Goat Creek Bike Trail
The Goat Creek Trail is a moderately popular and very straight-forward trail leading from Canmore to Banff. It is excellent for families and does not involve any single-track or technical riding. Some rolling hills and various bridges keep this trail interesting!
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Route Description for Goat Creek Bike Trail
Arranging a shuttle or a car drop-off can be one of the most difficult parts about choosing this trail. You’ll need to leave one vehicle at the Spray West parking and one at the East End of Rundle parking in Canmore. There are many options available to make it work. If you have someone who can drop you off and pick you up, that would be ideal. You may also leave a vehicle at one trailhead and carpool to the other to make sure your bases are covered. Another option is to taxi from Banff, which can cost up to $100. If you are feeling extra ambitious, you can also choose to ride through town and join the Legacy Trail from Banff to Canmore, adding double the distance but not much elevation to your trip.
This is an excellent multi-use trail that can be done all year round and provides an entirely different experience, no matter how you complete it. It is family-friendly and straight-forward without any complicated junctions or turnoffs.
Starting at the Goat Creek parking lot in Canmore, make your way to the edge of the parking area and descend a short gravel slope. Find yourself at a small trail junction and stay right for a few hundred metres where you will enter Banff National Park. The ride is very straight-forward and follows a wide path that was once an old road.
After 9.3 km, you will cross the Spray River on a beautiful bridge. There is space on the side of the bridge to walk down and dip your feet into the icy waters of the river. After crossing the first bridge, continue 4.1 km with some uphill sections to a large clearing and another bridge. This clearing is the junction of the Spray Loop Trail and the Goat Creek Trail. You will see a large steel bridge on your left crossing the Spray River to the east side of the loop. The left trail takes you along the west side of the Spray Loop to your vehicle or pickup location. There is a large trail sign and a map with benches here.
We suggest you take the rolling trail on the left, following the west side of the Spray Loop directly to your vehicle in 4.9 km. If you do choose to take the right trail, which is a bit more technical and offers different scenery, you will be able to cross a small bridge at a junction and make your way back to the Spray West side of the loop 500 m before the parking area.
Travel above the Spray River, taking in views of lower Mount Rundle as the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel comes into view. You will reach a small junction after 4.4 km. This leads down to a picnic area at the river and a bridge that crosses to the east side of the loop. Continue along the east side of the loop for 500 m towards the parking lot to finish up your ride on the Goat Creek Trail.
Insider Hints for Goat Creek Bike Trail
- Bring bear spray and make lots of noise to avoid surprise encounters with wildlife
- Plan your shuttles and transportation well before you plan to leave to make sure that you are organized
- Head to the Waldhaus Bavarian Pub behind the Fairmont Hotel for a cold beverage and some food overlooking the river and the Banff Springs Golf Course
- Ride or drive down from the Fairmont Hotel to the Bow Falls parking area to take a look at the incredible natural feature nearby
Getting to the Goat Creek Bike Trail Trailhead
From the town of Canmore, follow signs from downtown to the Nordic Centre. Drive past the Nordic Centre on Spray Lakes Road as it turns to gravel and begins to climb up above Grassi Lakes and the Reservoir. You will pass some parking at a large pond and continue until you see a parking lot on your right. This is the parking lot for Ha Ling Peak and East End of Rundle trails as well. You’ll need to arrange a car drop or pick up at the Spray West parking lot in Banff behind the Fairmont Banff Springs to avoid doubling your distance.
Goat Creek Bike Trail Elevation Graph
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Goat Creek Bike Trail Reviews
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