Sundance Canyon Bike Trail
Riding the Sundance Canyon Trail is a great option for those looking for a relaxed ride and those with beginner riders. Hikers, bikers, and horses use this trail, so be aware of who’s approaching while on this route. A picnic area is located at the end of the paved section and makes a great stop for lunch.
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Route Description for Sundance Canyon Bike Trail
The Sundance Canyon Trail is a multi-use trail in the heart of the Banff Townsite. It is not a heavily trafficked trail, but with various users, it is important to be aware of oncoming traffic. This trail is open to hikers, bikers, horses, and dogs, and because it is paved, you will see things like bike trailers, chariots, strollers, and other accessible units along the way.
For those looking for an excellent family ride that the entire group can enjoy, the Sundance Canyon Trail is the perfect choice. A relatively flat and wide path makes for an accessible route that won’t confront any technical sections.
Starting from the main Cave and Basin building, stay to the right and follow the paved path. You will pass by a sign for the Marsh Loop, which is a boardwalk trail to the right that offers interpretive exhibits and great bird viewing. The Cave and Basin National Historic Site is considered to be the birthplace of Canada’s National Parks system. It is where CP rail workers discovered the rising steam of the hot spring water and declared the Hot Springs Preserve, which eventually became what Banff National Park is today. It is important to know that this was a sacred gathering place for Indigenous people to gather prior to the discovery made by the rail workers. Stop into the Cave and Basin site for extensive historic exhibits and a chance to enter the cave itself.
As you make your way along the paved path, it will descend a hill off to the right almost immediately before flattening out and running parallel to the marsh area and the Bow River. Watch for birds as this is a popular destination for bird watchers and photographers.
After roughly 2.0 km, the trail will curve to the left away from the river and begin a gradual climb. If you are with your family, take a break before the climb. When you reach the top of the climb, you will be greeted with a covered picnic area that makes for a great lunch spot. Avid explorers will choose to add the 2.0 km Sundance Canyon Loop on foot for an exciting adventure.
The trail returns the same way you came in but offers different views on the return. Take your time and enjoy the vast mountain ranges and expansive river views on your way back.
Insider Hints for Sundance Canyon Bike Trail
- Visit the Cave and Basin National Historic Site on your return to stretch your legs and take in historic exhibits and learn about Banff National Park.
- Pack a lunch to enjoy at the picnic shelter.
- Bring the whole family on this route and take your time watching for wildlife and trying your best at naming the surrounding peaks.
- Ride all the way from town to avoid parking.
Getting to the Sundance Canyon Bike Trail Trailhead
From the Town of Banff, take Banff Avenue southbound towards the Bow River. Cross the bridge and turn right onto Cave Avenue. Follow Cave Ave until you reach the parking lot for Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Ride past the gift shop and towards the main building. The trail begins to the right of the building. You can ride to the beginning of the trail from town if you would like to add distance.
Sundance Canyon Bike Trail Elevation Graph
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Sundance Canyon Bike Trail Reviews
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