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Biking Banff to Jasper: 2023 Full Information

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Biking 290 km from Banff to Jasper is likely one of the most spectacular mountain bike rides on this planet. The trip runs parallel to the Continental Divide, and might begin in both Banff or Jasper, each of that are exceptionally scenic cities. Solely 55 km from Banff is Lake Louise, thought-about to be the mountaineering capital of Canada. If time isn’t of the essence, then keep longer and discover. Specifically, Lake Agnes Tea Home hike and the Plain of Six Glaciers hike aren’t removed from Lake Louise and supply not solely gorgeous views, however mountain teahouses for refueling. There are lots of different worthwhile hikes within the Lake Louise space.

As you head north from Banff you’ll absorb Bow Cross, the Icefield Parkway’s highest level and the Peyto Lake viewpoint. Persevering with north descend to Saskatchewan Crossing, the place three rivers converge, after which climb to the Columbia Icefields, recognized for cold temperatures even in the course of summer season. That is the place you possibly can take a motorized tour onto the glacier.

North of the Columbia Icefield you’ll see Sunwapta Mountain and the Infinite Chain Ridge. The remainder of the Banff to Jasper bike trip takes you alongside the Sunwapta and Athabasca Rivers into Jasper.

Biking from Banff to Jasper takes place totally on a freeway with very large shoulders. Roads are busy round Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper however moderately quiet elsewhere, particularly on weekdays. In Banff there’s the choice to cycle the quieter Freeway 1A. Be alert for elk, moose, grizzly bears and mountain goats always. Plan to be challenged by this very scenic and oftentimes troublesome bike trip.

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The Lake Agnes Tea House Trail starts by Lake Louise- a fun thing to do off the bike
The Lake Agnes Tea Home Path begins by Lake Louise- a enjoyable factor to do off the bike

Biking Banff to Jasper abstract

Whole mileage: 290 km or 175 miles

Finest time to do the bike trip: July and August however June and September are attainable if the climate cooperates. Fickle climate is the norm within the mountains so come ready for 4 seasons at any time. You would possibly discover snow patches on the prime of some passes even in the summertime.

Attending to the Banff/Jasper begin: Simply accessible through Calgary solely 125 km(80 miles) away to the east. Edmonton can also be a risk although it’s 360 km (215 miles) from Jasper. 

The place must you begin? Most individuals bike from Banff to Jasper however the truth is the prevailing winds are from the north so the biking in idea is perhaps a tad much less windy for those who start in Jasper.

Time to keep away from: Keep away from biking through the Banff to Jasper Relay in June when a whole bunch of runners and help autos crowd the roads

Tenting: There are many campgrounds on the Icefields Parkway. When you haven’t reserved, plan to reach no later than 3 PM or they’ll probably be full (probably earlier on weekends.) Really useful studying: All the things You Must Know About Tenting on the Icefields Parkway 

Don’t do:  Don’t bike at nightfall or after darkish when most of the animals come to life and you’re more durable to see.

Don’t overlook: All the time carry a fleece along with rain gear. The lengthy descents off the passes might be very chilly.

Freeway using: A lot of the shoulders are six toes large on the primary freeway. Experience single file and put on vivid clothes. There are lots of novice RV drivers round.

Map: Gem Trek Columbia Icefield Map

Biking Banff to Jasper journey highlights: 

  • Beautiful panoramas for your complete trip
  • Banff and Jasper Nationwide Parks and the cities of Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper
  • Johnston Canyon
  • Bow Cross and Peyto Lake
  • Athabasca Glacier and the Columbia Icefields Heart
  • Mistaya Canyon and Sunwapta Cross
  • Wildlife sightings
  • No vans on the Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper.
  • In June daylight lasts for 16.5 hours.
The start of Sunwapta Falls
The beginning of Sunwapta Falls

The right way to get to Banff 

Banff is well accessed through Calgary. Airways servicing Calgary embrace Air Canada, West Jet, Alaska Air, Delta Airways and United in addition to a number of low value flyers like Lynx Air. There are frequent scheduled shuttle and limo companies obtainable. All main automotive rental corporations are represented and might be discovered on the airport on the departures degree, throughout the street from the primary terminal. There is no such thing as a repeatedly scheduled passenger prepare service to Banff.

The gap from Calgary airport to Banff is 145 km (90 miles). It’s a straightforward 90 minute drive alongside Canada’s Trans-Canada Freeway 1. You’ll want to purchase a Banff Nationwide Park cross which might be bought on the park entrance or on-line. 

Listed beneath are some shuttle service suppliers.

The right way to get to Jasper

Jasper will not be almost as simple to entry as Banff. The closest main metropolis is Edmonton, 360 km (215 miles) to the east.  Calgary is 480 km (290 miles) southeast of Jasper and Vancouver is a ten hour drive away.

Edmonton is serviced by Air Canada, West Jet and different US and worldwide airways. Automotive leases and a shuttle service can get you from the Edmonton airport to Jasper.

Shuttles from Edmonton airport to Jasper

The place are you able to lease a motorbike?


Lake Louise


Notice the nice wide bike shoulders biking Banff to Jasper
Discover the great large bike shoulders biking Banff to Jasper

The place to remain in Banff 

There’s a lot of resort selection in Banff. Strive one of many following throughout a variety of worth factors.

Fairmont Banff Springs Lodge – The resort wants no introduction. Its picture adorns many a postcard. There’s a big array of rooms from cozy to spacious. Loads of facilities ought to hold you cheerful although some is perhaps delay by the scale of the place – 768 rooms to be actual.

Buffalo Mountain Lodge  – It is a effectively appointed lodge that includes publish and beam building; it’s positioned a 15 minute stroll away from downtown Banff. Charges in the summertime begin at $269 per night time and go as much as $339 per night time.

The Banff Alpine Centre Hostel is an reasonably priced strategy to keep in Banff.

The Moose Lodge & Suites is my favorite Banff resort near the strip of shops.

The Dorothy Lodge is a boutique motel providing easy lodging.

Beautiful backdrop of Cascade Mountain from Buffalo Mountain Lodge
Stunning backdrop of Cascade Mountain from Buffalo Mountain Lodge

Issues to do in Banff earlier than of after biking Banff to Jasper

Banff is a vacationer city in an excellent setting and it received its begin as a railroad city within the 1880’s. The Bow River runs by means of Banff and surrounding the city are magnificent peaks together with Mt. Rundle.

There are bike trails and strolling paths and many touristy retailers. Wander round to get a way of the place and when you have the time attempt to do the Inkpots hike through Johnson Canyon, the hike up Sulphur Mountain and dinner with a view on the Banff Gondola, or one of many native Banff bike rides.

Biking Banff to Jasper warm up ride
Biking Banff to Jasper heat up trip

Detailed itinerary and route notes for biking Banff to Jasper 

Day 1: Banff to Lake Louise bike trip

Distance: About 65 km (39 miles)

Stage of problem: Reasonable. It’s a gradual uphill a lot of the strategy to Lake Louise.

Highlights: Expansive views, glittering snow capped peaks, turquoise lakes, likelihood of seeing wildlife, Johnson Canyon hike for those who take Freeway 1A

Route description:

A brief distance out of Banff you could have the selection of two routes to get to Lake Louise. The principle street is the Trans-Canada Freeway. It’s a busy street with principally large shoulders besides when there’s a passing lane after which the shoulder narrows to 2 toes. The choice is Freeway 1A, additionally known as the Bow Valley Parkway. It has no shoulders, extra hills and fewer expansive views. Alternatively, it’s quieter and you’ve got a greater alternative to see wildlife and its closed through the day to visitors from early Might to late June and once more in September. It’s additionally attainable to do the hike to Johnston Canyon as you’ll go proper by it.

Cycle the pathway from the Banff Prepare Station previous the Vermilion Lakes to achieve the intersection to Freeway 1A. Hop on it for a quieter bike trip. It’s about 60 km from there to Lake Louise.

At Citadel Junction you will get a snack and a drink. From there proceed 40 km northerly to achieve the clearly marked intersection to Lake Louise. Flip left (west)and cross the freeway. Attain the primary buying space at Lake Louise in a single lengthy block – in addition to a vacationer info centre.

A scenic stop at the Vermilion Lakes in Banff
A scenic cease on the Vermilion Lakes in Banff

The place to remain in Lake Louise

Deer Lodge – Select from a mixture of historic and fashionable rooms near Lake Louise.

Mountaineer Lodge is a extra reasonably priced possibility than many others.

If it’s cozy log cabins you’re after take a look at Baker Creek By Basecamp. It’s positioned on Freeway 1A earlier than you attain Lake Louise. Test forward to see what the eating choices are like.

There’s an reasonably priced hostel possibility in Lake Louise.

Baker Creek by Basecamp - one of the Charmin Inns of Alberta
Plenty of crimson chairs and hearth pits exterior Baker Creek by Basecamp

Day 2 Biking Banff to Jasper: Lake Louise to The Lodge at Bow Lake

Distance: 40 km (24 miles)

Stage of problem: Reasonable to troublesome with one lengthy climb

Highlights:  Crowfoot Glacier, wildlife recognizing (elk, moose, bighorn sheep, wolf, large horn sheep and grizzly bears), dazzling peaks Bow Lake

Route description: To get again on the bike route, cross over  the Trans-Canada Freeway to the east aspect and head northerly down the doorway ramp onto Freeway 1 West. In about 2.5 km you’ll attain the intersection with the Icefields Parkway – Freeway 93.That is your route for the following 37 km so say goodbye to the Trans-Canada Freeway (and the vans) and begin climbing up the Icefields Parkway. There’s a lengthy, lengthy climb to begin however persevere all the way in which to stunning Bow Lake. Num-Ti-Jah Lodge is positioned on the north finish of Bow Lake and also you received’t miss the crimson roofs.

When you attain Bow Lake look north for the Bow Glacier Falls – an enormous waterfall that sends waterfall cascading 400 toes. You possibly can hike a path to the bottom of the waterfall. 

The place to remain on Bow Lake

The Lodge at Bow Lake is the one place to remain on Bow Lake. The setting of this lodge is divine because it sits on the northern finish of Bow Lake with views of rugged peaks and glaciers. It is usually the place to begin for some very good backcountry mountaineering. It’s been revamped with newly up to date interiors. 

Saskatchewan River Crossing

An alternative choice is to proceed on to Saskatchewan River Crossing (39 km north) and keep at The Crossing Resort although its on the dear aspect for what you get.

Explore a spectacular landscape along the Icefields Parkway
Discover a spectacular panorama alongside the Icefields Parkway – and be sure you cease at Bow Lake

Day 3: The Lodge at Bow Lake to Glacier View Lodge on the Columbia Icefields bike trip

Whole distance: 93 km (58 miles)

Stage of Issue: Tough due to the climb to Bow Cross

Highlights: Mistaya Canyon, Bow Cross and the Peyto Lake viewpoint, North Saskatchewan River, Weeping Wall (2,000 foot cliffs coated with waterfalls), Athabasca Glacier

Route description:

Go away the Lodge at Bow Lake and proceed north on the Icefields Parkway. In lower than 5 km you attain Bow Cross and the Peyto Lake Viewpoint. The cross tops out at 2,099 m (6,849 toes) above sea degree. Take the time to stroll as much as the Peyto Lake viewpoint. You possibly can’t assist however marvel on the sensible turquoise color of glacially fed Peyto Lake.

Again on the Icefields Parkway cycle 32 km north previous Mistaya lake, Waterfowl Lake all the way in which to Mistaya Canyon, positioned on the west aspect of the freeway. A brief hike from the car parking zone takes you up the canyon the place you possibly can watch the Mistaya River froth and cascade by means of the slim fissures. It’s well worth the aspect journey.

Looking down to the swirling waters in Mistaya Canyon
Wanting right down to the swirling waters in Mistaya Canyon

Saskatchewan River Crossing is 5 km additional up the street on the intersection with Freeway 11. You possibly can load up on snacks and drinks right here and even spend the night time. Get your climbing legs prepared as the following part is a steep 53 km trip as much as the Columbia Icefields. Sadly you all the time get a headwind climbing to the Icefields – from both path. That’s as a result of the dense, chilly air from the glaciers is flowing down the freeway.

As you proceed north search for the Weeping Wall. Snowmelt from Cirrus Mountain leaks by means of cracks and fractures on the cliff face after which cascades downwards right into a collection of waterfalls.

Proceed on up and you’ll ultimately attain the Columbia Icefield, on the boundary of Banff and Jasper Nationwide Parks.  The Columbia Icefield occupies 325 sq. kilometres

The Jasper Nationwide Park Icefield Info Centre and Glacier Gallery is definitely an fascinating spot. Take a look at the big 3D mannequin of the Icefield which reveals its vary and its drainages to 3 of the oceans – the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic. Nationwide Park employees are there to reply questions. A wide selection of guidebooks is out there. You may as well e book a glacier tour on the Ice Explorer. You’ll get the prospect to stroll on the Athabasca Glacier – a tongue of ice 6 km in size by 1 km large.

The place to remain on the Columbia Icefield

The Glacier View Lodge is the one place to remain on the Columbia Icefield although there’s good tenting close by and several other hostels within the space. Be ready for chilly temperatures exterior.  

A view of the Columbia Icefield
A view of the Columbia Icefield

Day 4 Biking Banff to Jasper: Bike from the Columbia Icefield to Sunwapta Falls

Whole Distance: 65 km (39 miles)

Stage of Issue:  A neater day immediately as it’s principally downhill

Highlights: Columbia Icefield, stunning and simple hikes shut by with excellent wildflowers (Wilcox Cross), Sunwapta Peak, bighorn sheep

Route description:

When you aren’t in any rush and also you need an excellent higher view of the Columbia Icefield then take the 2 hour hike to Wilcox Cross. The trailhead is simply 2.8 km southeast of the Icefield Heart. The path positive aspects 335 m (1,100 toes) of elevation over 8 km (5 miles) and delivers views of rolling meadows crammed with flowers, bighorn sheep, tundra, and gorgeous views of the icy expanse of glaciers.

In any other case begin the day heading north with a fast descent to the plain of the Sunwapta Valley.  Observe the Sunwapta River to Sunwapta Falls. It’s well worth the quick hike to see the place the falls plunge into the canyon.

A section of the road biking Banff to Jasper north of the Columbia Icefield

The place to remain at Sunwapta Falls

Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge presents snug lodging within the lodge or in cabins. On web site eating is out there. You possibly can discover Sunwapta Falls proper from right here.

 Sunwapta Falls Resort is a good place to buy snacks or get a meal on the Icefields Parkway
Sunwapta Falls Resort is an effective place to purchase snacks or get a meal on the Icefields Parkway

Day 5: Sunwapta Falls to Jasper – the final day Banff to Jasper biking

Whole Distance: 60 km (36 miles)

Stage of problem: Straightforward, as its primarily downhill once more.

Highlights: Athabasca Falls, mountain goats on the Kerkeslin Goat lick, Mount Edith Cavell

Route description:

It’s a straightforward day of biking immediately as there’s little in elevation achieve. A cease on the Kerkeslin pure mountain goat lick virtually ensures mountain goat sightings. Proceed north till you attain the intersection of the Icefields Parkway (Freeway 93) and Freeway 93A. Right here you could have a selection of both route however I like to recommend you turnoff on to Freeway 93A so you possibly can benefit from the sight of the Athabasca Falls framed by Mount Kerkeslin. Don’t fear – you’ll be a part of up with the Icefields Parkway in about 23 km. Proceed north on Freeway 93A, a quieter street that takes you thru stands of spruce and pine, punctuated with views of the Athabasca River Valley.

At about 8.5 km you’ll cross the Whirlpool River which at in regards to the 11 km mark joins the Athabasca River which you observe for a couple of kilometres. 

You’ll come to the Marmot Basin entry street simply 2.5 km previous the Mt. Edith Cavell Street. Stick with it for an additional couple of kilometres to the junction with the Icefields Parkway. Flip left onto the Parkway and cycle north 8 km till you attain Jasper.

The place to remain in Jasper

Tekarra Lodge – The lodge sits 2 km south of Jasper on a ridge overlooking the Athabasca and Miette Rivers

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge The fantastically positioned lodge presents luxurious lodging. Select from lodge rooms or non-public cabins on a lake – a few of which might maintain as much as 20 folks. Count on a quiet and stress-free expertise.

Pyramid Lake Resort is a superb place to park your self. Take pleasure in a bunch of water actions out the entrance door. 

Enjoy a sunset over Beauvert Lake if you stay at Jasper Park Lodge
Take pleasure in a sundown over Beauvert Lake for those who keep at Jasper Park Lodge

Issues to do in Jasper

Jasper is a world famend vacationer vacation spot and the gateway to adventures in Jasper Nationwide Park. The city sits on the Athabasca River and enjoys gorgeous snow-clad mountain views. Get a really feel for the city by strolling or biking the Discovery Path. There’s world class mountaineering within the mountains, summertime swimming in lakes plus boating, fishing and golf.

Really useful studying: Finest Issues to do in Jasper in Summer season

Easy and beautiful hiking in Maligne Canyon
Straightforward and delightful mountaineering in Maligne Canyon

Packing checklist for biking Banff to Jasper (guided and self-guided)

If you’re on a self-guided bike trip learn the following- What to Pack on a Multi-Day Biking Journey.

When you’re on a guided journey you received’t have any considerations about your bike, however you need to nonetheless pack the best garments. While you’re biking within the Rocky Mountains, temperatures and climate can change shortly. All the time carry rain gear and convey an additional layer for heat. You may want full-fingered gloves for the downhills too. I all the time advocate packing a bathe cap because it matches over your bike helmet and helps retains your head dry and heat.

Biking in bear nation

I’ve by no means seen a bear on the Icefields Parkway however they’re within the space. Your greatest wager is to hold a can of bear spray and know use it. You possibly can lease one at Wilsons Mountain Sports activities in Banff. 

Earlier than you begin biking learn: Suggestions for Staying Secure in Bear Nation

Biking Banff to Jasper with tour corporations

If you would like another person to do the planning and also you need the backup of a sag wagon then contact one of many following tour corporations. A few of them are biking Banff to Jasper and others to it in reverse.

Nice Explorations They provide guided 5 night time/6 day bike journeys beginning at $2750.

Freewheeling Adventures presents a self-guided and a guided possibility.

Mountain Insanity Cycle Excursions They provide transfers from Edmonton.

Backroads They provide a sampling of Canadian Rockies bike excursions.

Bicycle Adventures  They provide guided journeys which start in Montana in Glacier Nationwide Park. Some shuttling is concerned with that one.

One of the Mountain Madness vans along the Icefields Parkway
One of many Mountain Insanity vans alongside the Icefields Parkway

Really useful studying

Thinking about extra bike journeys?

I cherished our week lengthy self-supported bike journey on the Nice Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC.

The Gulf Islands in British Columbia are a enjoyable place to cycle as you are taking ferries between the islands. 

In Quebec’s Laurentians, Le Petit Prepare du Nord is a wonderful and simple 3 – 4 day bike trip.

In Newfoundland, the Viking Path is a magnificence. There’s an opportunity so as to add in a day journey to Labrador.

Prince Edward Island is the perfect place for cyclists organizing their very own journey for the primary time. Right here’s what a 5-day bike journey appears like.

Cycling out of the Borden Tunnel
Biking out of the Borden Tunnel on the Nice Allegheny Passage

Click on on the picture to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

Biking Banff to Jasper - A complete guide

The publish Biking Banff to Jasper: 2023 Full Information appeared first on Hike Bike Journey.


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