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Bike The Canadian Rockies

Improvement District No. 9, Alberta



142 miles

Elevation Gain

6500 ft

Route Type



Added by Rachel B

What better way to experience the glacial capped peaks in sweeping valleys than by bike?

If you want an epic bike tour through the Canadian Rockies you have two choices: the 2800km Great Divide Trail that starts in Banff, Canada which zig zags across the mountain range until New Mexico, or the 230km Icefields Parkway. If you are on a road bike, the latter is your only option. Stretching from Lake Louise to Jasper, you’ll want to plan to take it in a few days as every moment is photo-worthy.

Every corner reveals another green or blue coloured lake with colours so bright and vivid that film processors back in the day used to assume tourists returning from this section of the world had damaged their camera film as nothing could be so bright.

Each sweeping valley is surrounded by sky scraping mountains with glaciers that impossibly cling on the jagged peaks. Less than a dozen people were on the same cycle tour route as us.

Best of all? While it is a popular cycle route, there isn’t the feeling that it is overrun with cyclists. In fact, you'll likely see very few others cycling.

Despite this, the Parkway is what dreams are made of. Recently repaired roads are smooth with wide shoulders and no stop signs, letting you set the pace for a dream ride across the Rockies.

Be warned that the ascent into Jasper National Park by way of the Sunwapta Pass is both gorgeous and brutal.

You’ll start around 1400m, twist and turn around relentless switchbacks for 20km to over 2000m.

At the end of the climb, you’ll find alpine meadows and glacial icefields so close you can nearly touch them from the highway shoulder.

Even though you could do the Parkway in a very long day - take three. Find great food at Sunwapta Falls Lodge but load up on fuel food (carbs) in Lake Louise, Saskatchewan Crossing and the Icefields Center.

There are plenty of campgrounds along the way but summer does see a high level of campers therefore as a warning - expect the odd campground to be full. Whistlers in Jasper has a cyclist camp area.

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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