Cycling > Icefields Parkway
Icefields Parkway Banff -
Jasper Cycle Tour
The "Must Do" Bike Tour in Canada
Welcome to the Icefields Parkway Inn-to-Inn cycle
tour. For many cyclists this trip ranks among the
best cycling holidays on earth. The spectacular
scenery found in the national parks of the
Canadian Rockies is unprecedented in North
America. Rocky Mountain Cycle Tours offers you the
opportunity to travel this high country on one of
the greatest mountain roadways on the planet - The
Columbia Icefields Parkway.
Stretching an impressive 200 miles (300 km)
between the historic towns of Jasper and Banff,
the Icefields Parkway traverses beneath some of
the most majestic mountains of the world. Flanked
by dozens of massive glaciers that plummet to the
roadsides, it follows three major river systems
and passes by exquisite scenery studded with
turquoise lakes and brilliant wild flowers. Along
the route, two mountain passes - Sunwapta and Bow
- take you up to elevations in excess of 7,000
feet (2,100 metres) for breathtaking views of the
Columbia Icefield, the largest conglomeration of
glaciers in the Canadian Rockies whose melting
waters feed rivers that eventually drain into the
Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. From the
elegant to the formidable, the mountain peaks of
the Canadian Rockies are nothing less than
spectacular and deserve the United Nations World
Heritage Site designation bestowed upon them. So
let our guides take you on a mountain cycle tour
in the style and luxury of an inn-to-inn
experience you won't forget.
Climate The winters in the Canadian Rockies are
long. But summers, although short, are spectacular
and are blessed with glorious bursts of heat. A
typical day in the summer averages in the high
70's (25C) while evenings cool off to the high
50's (15C). Higher elevations may see frost in any
summer month. Rain showers can occur at any time
but they are generally short and infrequent. In
fact, by the time clouds have arrived to the lee
side of the Rockies, their moisture has been
spread over the Coastal Mountains and the west
side of the Great Divide. Thus, riding along the
east side of the Divide, we get the advantage of
drier air masses.
Icefields Parkway Bicycle Tour
Day One (Sunday)
A 'Rocky Mountain Cycle Tours' representative will
meet you at the Banff train station (time TBA).
From here you will be transferred to Jasper. The
van ride is spectacular. Upon arrival at the
Jasper Inn, participants can size up the bikes and
take a tour of Jasper before our evening
orientation and dinner. Overnight Jasper Inn.
After a delicious breakfast we will depart Jasper,
taking a secluded valley road south to Athabasca
Falls. On our way we go for a hike to the Angel
Glacier and marvel at a lake studded with
icebergs. After lunch the road follows the wild
Athabasca River Valley to our home for the night
at Sunwapta Falls Resortt. A short walk to the
falls will feel great after a fantastic dinner.
Today we will have covered 37 miles or 53 miles
(60 k or 88 k) and two optional short walks.
Today is a relatively short biking day as we have
a morning climb to Sunwapta Pass and the
spectacular Columbia Icefield. After lunch we can
check into the Icefields Chalet and our rooms
overlooking the glacier. Join your guides for an
amazing walk to Parker Ridge or take a tour on the
Distance: 32 miles (52 km) on the bike plus an
optional walk to the Athabasca Glacier or a
hike to Parker Ridge (weather permitting).
After a good night's sleep, it's onto the bikes again. Today's ride starts with a long descent down the pass as we follow the Saskatchewan River. Climbing out of the river valley, we will reach the highest point on the Parkway at Bow Summit (7000 feet). A side trip to Peyto Lake viewpoint is a must. We will continue downhill to historic Num-Ti-Jah Lodge on the shores of spectacular Bow Lake. Dinner at your leisure in the amazing dining room caps off the day.
Distance: 30, 40 or 55 miles (50 / 65 or 90 km).
After another of many delightful breakfasts, we will enjoy the amazingly scenic descent along the Bow River to Lake Louise. In the afternoon there is time to hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House, ride to Moraine Lake or even take an optional half-day whitewater rafting trip on the Kicking Horse River. We will have a final great dinner together in one of the best restaurants at Lake Louise.
Distance: 25 mi (40 km); optional hike to Lake Agnes Tea House or rafting or canoeing or relaxing or optional add on ride to Moraine Lake and back (adds 17 miles or 28k)
Day Six (Friday)
Our last day's ride takes us along the beautiful
Bow Valley Parkway towards Banff. This is an
amazing ride along the Bow River offering great
wildlife watching. We will finish our ride just
outside of Banff at Vermillion Lakes where we say
our good-byes. You will be dropped off at the
train/bus station or at your hotel if you choose
to stay longer.
Distance: 40 miles (65 km).
Trips start and finish in Banff,