Tours > Road 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 Classic Itinerary
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 ice.
Distance: 32 miles (52 km) on the bike plus an optional icewalk on the Athabasca Glacier or a hike to Parker Ridge.
After a good night's sleep, it's on to 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 (6,787'). A side trip to Peyto Lake viewpoint is a must. Continue downhill past spectacular lakes, rivers, glaciers and mountain peaks before arriving at historic Num-Ti-Jah Lodge nestled on Bow Lake.
Distance: 57 miles (93 km)
After another of many delightful breakfasts, we will enjoy a short 45km ride to world famous Lake Louise. Here you can take an optional ride to Moraine Lake, hike to Lake Agnes tea house or even take an optional half day whitewater trip on the Kicking Horse river. We will finish the day with an amazing dinner at one of the best restaurants in the Rockies. We will stay overnight at historic Deer Lodge at Lake Louise.
Distance: 26 miles (45 km); optional hike to Tea House and Plain of the Six Glaciers (3 hours) or bike ride to the Valley of the Ten Peaks.
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, Alberta
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