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Athabasca River Cycling, Jasper, Alberta

Cycle the Canadian Rockies: Jasper & Banff

Calgary to Jasper, Alberta - Example 6 Day Tour staying at Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Calgary Downtown
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Join this six-day cycling adventure is led by a local that kicks off from Calgary before venturing onto Banff National Park, Lake Louise, the Icefields Parkway, and Jasper National Park. Challenging and rewarding, your rides deliver epic views and memorable moments. This is the stuff dreams are made of – snow-dusted peaks, turquoise lakes, glittering glaciers, and vibrant forests. For many, the Canadian Rockies are only admiring out of coach windows, but if you want to get to the heart of the region and experience it at its very best, a bicycle is your best bet.
Jasper National ParkPayto Lake, Banff National Park, AlbertaPeyto Lake, Banff National Park, AlbertaEmerald Lake, CanadaJasper National ParkLake Louise, AlbertaJasper National Park, AlbertaLake Louise, Banff, AlbertaAthabasca Glacier, AlbertaAthabasca River Cycling, Jasper, Alberta
Highlights
  • Cycle through Calgary, a fun-filled and bike-friendly city
  • Discover the awe-inspiring landscapes of Banff National Park on two wheels, taking in rivers, lakes, viewpoints and the historic Fairmont Banff Springs resort.
  • Follow the famed Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most scenic roads.
  • Pedal through forests and along the Bow River to the turquoise waters of Lake Louise, the jewel of the Canadian Rockies
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Independent
Activity Level: Easy Active
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Calgary | Prince’s Park Island

Welcome to the Canadian Rockies! Your adventure begins in Calgary, a city that delivers stunning scenery, cool shops, and lively restaurants. A welcome meeting will take place at midday (12 pm), where you will be briefed on the activities ahead and meet your local leader and fellow cyclists. Undertake a short bike fit and instruction, then it’s time for a short but enjoyable introduction ride around this remarkably bike-friendly city. 

The mostly flat 16-mile (25km) ride will take you along city streets and past icons such as the Calgary Tower and Studio Bell before following the quiet bike paths that flank the calm waters of the Bow River. Explore Prince Park Island and cross the unusually-shaped Peace Bridge, then cycle the thriving Kensington Village area, perhaps stopping at one of its many cafes for refreshments before returning to the serene and traffic-free Bow River Pathway. Follow the path as it winds its way downstream, past St. George Island, before recrossing the river and heading back into the heart of the city. The rest of the afternoon is free for your explorations of Calgary. Opt to retrace your tire tracks and chill out in Prince Island Park, head up the Calgary Tower for great views or learn a new sport at Canada Olympic Park – the choice is yours. In the evening, perhaps head for dinner at one of the city's great restaurants.

Biking Distance: Approximately 16 miles (25 km), mostly flat with approximately 230 feet (70 m) of elevation gain, on 100% sealed road or hardpacked gravel. Suitable for all levels of cycling ability.

Day 2: Banff | Banff National Park

  • 1 Breakfast
After a leisurely breakfast, drive east from Calgary to Banff (approximately 1.5 hours), Canada's most famous mountain resort town. The drive is a highlight in itself – follow the Trans-Canada Highway from the windswept flat plains into the epic mountain scenery of the Rocky Mountains, arriving at Banff National Park. Settle into your hotel before heading out for a ride through this truly iconic landscape. At 11 miles (17kms), today is a relatively short and gentle ride as you cycle the small roads and trails beside the now fast flowing Bow River to the dramatic Bow Falls Viewpoint. Take in the view then, duck away from the crowds, and, crossing the Spray River on a loop ride of the picturesque Banff Springs Golf Course. 

The quiet trail – often frequented by wild deer - meanders through the forest and lesser-known parts of the Bow River. Loop back up to the famed Fairmont Banff Springs, Canada's 'Castle in the Rockies' for a close-up view of this historic hotel. Soak in the ambiance at any of the cafes then, choose between cycling back into Banff or adding some extra distance (and elevation gain in at the same time) by opting to ride up Tunnel Mountain Rd. Either way, you will have ample time to explore this lovely town. You may like to dive into the culture of the Rockies at the Whyte Museum while away the evening in one of the fabulous restaurants in town or (season permitting) hike the steel catwalks of Johnston Canyon.

Biking Distance: Approximately 11 miles (17kms), mostly flat with approximately 300 feet (90m) of elevation gain, on 100% sealed road or hardpacked gravel. Suitable for all levels of cycling ability. The Tunnel Mountain Rd extension at the end of the ride will add an extra 7.5 miles (12kms) and 560ft (170m) of elevation gain.

Day 3: Lake Minnewanka | Vermilion Lakes

  • 1 Breakfast
Wake up and breathe in the fresh mountain air, then it’s back on your bike for a specially memorable ride. The first stop is the aptly named Surprise Corner – the view over the river canyon and the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is sure to shock you in the best way! Leave the river and follow the flanks of the imposing Tunnel Mountain before dropping back down to the vehicle-free Banff Legacy Trail. Weave gradually uphill past Two Jack Lake and up to the deep blue glacial waters of Lake Minnewanka. 

Continue along the flat roads and trails that run alongside the Vermillion Lakes, where weather permitting, the outline of the jagged Mount Rundle reflected in the lakes is simply breathtaking. From here, you can either choose to add another 5 miles (8 km) to your ride by cycling back or jump into the vehicle for the short transfer into town, where the rest of the evening is free for you to rest up or further explore Banff. 

Biking Distance: Approximately 24 miles (37kms), undulating with one long but gradual ascent and descent, then flat, with approximately 1180 feet (360m) of elevation gain, on 100% sealed road or hardpacked gravel. Suitable for all levels of cycling ability.

Day 4: Icefields Parkway | Lake Louise

  • 1 Breakfast
Prepare yourself for an unforgettable ride as you set out alongside the Icefields Parkway. The world-renowned roadway between Jasper and Banff stretches through a country of rugged mountaintops and past a hundred ancient glaciers, and you’ll enjoy the best of it by bike. Starting at the Vermillion Lakes, pass under the busy Trans-Canada Highway or instead of cycling the quiet Bow Valley Parkway. Traffic is slow to a maximum of 37mph (60kph), so it’s relatively vehicle-free, leaving you free to enjoy some of the most scenic landscapes Canada has to offer. Follow the Serpentine Bow River on a gentle uphill ride through a sun-dappled forest filled with wildlife, stopping off at Castle Mountain, the halfway point of the ride.

Drop into the General Store for supplies and enjoy a break in this show-stopping spot before continuing through the inspiring landscape. Pause at Morant’s Curve for one of the most unmissable views in the Rockies – the railway line below you gently curves towards the spectacular Mount Fairview and the surrounding mountains. If you can tear yourself away from this site, it’s just a further 3 miles (5kms) to Lake Louise, the jewel of the Canadian Rockies. This picture-perfect turquoise water, the glacier-fed lake is enclosed by snow-covered peaks and overlooked by the Fairmont chateau, and after packing up the bikes (and saving you a very steep uphill) and drive down to the lakeshore for a close up look at this stunning destination. From here, rest your legs on the long but incredibly scenic drive along the Icefields Parkway (approximately 3 hours). Enjoy a brief stop to view the massive Athabasca Glacier before arriving at the beautiful Sunwapta Falls. Spend the night in a lodge in the heart of the largest National Park in the Canadian Rockies.

Biking Distance: Approximately 37 miles (59kms) with a very gradual but continual incline, with approximately 1980 feet (600m) of elevation gain, on 100% sealed road or hardpacked gravel. Suitable for all levels of cycling ability.

Day 5: Jasper | Hike Maligne Canyon | Cycle Maligne Lake

  • 1 Breakfast
Start your day early with a short drive (approx. 35 miles/55 km, 45 mins) to the stunning alpine town of Jasper. After dropping in your bags at the hotel, it is time to swap your biking shoes for hiking shoes as we take a short transfer (15 mins) to the nearby Maligne Canyon for a short2.3-mile. Hike in the most interesting canyon in the Canadian Rockies. This beautiful hike takes you past numerous waterfalls, gorges, and springs as it ambles its way up to  6th Bridge’ before re-joining your vehicle for the drive up to the shimmering blue waters of Maligne Lake, the crown jewel of Jasper National Park.

Take in the beautiful view of this majestic lake and saddle up and enjoy a downhill 30 mile (50km) ride as you descend through endless pine forests between dramatic mountains and past the mysterious Medicine Lake. Also known as ‘The Disappearing Lake’ to local First Nations people, the lake waters disappear during the summer months, only to reappear 10 miles later at Maligne Canyon. Enjoy the rest of the descent and ride the flat road back into Jasper.

The afternoon is yours to explore all the fantastic options Jasper has to offer – and there are plenty! If you’re still feeling active, why not hike Whistlers Peak or mountain bike in the Valley of Five Lakes. Got a head for heights? Then ride the Jasper SkyTram – at 7545ft (2300m), it’s Canada’s highest. If you’re after a more chilled afternoon, book yourself a cruise on Maligne Lake past the much-photographed Spirit Island. Your leader will be happy to make the arrangement no matter what your preference. At the end of your day, meet your fellow travelers for one last meal and celebrate your cycling adventure.

Biking Distance: Maligne Lake to Jasper is approximately 35 miles (50 km) and mostly downhill/flat, with approximately 900 feet (280m) of elevation gain but over 3,000ft (900m) of elevation loss, on 100% sealed road or hardpacked gravel. Suitable for all levels of cycling ability.

Day 6: Jasper | Calgary | Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Enjoy a relaxed start to the day, then say goodbye to Jasper and take the now-familiar drive back to Calgary (approximately 5 hours). The driving is the ideal time to put your feet up, reflect on where you’ve ridden and relive stories of your cycling adventure over the last five days. Arrive back in Calgary, at which point your journey comes to an end.

Accommodations

Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Calgary Downtown

Ramada Hotel Downtown Calgary
Reception Area
Queen size Bed room

Calgary - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$3,120
Queen size Bed room
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Standard Room
1 Queen Bed with Alarm Clock, Bathroom Amenities, Desk, Free WiFi (high-speed), Hair Dryer, HDTV, High-Speed Internet, In-Room Temperature Control, Iron and, Ironing Board
Included
  • 5 Breakfasts
  • 5 Nights Accommodations
  • 5 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
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