Road Biking Routes in Banff National Park

Region in Alberta, Canada

There is no better way to explore Banff National Park then by bike. Road biking around Banff is exceptional, with a great selection of car-free roads and roads with low speed limits. We think there is no better way to explore Banff National Park then by bike, and these routes allow you to appreciate the beauty and majesty of this mountain wonderland.

Here we feature our favourite road bike rides in Banff National Park, which take in stunning lakes, beautiful passes and stupendous mountain views. Combine these bike rides with a hike, a canoe ride or just a break to enjoy the stunning beauty of Banff National Park.

THE TOP 10 ROAD BIKE RIDES IN BANFF NATIONAL PARK

The best bike rides in Banff offer fairly quiet roads, exceptional views, and the occasional wildlife sighting. Experienced cyclists can do the famous ride to Lake Louise and back, while there is a large variety of recreational bike rides for the average person to enjoy. Here is our top twelve:

  1. Jasper to Banff (288.0 km, 3,746 m, 2 - 4 days): A must-do multi-day bike ride that goes past glaciers, alpine lakes, wildlife, and scenery you will never forget. Challenging at times, yet open to any ability level. Join a tour, use a support vehicle, or ride self-sufficiently, you’ll be in for a treat either way.
  2. Minnewanka Loop (30.5 km, 408 m, 1.5-2.5h): This bike ride near Banff provides a great way to see Minnewanka with a challenging ascent and a thrilling descent.
  3. Banff to Lake Louise, and Back (119.0 km, 1,130 m, 5-8h): You can do this road bike ride as a return trip from either end, but we find the best bang-for-your-buck is to cycle one-way. Take a taxi or arrange a shuttle with a friend to Lake Louise, and ride back to Banff. We prefer this way, as there is less elevation gain. For a great day trip, ride there and back and save yourself the shuttle!
  4. Lake Louise to Bow Summit (88.0 km, 895 m, 5-7h): Start early for this epic bike ride on the Icefields Parkway. Enjoy the incredible views and take in the famous Peyto Lake Viewpoint and landscape at Bow Summit. Stop by Num-Ti-Jah lodge at Bow Lake on the way back.
  5. Sunshine Road (37.9 km, 373 m, 2-3h): While this is a busy road in winter, the Sunshine Road is quite a joy to ride in summer. You can start from the town of Banff or park at Healy Creek at the beginning of the road.
  6. Banff to Canmore on the Legacy Trail (49.2 km, 156 m, 1.5-3h). This is a wonderful, mostly car-free paved path. While you’ll expect the cars to distract you, they really don’t. You get great views along this bike ride. The ride back to Canmore is fast as it is downhill and usually provides a tailwind. The route back to Banff can be tough.
  7. Vermilion Lakes (15.0 km, 179 m, 0.75-1.5h): This classic Banff bike ride is a must-do for anybody who can ride a bike and is in Banff. It’s not a tough ride, but the ability to bike along Vermilion Lakes and soak in the views makes for a great bike ride near Banff. Get there early on a calm day and enjoy stunning views towards Mount Rundle.
  8. Banff Springs Golf Course Loop (16.8 km, 71 m, 0.75-1.5h). This ride isn’t well known but it is a charmer. We like to take this route in shoulder season, as there is a high chance of wildlife viewing. It’s all been recently repaved, and is a joy to ride.
  9. Moraine Lake Road (26.7 km, 334 m, 1.5-2h). Recent traffic control has reduced the number of vehicles on the route, making this a great ride. Boasting incredible views at Moraine Lake, cycling the Moraine Lake Road is one of the best ways to see Canada’s most stunning lake.
  10. Tunnel Mountain Loop (13.7 km, 120 m, 0.75-1.25h). The Tunnel Mountain Loop is a great ride to tack onto another route in Banff due to its short length. This is an especially enjoyable route taken from Buffalo Mountain Lodge down to Surprise Corner for great views of the historic Banff Springs Hotel.

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Best Road Biking Routes in Banff National Park

Open details for Jasper to Banff Road Biking Trail

Jasper to Banff Road Biking Trail

Very Hard
292.6 km
3,685 m
2-4 days

The Jasper to Banff bike ride along the Icefields Parkway sits on many bucket lists. This multi-day route travels one of the most scenic roads in the world, taking you through almost untouched wilderness. Cell service and supply points are rare, so be sure to carry what you need for the trip. This is an especially great trip if you join a tour. We suggest a four-day itinerary for this trip.

For those who like convenience, check out the fully supported guided Jasper to Banff Road Biking Tour.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Expert (Double Diamond)
Suitable only for experts looking for a challenging adventure.
Open details for Minnewanka Loop

Minnewanka Loop

Moderate
30.2 km
408 m
1.5-2.5h

The bike ride around Lake Minnewanka on the Minnewanka Loop is a classic road bike ride near the town of Banff. Head out from town along Banff Avenue and quickly get on a beautiful bike loop that provides great views, and often lots of wildlife. Enjoy the rollercoaster ride back to town.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.5
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Banff to Lake Louise

Banff to Lake Louise

Very Hard
118.5 km
685 m
5-8h

The bike ride from Banff to Lake Louise (and back) is a classic! Ride along the Bow Valley Parkway, where traffic is slowed to 60.0 km/hr and there isn’t too much traffic. You can do this bike ride one-way by booking a taxi or arranging a car shuttle to Lake Louise and then riding downhill from Lake Louise back to Banff.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.5
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Lake Louise to Bow Summit Road Biking Trail

Lake Louise to Bow Summit Road Biking Trail

Hard
88.0 km
895 m
5-7h

Any bike ride on the Icefields Parkway is spectacular, and this bike ride takes in two incredible highlights: Bow Lake and Peyto Lake viewpoint. These are two of the best views in all of Banff National Park. Start early and you’ll have limited traffic to contend with.

User Ratings
No Reviews
Open details for Sunshine Road

Sunshine Road

Moderate
36.9 km
373 m
1.5-3h

Ride your bike from Banff through Vermilion Lakes, and then up the Sunshine Ski Hill Road. In summer this road is usually not too busy, and it is a great workout with hills and excellent views. Combine this with a gondola ride to Sunshine Meadows and enjoy an epic day in the Canadian Rockies.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.0
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Legacy Trail from Canmore to Banff

Legacy Trail from Canmore to Banff

Moderate
48.9 km
156 m
1.5-3h

The Legacy Trail is a classic bike route in Banff, connecting the nearby town of Canmore with Banff. This bike ride is mostly on dedicated bike path, and you’ll enjoy great views and a fun day out for the whole family.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Vermilion Lakes

Vermilion Lakes

Very Easy
15.0 km
179 m
0.75-1.5h

Rent a bike and ride out to Vermilion Lakes from Banff. This is the most popular bike ride for visitors to Banff, and is famous for stunning views of the surrounding mountains reflecting in the calm Vermilion Lakes.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.5
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Banff Springs Golf Course Loop

Banff Springs Golf Course Loop

Very Easy
16.7 km
71 m
0.75-1.5h

This is a wonderful bike ride in Banff, taking you to the Banff Springs Hotel, Bow Falls and then out along the Banff Springs Golf Course, on a pretty loop that follows the Bow River for part of the ride.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
8.5
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Moraine Lake Road Biking Route

Moraine Lake Road Biking Route

Moderate
26.7 km
334 m
1.5-2.5h

Getting to Moraine Lake by car is challenging these days, so why not go by bike? This beautiful ride allows you to arrive at Moraine Lake on your own time. Enjoy the wonderful ride, as the restrictions on car traffic on Moraine Lake Road means a much better bike ride at most times of the day.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Tunnel Mountain Loop

Tunnel Mountain Loop

Easy
13.6 km
120 m
1-2h

The Tunnel Mountain Loop is a fun bike ride in Banff. The highlight of this bike ride is the descent from Tunnel Mountain, particularly the view from Surprise Corner, and the stunning Banff Springs Hotel.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.

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