We brought one of our contributors, Zac Heiliger (@zac_heiliger), up to Canada to cycle one of the most beautiful mountain roads on earth: from Jasper to Banff via Lake Louise. We teamed up with a friend of 10Adventures, Mountain Madness Tours in Edmonton, to make this bucket-list bike trip a breeze!
DAY 1 – Jasper to Sunwapta Falls 56km (35 miles)
Arriving into Jasper, we pull onto the Icefields Parkway to our starting point at Becker’s Chalet along the Athabasca River. Ben unloads the bikes and helps everyone prepare for the first day of riding. He distributes helmets, radios, and anything else riders might need.
After a quick review of the map, the route description and where we will be meeting up along the way, the bike tour begins!
The incredible views start immediately. Even before you leave the parking lot, Mount Hardisty is dominating the background!
Along the first day we come to appreciate the quality of the road we are on. The Icefields Parkway is a well maintained, 2-lane highway, with a generous shoulder and fresh pavement for most of the ride! Rest stops and check points are scattered along the route at all the key scenic overlooks and attractions. The rest stop on Day 1 was at the beautiful and powerful Athabasca Falls. The drinks and snacks provided were spot on! Fresh fruit, KIND bars, chocolate covered pretzels, Gatorade, trail mix, juice boxes, dried fruit, and banana bread from the local bakery; everything you could want or need, perfectly prepared and waiting for your arrival!
Day 1 ends at Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge. By the time we arrived at the lodge, our bags were in our rooms waiting for us and all we had to do was go in and take showers, to get ready for dinner. I can get used to this type of riding!
Dinner was an incredible 3 course meal. Options included the Roasted Chicken Dinner, accompanied by buttery mashed potatoes and vegetables, or Wild Sockeye Salmon with homemade Mole sauce, black beans and rice, or Bison Bolognese. Dinner was served with an apple crumble a la mode for desert! After dinner, Ben took the group on a quick ‘best kept secret’ hike to a rocky overlook of the Sunwapta Valley! Afterwards, Sunwapta Falls was literally walking distance from our rooms.