Map of Cycle the Canadian Rockies: Jasper & Banff including Canada

A cycling adventure full of sights to stop you in your tracks

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 admired out of coach windows, but if you really want to get to the heart of the region and experience it at its very best, a bicycle is your best bet. This six-day cycling adventure is led by a local and kicks off from Calgary before venturing on to Banff National Park, Lake Louise, the Icefields Parkway and Jasper National Park. Challenging and rewarding, your rides deliver in big views and memorable moments.


Start
Calgary, Canada
Finish
Calgary, Canada
Destination
Canada
Style
Original
Theme
Cycling
Code
SSXR
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Set your wheels in motion in Calgary, a fun-filled and bike-friendly city. Join your local leader and pedal past important landmarks and local hotspots.

  • 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. Exploring in your vehicle and on your bike means you’ll experience all the parkway’s most stunning spots.

  • Pedal through forests and along the Bow River to the turquoise waters of Lake Louise, the jewel of the Canadian Rockies and a sight that makes all your efforts worth it!

  • Be blown away by Jasper National Park, where your cycling routes takes you on a 40km downhill from Maligne Lake to Jasper, plus a walk in Maligne Canyon.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.

  • This trip deliberately involves a fair amount of driving – this is designed that you only cycle the very best places and none of the 'transit' legs in-between.

  • To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short, the terrain can sometimes be hilly so you’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the trip – but remember, we will always have the support vehicle on hand if you need to take a break for an hour or a day.

  • For groups of less than six travellers we have a single leader that drives the support vehicle alongside the group. For larger groups we have a separate driver and the leader will cycle all routes. Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a backmarker.

  • As our riding is done mostly on sealed roads with the occasional gravel cycle path there are no technical cycling skills required.

  • If you feel like doing all the riding but with less effort, you have the option of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) on this trip.

Itinerary

Welcome to the Canadian Rockies! Your adventure begins in Calgary, a city that delivers in stunning scenery, cool shops and lively restaurants. A welcome meeting will take place at midday (12pm) where you’ll 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’s 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’s Island, before recrossing the river and heading back into the heart of the city. The rest of the afternoon is free for your own explorations of Calgary. Opt to retrace your tyre tracks and chill out in Prince's 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel/Motel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Support vehicle & mechanical support while cycling
  • 6 Days Bicycle Hire
  • Guided cycling tour of Calgary
Optional Activities
  • Calgary - Olympic Park Entrance - Free
  • Calgary - Calgary Tower - CAD18
  • Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump - USD11
  • Calgary - Studio Bell (home of the National Music Centre) - CAD18
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Today's ride is approximately 16 miles (25 kms), 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.
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 to Banff National Park. Settle into your hotel then head 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 cross 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’ll 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 town’s fabulous restaurants, or (season permitting) hike the steel catwalks of Johnston Canyon.
Accommodation
  • Hotel/Motel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided cycling tour of Banff
Optional Activities
  • Banff - Johnston Canyon Icewalk - Free
  • Canmore - Learn to Be a Canadian Hockey Player - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today's relaxed ride is 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.
Wake up and breathe in the fresh mountain air, then it’s back on your bike for an especially memorable ride. 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. Named ‘Water of the Spirits’ in the traditional Nakoda/Stoney language, this awe-inspiring lake flanked by the 10,000ft high Mount Aylmer is the perfect backdrop to any ride. Enjoy a gradual 5-mile (8km) descent back towards Banff – but the fun isn’t over yet! 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 chose to add another 5 miles (8 kms) 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. If your cycling has inspired an appetite, get your hands on a Beaver Tail, deep-fried sweet dough resembling the shape of a beaver’s tail. Order a classic cinnamon and sugar or go wild with some whipped cream and Nutella (thank us later!).
Accommodation
  • Hotel/Motel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided cycling tour of Lake Minnewanka & the Vermilion Lakes
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today's ride is 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.
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 and instead cycle the quiet Bow Valley Parkway. Traffic is slowed 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 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 sight, it’s just a further 3 miles (5kms) to Lake Louise, the jewel of the Canadian Rockies. This picture-perfect turquoise, glacier-fed lake enclosed by snow-covered peaks and overlooked by the Fairmont chateau must be seen to be believed, and after packing up the bikes (and saving you a very steep uphill) we’ll 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 – the ideal place for people looking to unplug from the regular hectic pace of life and simply appreciate the stunning natural surroundings.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided cycling tour Banff to Lake Louise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today's ride is 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.

Please note the trip beginning on 6 Aug 2022 will continue to on Jasper to overnight rather than stay at the Icefields parkway lodge.
Start today early with a short drive (approx. 35 miles/55 kms, 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 to hiking shoes as we take a short transfer (15 mins) to the nearby Maligne Canyon for a short 2.3 mile hike in "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 then saddle up and enjoy a mostly 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 then ride the flat road all the way 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 the day, perhaps meet your fellow travellers for one last meal to celebrate your cycling achievements.
Accommodation
  • Hotel/Motel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Maligne Canyon hike
  • Visit to Maligne Lake
  • Guided cycling tour Maligne Lake to Jasper
Optional Activities
  • Jasper - SkyTram - CAD50
  • Jasper - Cruise on Maligne Lake - CAD79
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today's ride from Maligne Lake to Jasper is approximately 35 miles (50 kms) 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.
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 drive 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 to Calgary, at which point your journey comes to an end.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
No included riding today

For those wanting to spend a bit more time in Jasper additional accommodation can be arranged. Please enquire with your agent at the time of booking. Please note the transfer back to Calgary only applies to those departing on Day 6 and cannot be use at a later date. Regular shuttle buses do operate on this route.

Meals

5 breakfasts

Transport

Bicycle (e-bike option available, subject to availability), Support Vehicle

Accommodation

Simple Hotel/Motel (3 nights), Lodge (1 night), Hostel (1 night)

Included activities

  • Support vehicle & mechanical support while cycling
  • 6 Days Bicycle Hire
  • Guided cycling tour of Calgary
  • Guided cycling tour of Banff
  • Guided cycling tour of Lake Minnewanka & the Vermilion Lakes
  • Guided cycling tour Banff to Lake Louise
  • Maligne Canyon hike
  • Visit to Maligne Lake
  • Guided cycling tour Maligne Lake to Jasper

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Cycle the Canadian Rockies: Jasper & Banff trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

All travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.

1. This trip starts with a welcome meeting at midday (12pm) on Day 1 in Calgary.
2. This trip ends on Day 6 at approximately 4pm.
3. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
4. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so we can organise a suitable sized bike.
5. The included bikes on this trip are a flat bar 'hybrid-style'. You have the option (at extra cost) of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) on this trip - this must be requested at the time of booking.
6. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
7. For group less than 6 clients we have a single leader that drives the support vehicle alongside the group. For larger groups, we have a driver plus a leader that rides with the group.
8. Accommodation is not included on day 6 of this trip. If you require additional accommodation (or want to reserve your room for the main part of the day) please enquire at the time of booking.
9. Please note the trip beginning on 6 Aug 2022 will continue to on Jasper to overnight rather than stay at the Icefields parkway lodge.
10. Due to Covid-19 restrictions some of the local attractions may be temporarily closed, running reduced hours, or require booking ahead. Please check their websites for up-to-date opening hours.

Essential trip information

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