Banff Springs Golf Course Loop
- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
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.
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Route Description for Banff Springs Golf Course Loop
The bike ride to the Banff Springs Hotel, Bow Falls, and then along the Banff Springs Golf course is a great family-friendly bike ride in Banff. We love this bike ride as we can ride directly from Banff without needing a car. There are also no big roads on this ride, so no worries about crossing the Trans-Canada Highway. That said, some of the roads can get very busy, especially riding down Banff Ave and over to the Banff Springs Hotel, which are busy with cars full of holidaymakers.
From the Banff Visitor Centre on Banff Ave and Wolf Street, head south on Banff Ave, eventually crossing over the Bow River and coming to a stoplight. At the stoplight go left on Spray Ave as it curves to the right and comes to another traffic light, where the road splits. Take the left-hand road and follow it for 550 m until it comes to Rundle Ave, where you turn left.
Rundle Avenue goes downhill and curves around before reaching the popular Bow Falls. Bow Falls were featured in the 1953 Marilyn Monroe film, River of No Return.
Go past the falls and take a bridge over the Spray River. You are now on Golf Course Road, and the trail meanders through the stunning Banff Springs Golf Course.
You now have a 10.8 km bike ride that runs beside the golf course, and meets a recently paved road through the forest towards the Bow River. In shoulder season, before the road closes to cars, this is a popular drive for viewing wildlife, however in summer this is a wonderful drive or bike ride.
After 2.8 km, you’ll come to a point where the road splits. We prefer to go right here, taking this next part of the route in a counter-clockwise direction.
This 5.0 km circuit takes you through the forest, along the Bow River and then back along the golf course, and is usually very quiet and pleasant.
Once back along the golf course, when you come to the fork in the road, go right this time and head back along the golf course towards the Banff Springs Hotel.
You once again cross the Spray River on a bridge, and if you’re in need of refreshment, you are just below the Waldhaus Restaurant and Pub. We love the fondue paired with any one of their great selection of German beer.
If you aren’t stopping for a meal, ride to the right and pass by Bow Falls, then climb back up Rundle Ave to meet Spray Ave. Go left on Spray Ave, and ride for 450 m towards the Banff Springs Hotel. This is a perfect time to get off your bike and have a look. There is a bike rack by the roundabout.
The Banff Springs Hotel can be confusing to navigate, as it is a historic building that has seen it’s fair share of renovations. If you want to explore the inside of the hotel, we suggest you go to the left of the bike racks and head in the main doors. If you want to get a great view and a snack, go right, avoiding the main entrance and head under a walkway (to the left of Castello Restaurant) and enter the back way. Either way, if you want refreshment we suggest the Lookout Patio, near Rundle Lounge, which has great views over the valley. Stock Coffee offers great coffee and food with a patio and games. Finally, Grapes is a very fun wine bar with great cheese and charcuterie, though is only open in the evenings.
Once you’re done at the Banff Springs, get on your bike and head back to Banff. You can either retrace the way you came out, or take a route along the Bow River, which is shown on our map.
To take this route, turn right again on Rundle Ave and then go left on Glen Ave, quickly coming to a right, which takes you over the Bow River on a pedestrian bridge. After crossing the bridge, go left on Buffalo Street and then right down Banff Ave.
Insider Hints for Banff Springs Golf Course Loop
- Bring a bike lock so you can explore the Banff Springs Hotel. The Banff Springs Hotel is known as the “Castle in the Rockies”, and there are a wide variety of great places to get a bite.
- You can also drive the route along the Banff Springs golf course, and it is a pleasant drive.
Getting to the Banff Springs Golf Course Loop Trailhead
You can start anywhere in Banff. We usually start on Banff Ave. In summer parking can be hard to find, so arrive early. There is overflow parking at Fenlands, out on the way to Norquay.
Banff Springs Golf Course Loop Elevation Graph
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