With snow covering many of the trails in Banff National Park, it’s easy to assume that cycling season is long gone. However, with the rise in popularity of fat biking, exploring your favorite trails in winter has never been better! Experience the park in a brand-new way, explore a new area, or simply travel through the Banff Townsite by bike. It’s the perfect activity for your next trip to the Canadian Rockies.
Fat bikes were initially developed for desert travel, and are equipped with two wide tires, making them ideal for movement in unstable terrain - including snow. Many of the local fat bike trails in the Banff area are groomed and maintained, and the wide tires give additional traction and stability throughout the ride.
First time on a fat bike? Not to worry - with plenty of local shops offering rentals, and even guided experiences, discovering the area in winter couldn’t be easier. In the Banff townsite, visit Snowtips-Bactrax on Bear Street, or stop by Chateau Mountain Sports at the Banff Springs Hotel to rent a bike for the day. For a guided experience, check out the Bikescape Winter Fat Biking Tours - potentially the best way for beginners to enjoy the activity. Looking to explore further west? Wilson Mountain Sports in the Lake Louise Village will happily gear you up for your two-wheeled adventure.
Trails to Explore
Many summer trails within Banff National Park are available for year-round use, and a few of our favorite bike trails were added to the list recently. Explore as many as possible in a day or stay awhile and discover them all!
Tunnel Mountain Bench Loop
This ride starts with a stunning view of Rundle from the Hoodoo’s lookout. Don’t miss out on riding the Spine and Coastline and take a minute to admire the unique views you’ll get of Cascade.
Spray East Trail
A perfect ride if you’re renting from Chateau Mountain Sports. Starting behind the Banff Springs Hotel, this ride takes you through the forest, and will drop you down to the Spray River if you’re brave enough! In the summer, this route can take you all the way to Canmore, but in the winter, there is a turn-around point for cyclists.
Lake Minnewanka Trail
Running alongside the edge of Lake Minnewanka, this trail is scenic, and at times, demanding. The bike trail is shared with the cross-country skiers, so be sure to avoid cycling in the track set areas.
Make a day trip to see the Sundance Lodge (or make a night of it), by cycling the Sundance Trail. Starting from Cave & Basin, you’ll meander through the forest, and quickly forget you were in downtown Banff mere minutes ago.
Moraine Lake Road
For those keen to explore closer to the Lake Louise village, the Moraine Lake Road is a great option for a winter ride. The road closes in the winter, giving cross-country skiers and fat-bikers full reign. Some sections can be demanding, but the sights from the viewpoint are worth the trip.