Alberta: Jasper to Banff Bike
This is one of the most spectacular mountain rides in the world. It parallels the Continental Divide, and passes three large glaciers, the Athabasca waterfalls, and the alpine Peyto Lake. It abounds with large wildlife, and is a sheer delight for cyclists wanting a breathtaking ride, in both senses. Beginning in the charming town of Jasper, you will commence along the Athabaska River, past waterfalls and an iceberg-studded lake, to Sunwapta. You will ride past the Athabasca Glacier, over Bow Summit, through Lake Louise, and between spectacular mountains that helped give this whole route a UNESCO designation. The chances of seeing elk, moose, mountain goats, and grizzly bears on this route are very high, and you will learn how to behave cautiously and respectfully around these magnificent beasts before starting off. Finish your cycling in Banff where you may opt to spend more time hiking, riding, and soaking in the hot springs, or transfer directly Calgary for departing flights.
Day 1: Meet in Jasper 19:00-21:00
Shuttles are available from Edmonton, Banff, or Calgary. We recommend you try to arrive in Jasper a day or two early; it’s a great place to become acclimatized to the beauty of the mountains. Your guides will meet you as you arrive on one of the shuttles, unless you arrange a private transfer from Banff or Calgary with us. D
Park Place Inn, Jasper; or upgrade to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge for $200 per person.
Day 2: Ride from Jasper to Sunwapta. 38 miles/60km
Cycle along the lesser-traveled east side of the Athabasca River on a quiet road through stands of pine and spruce with wonderful views of the Athabasca River Valley. Afternoon ride on the broad plain of the Sunwapta River. This is a natural corridor of all types of wild life, including grizzly and black bears, coyotes, wolves, elk, deer, mountain goats, and big horn sheep. Keep your eyes open; you will have a good chance of seeing these animals from your bicycle. The day will finish with a short climb, and a hike to see the Sunwapta Falls before dinner. BLD
Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge, Sunwapta Falls
Day 3: Cycle up to the Athabasca Glacier. 31 miles/50km
Today’s ride is largely uphill, helped, we hope, with the prevailing tailwind. This is the hardest ride of the trip, and will be rewarded with spectacular views of the largest icefield south of Alaska - the Athabasca Glacier. From your panoramically-situated chalet, you can hike up to the Icefield, watching for the yearly markers that show the glacier’s annual retreat. Walk to Parker Ridge or tour the icefield before dinner. BL
The Glacier View Inn, Athabasca Glacier
Day 4: Cycling to Bow Lake and Peyto Lake. 56 miles/90km
Descend from the Athabasca Glacier for lunch near the North Saskatchewan River Crossing, then climb to follow the Bow and Mistaya Rivers and some beautiful lakes that create wonderfully photogenic landscapes, before cresting the highest point of the Parkway at Bow summit, and descending to enjoy the fireplace at your spectacularly rustic log mountain lodge overlooking the turquoise waters of Bow Lake. You must take the opportunity to hike to nearby Peyto Lake, known for its picturesque emerald waters – a result of an abundance of glacial ‘flour’, before dinner. BLD
Num-ti-Jah Lodge, Bow Lake
Day 5: Ride the Bow Valley Parkway to Lake Louise 27 miles/43km
This morning’s descent to Lake Louise will go quickly, being downhill and usually downwind almost all the way. You are likely to see abundant wildlife, and should maintain a respectful distance from any deer, elk, bear, or other animals you encounter. If you arrive in Lake Louise with time to spare, you can ride to Moraine Lake, or do some hiking around Lake Louise itself. BL
Deer Lodge, Lake Louise
Day 6: Hiking Lake Louise to the Plain of Six Glaciers. 6 to 12 miles/10 to 20km, or optional bike ride to Moraine Lake.
Incredible hiking! The views and terrain create a superlative experience that really shouldn’t be missed. First destination is a mountain tearoom, after which the trail continues to enchanting alpine meadows. Those who prefer to cycle can ride to Moraine Lake and the valley of the Ten Peaks. BLD
Day 7: Ride Bow Valley to Banff. 40 miles/64km
Follow the Bow Valley Parkway to Banff. The parkway is fairly gentle, with a succession of beautiful views. Stop to enjoy the spectacular hanging path up Johnston Canyon to waterfalls, and to carry on up to the look off or Ink Pots Trail. Arrive at Banff in time for optional transfers to Calgary, or extend your stay by planning a night or two in this cool mountain town. BL
|Start:||Jasper, 19:00-21:00, day one. Shuttles from Calgary operated by Brewster Transportation, ~$135; or from Edmonton by Sun Dog, ~$95.|
|Finish:||Banff 16:00 day seven. 1 ¼ hour shuttle to Calgary ~$50 operated by Brewster departs Banff at 1545 or 1900|
|Guided Cost:||$3265 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners, luggage handling, van and guide support, park entry fees, maps and route notes)|
|Self-Guided Cost:||$2895 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, luggage transfers (daily rider transfers are available at no cost when coordinated with morning luggage transfers), maps and route notes)|
|Self-Supported Cost:||$1795 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, maps and route notes)|
|Bicycle Rental:||Hybrid: $145; Racing: $195|
|2013 Guided Dates:||June 30-July 6; July 23-29; Aug 18-24. Add your own dates (learn more)|
|Self Guided Dates:||You choose! We usually confirm within 48 hours.|
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
5% sales tax applies, but a 50% refund will be applied for non-Canadians.