Shadow Lake Bike Trail

Difficulty
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Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
3-4h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
27.5 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
508 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead
Shadow Lake Bike Trail

This is a great mountain bike trail along Redearth Creek. The trip along the Shadow Lake Trail takes you up gradual inclines to a junction where bikes are not permitted to continue. Lock your bike and put on your hiking shoes for the final 3.5 km. The vistas at the lake are incredibly rewarding, and so is the breezy downhill on your return.

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Route Description for Shadow Lake Bike Trail

The Shadow Lake bike trail is a multi-use trail that is commonly used by backpackers and those who are staying at the historic lodge. Make sure to bring bear spray and be aware of oncoming traffic. This route requires both biking and hiking in order to make it all the way to the lake. You’ll need appropriate footwear for the final 3.5 km in which bikes are no longer permitted.

Although some climbing is involved, this is a great option for families with older children. Visiting the stunning Shadow Lake is always a pleasure and doing it by bike makes everything more efficient. The descent is the best part after a long day in the backcountry.

Shadow Lake Trail starts in the Redearth Creek parking lot, where you will find a gate in the wildlife fence. Carry your bike through the gate, and make sure to latch it behind you. Take the main trail to the right and begin with a climb. After this short climb, the trail levels out and continues along the old fire road. You will be continually gaining elevation at a moderate grade. After 4.7 km, you will pass some faint side trails on the left. These lead to scramble routes on Mount Brett and Pilot Mountain.

1.6km after these side trails, you will cross a bridge over Lost Horse Creek and reach the accompanying campground. There is another trail here for the Copper Mountain Route. Continue your ride past the campground and the large clearing it rests in for 3.2 km.

You will find yourself at a junction equipped with bike racks. This is where the trail to Pharoah Creek joins the Redearth Creek trail, and bikes are no longer permitted beyond this point. Lock your bike and change into anything you need for the final 3.5 km hike to the lake. Along the way, you will pass the Shadow Lake campground at 2.7 km before continuing 0.3 km to the lodge and 0.5km to the lake itself.

Be sure to have a look around the incredible Shadow Lake Lodge, which is a historic operation within Banff National Park. The original cabin still stands as a guest lounge amidst the more modern cabins. Walk the lakeshore of Shadow Lake while you are visiting and take in the grand views of Mount Ball rising high above.

Insider Hints for Shadow Lake Bike Trail

  • Bring appropriate footwear and hiking clothing to wrap up the final 3.5km of your trip, and don’t forget a bike lock.
  • Pack a hearty lunch to enjoy on the shore of Shadow Lake.
  • Explore the historic Shadow Lake Lodge and its multitude of cabins looking out to the lake.

Getting to the Shadow Lake Bike Trail Trailhead

To get to the Shadow Lake trail, follow the signs for Redearth Creek. From the Town of Banff, head westbound on the Trans-Canada Highway and pull into the turning lane for Redearth Creek. You will need to cross the highway to enter the parking lot.

Route Information

  • When to do

    June to September

  • Backcountry Campsites

    Shadow Lake Re16

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Shadow Lake Bike Trail Elevation Graph

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