fingers crossed. Another development is that there is an active wellsite on Lochend Road as of July 23 which means that there is significantly more truck traffic on Lochend Road. I cycled part of Lochend Road ~7pm on a Tuesday evening recently and there was very heavy traffic. For this reason, use caution on this route for the next few weeks or choose another route for now.

Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating – Beginner

Distance – 44.2 Km out and back

Estimated cycling time – 2.5 hours

Continue reading “Big Hill Springs Out and Back”

Sundre Timber Trail With Optional Extension on the Burnt Timber Road

Main Route

Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating – Beginner for short loop, Intermediate with the optional extension

Distance – 49.2 km circle route, option for an additional 44.0 km out and back

Estimated cycling time – 2.5 hours with out the extension

Continue reading “Sundre Timber Trail With Optional Extension on the Burnt Timber Road”

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

Continue reading “Four Hills of Banff”

Lake Louise to Waterfowl Lake Out and Back

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Beautiful Bow Lake. May, 2016
This is an out and back ride starts at Lake Louise. Points of interest labelled 1-3.

Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating –  Expert due to the distance and elevation gain and grade up to and down Bow Summit

Distance – 120.7 km out and back Elevation Gain – 1309 m

Estimated cycling time – 6 hours assuming 20 km/hr.

Continue reading “Lake Louise to Waterfowl Lake Out and Back”