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Biking Tunnel Mountain Banff National Park Noel Hendrickson
The Real Banff / Published: Tue, 07/06/2021 - 17:05

Summer Itineraries: Bike Banff and Lake Louise in 5 Days

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Travel authentically and immerse yourself in Banff and Lake Louise’s culture by seeing the sights by bike. 

What are you waiting for? Don your best biking shorts and get ready for four days of non-stop biking adventures.  

Before You Arrive  

Any great trip requires a little preparation, so whether you like to plan ahead or fly by the seat of your pants, consider at least these two things before you get to Banff and Lake Louise.  

If you’ll bring your own bike or rent one.  

There are plenty of rental options available with Ultimate Rentals, Chateau Mountain Sports, and Banff Cycle. Along with rentals, some offer guided tour options.  

Where you’ll stay.  

Most hotels offer secure, indoor storage for your bicycle. Call ahead to let them know you’ll be travelling with your bike. 

Day 1 - Stretch Those Muscles  

After arriving by car, train, or plane, your biking legs are going to need some stretching. Start your visit with a leisurely cruise around the Banff Springs Golf Club loop. The Waldhaus Pub is along your way and makes the perfect pit stop for lunch—just follow the stairs up from the bridge at the base of Bow Falls.  

To extend your day, bike back through town and hop on the Bow River Trail heading towards Vermilion Lakes for an unbeatable view of Mount Rundle.  

Day 2: Follow the River 

Mt. Rundle looming over the town of Banff
Peddle a little farther today on a stunning subalpine route to Sundance Canyon. This meandering paved trail follows the Bow River past the Cave and Basin where beavers and birds are often spotted (along with the odd canoer). 

At the end of the route, dismount and explore the canyon trails by foot.  

Day 3: Ride With the Locals 

Join the morning commuters for a ride on the Legacy Trail to Canmore and back. If you're not up for the return journey, organise your rentals with Chateau Mountain Sports and they'll pick you up from Canmore, or keep in mind that the Roam bus can drive you back to Banff as long as there’s room for you and your bike.  

Want to elevate your adventure? Order ahead from Tooloulous. They open for breakfast and lunch—giving you ample options for a well-earned meal ahead.

Day 4: Head Down History Lane 

Cycling the Bow Valley Parkway
Paul Zizka
Prepare to feel the burn—literally and figuratively as you pass the Sawback prescribed burn on the Bow Valley Parkway. This full-day route takes you along the historic highway to Castle Junction or Lake Louise, depending on how far you want to go. In 2021, the route will be closed to vehicles from the Banff turnoff to Castle Junction. 

There are plenty of lookouts along the way to stop and see the sights—such as the picturesque Morant’s Curve and picnic-worthy Storm Mountain Lookout—all of which have interpretive signage explaining the significance of the route.  

If you plan for a longer adventure to Lake Louise, stop for dinner at the Lake Louise Village Grill & Bar—where your helmet hair is acceptable if not expected.  

Day 5: Bike and Boat 

Boating along the waters of Banff National Park, AB
Paul Zizka
There’s too much to see and do in just four days, so we recommend extending your stay for one last cycle.  

Instead of packing up and leaving first thing, head out on the Minnewanka Route. It’s a short distance from Banff so you can take your time with a relaxing brunch in the morning before one last ride out to the lake. Here, you can hop on longer routes or take the Lake Minnewanka Cruise for happy hour craft beers to cheers to a successful trip. 

If you're up for more adventure outside of cycling, why not jump on a sightseeing tour? Check out our next blog on Thursday July 8 for roadtrip and sightseeing ideas.

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Plan Your Stay

Browse and book accommodation and lodging packages with our trip planning tool. To learn about the different types of accommodation available in Banff and Lake Louise, visit our Places to Stay page or Contact Us to speak to a local expert.