It’s been described as a rite of passage for touring cyclists; National Geographic Traveler called it “a highway strung from the stars”. Cycling from Banff to Jasper following the spectacular Icefields Parkway will be a trip you always remember. Great Explorations takes you there in style and in a way that only a local company can. Join us this summer!

Please note- The itinerary information may vary for your specific departure as we continuously research and develop each trip. Hotel availabilities may also necessitate alterations. ©Great Explorations. Revised June, 2019.

Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
  • A site you will never forget: your first view of the Rockies.
  • A descent you will never forget: descending from Bow Summit all the way to Jasper.
  • Order off the menu at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks.
  • Distinctive, charming hotels too small for larger groups.
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.

Location

Banff

Banff, AB, Canada

Starting Location

Lake Louise

Lake Louise Dr, Lake Louise, AB T0L, Canada

Day 2

Bow Lake

Bow Lake, Improvement District No. 9, Alberta, Canada

Day 3

Columbia Icefield

Columbia Icefield, Improvement District No. 12, AB, Canada

Day 4

Jasper

Jasper, Alberta, Canada

End Location

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
5 nights lodging
All meals
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
All baggage transportation
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)

Particulars

EVENT DATES

2019

June 9-14
June 18-23
July 8-13
July 23-28 (guaranteed departure)
August 4-9

2020

June 7-12
June 16-21
July 6-11
July 22-28
August 2-7

Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any date. Call or email for details.

TRIP SIZE

8-16 participants

TOTAL DAYS

6 days / 5 nights

ARRIVE / DEPART

Banff / Jasper

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate-Challenging
60-100km daily
(35-60 miles)

Van supported- shuttles are available to shorten these distances (or skip the climbs!)

TERRAIN

See elevation gains of daily rides

COST

Land Cost (current year):
CAD $2,680
Includes all meals

Single Supplement:
CAD $670

Bike Rental:
CAD $280

Please note- The itinerary information may vary for your specific departure as we continuously research and develop each trip. Hotel availabilities may also necessitate alterations. ©Great Explorations. Revised June, 2019.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% must be charged on trips in Canada.

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 604.730.1247

Banff

There is regularly scheduled air service to Calgary from across North America, with non-stop flights from all major Canadian and many US centres. Additionally, non-stop international flights are available from London and Frankfurt. Airport shuttle service to Banff from the Calgary Airport is available.


1

Day 1

Banff

This vibrant town is at the centre of some of the most scenic cycling routes found anywhere in the Rocky Mountain National Parks. Stroll about town searching for that perfect souvenir or visiting the excellent museums. We’ll fit bikes between 2:00-4:00 and meet at 6:00 for dinner. If you arrive early, enjoy a warm-up cycle out to The Cave and Basin – the location of the first hot mineral springs discovered in 1883.
Distance: 24 km, elevation gain 30 m or 44 km, gain 470 m.

2

Day 2

Lake Louise

Pedal the scenic network of roads around Banff — exploring Tunnel Mountain and the weirdly shaped Hoodoos. Add on a loop up to Lake Minnewanka, one of the largest and deepest lakes in the Rockies. Once known as Devil’s Lake or Cannibal Lake, Minnewanka is the site of many ghostly occurrences in native legends. Then journey north along the Bow Valley Parkway to the staggeringly beautiful scenery of Lake Louise — the gem of Banff National Park. As you twist and climb along the Parkway take in the magnificent views of the Sawback, Sundance and the Massive mountain ranges. Upon arrival in Lake Louise, soak up the natural splendour, take a canoe onto the lake, or enjoy a short walk into the mountains.
Distance: 57 up to 92 km, elevation gain up to 345 m.

3

Day 3

The Crossings

Cycle along the splendid Icefields Parkway to stunning Bow Lake and up over Bow Pass. Take in the Peyto Lake viewpoint, or stop for a short hike into the Mistaya Canyon. Arrive to Saskatewan River Crossing which boasts  views of glorious peaks in every direction.
Distance: 80 km, elevation gain 840 m.

4

Day 4

Columbia Icefield

This is your chance to do a century (if you wish to do less, the van will be on hand for lifts). As you cycle towards the Athabasca glacier, look out for moose grazing on the succulent water-plants in the Rampart Pond area. Relax beside the Weeping Wall of the Cirrus Mountain before you head up the challenging Big Bend and over the Sunwapta Pass. Coast down to the foot of the glacier at the Columbia Icefield, enjoying lunch here. Arrive to Sunwapta Falls Resort, a friendly and welcoming rustic mountain lodge set in pristine wilderness, nestled by mountains, rivers, falls and lakes.
Distance: 100 km, elevation gain 930 m.

5

Day 5

Jasper

Our final day of this trip is an easy one and you descend to Jasper. Along the way, view Mount Christie, and Mt. Edith Cavell and Athabasca River and Whirlpool Valley. A short detour will take you to the thundering Athabasca Falls, set against the pink-purple cliffs of Mt. Kerkeslin. We suggest a route passing Lake Beauvert Lake, a great spot for a picnic before arriving to Jasper — a burgeoning little town and the site of the earliest fur trade outpost in the central Rockies.
Distance: 56 km, elevation gain 390 or 77 km; 625 m.

6

Day 6

Depart at your leisure. The Brewster bus returns to Calgary via Lake Louise and Banff. For schedules and prices, www.brewster.ca

*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure. Some departures use different but comparable hotels. 

Brewster’s Mountain Lodge, Banff

This western-inspired inn is located in the heart of downtown Banff and is surrounded by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Relax in an authentic Western atmosphere, with each guest room featuring historic photographs and artwork and handcrafted custom log furnishings. Many of these romantic rooms feature Jacuzzi tubs and unyielding magnificent views.


Mountaineer Lodge, Lake Louise

Nestled in a forest with tremendous views of Mt. Temple and its summit glacier, this charming lodge offers a relaxing atmosphere for your Rocky Mountain adventure. Unwind in the whirlpool and steam room area after your day in the fresh mountain air. Though the property feels secluded, it is a scenic 5 minute walk from a variety of services and shopping in the Village of Lake Louise.


The Crossings Resort, Saskatchewan River

Surrounded by wilderness off Hwy 93, the seasonal hotel is ideally located between Lake Louise and Sunwapta pass. There is a restaurant and bar with terrace.


Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge

On the Icefields Highway in Jasper National Park, this rustic mountain lodge is an 8-minute walk from Sunwapta Falls and 55 km from Jasper. Set in pristine wilderness, nestled by mountains, rivers, falls and lakes.


Chateau Jasper, Jasper

Located on the shore of Lake Beauvert, the luxurious Chateau Jasper is pleasantly furnished with mountain decor in mind. This intimate and exceptional hotel offers tennis, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and an award-winning, fine dining room.



			


Trip Reviews

June 17, 2014

“Van support and mechanical support were fantastic. Great Explorations guided us on one of the most scenic bike routes in Western Canada. [We had] incredible guides: extremely knowledeable about the area, friendly, supportive and made our experience memorable.”

June 21, 2014

“We had a wonderful family bike tour through the Canadian Rockies. We thought the route was perfect. Canmore was especially beautiful and well worth the extra day. Then as we rode into Banff and Lake Louise, we began to appreciate the wildlife, the mountains, the ever-changing weather and the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies. We highly recommend people take time to hike to the Tea House at Lake Louise. Even though it was raining, the change of pace and breathtaking vistas provided us a refreshing and meditative interlude.There aren’t enough adjectives to describe the ascents over the two summits. Again, thanks for the support and all that you provide. We couldn’t have had a better bike trip. We’ll be looking for another adventure for next summer.”

December 5, 2018

“Gorgeous landscapes and roads on which to ride”

December 5, 2018

“The leaders, Corrine and Colin, were terrific, easy to be with, professional, courteous, patient and fun. We also had a small family/ friend-only group making the trip intimate and more flexible than it might have been with a larger group and with strangers. Tremendous scenery, challenging hiking and biking in same day and wonderful camaraderie within the group.”

June 25, 2019

“I really enjoyed being with friends and the scenery. Each hotel was a little unique, liked that. The meal in Banff was outstanding and the view spectacular.”

June 25, 2019

“The whole experience was incredible. We were treated so well and the riding was incredible. Even the weather mostly cooperated! We found GE and felt comfortable right away and did not look elsewhere. The hotels were all good (the route is so limiting). The Juniper meal was the best. The bonus rides that Robbin selected to Maligne and Peyto Lakes and the Canyon in Jasper were all well worth the effort- that scenery! The route instructions were excellent. Really enjoyed reading the route notes the night before with a history lesson included in each one! I knew it would be a good challenge. And it was. Loved the long rides. The support was great- the 2 guides were everywhere! And both great riders too. Fun people that are great to ride with and hang out with.”

July 11, 2019

“The route is spectacular and the accommodations and meals were great. How can you not like the Rockies?”

July 31, 2019

“Just want to thank you and your team for a wonderful trip. What an ideal route for cycling! Our guides, Rory and Angus were a delight to travel with. They always delivered exactly what we needed – trail insights, bike repairs, fantastic snacks and lunch, support during the ride, fun aprés excursions, good stories and friendship. They were always confident, knowledgeable and relaxed, so our group could just focus and cycling and having fun. Outstanding scenery, smooth roads, challenging but manageable terrain. Way more beautiful than expected, and way more fun to ride than I expected given the long distances, aggressive climbing and riding on shoulder of fairly busy roads. Enjoyed hotels variety, from upscale to rustic. Favorites were Juniper (beautiful setting, great room, great restaurant), Sunwapta (rustic charm, unexpectedly good restaurant for dinner and breakfast) and Whistler Inn (very good room, nice in town location.). Best dinners at Juniper and Olive Bisro in Jasper. Best breakfast at Juniper and Sunwapta. Loved the wonderful variety of snacks prepared by our guides – healthy, protein, high quality sweet treats, emphasis on local specialties, different choices each day, always enough but not so much that i way overindulged. Nice side excursions to waterfalls and canyons. Appreciated the van rides to special sights after cycling finished. Good to change out of biking shoes and into hiking shoes for excursions. Routes were so simple for this trip that no cue sheets were needed. Guides did a great job describing the route each day and providing special tips. My friends picked this trip. Personally I was intimidated by the long distances and big elevation before the trip. It turned out to be very manageable and enjoyable. About bikes: nice carbon frame, good ride quality and gearing for hills.”

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