Lake Louise to Bow Summit Road Biking Trail
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.
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Route Description for Lake Louise to Bow Summit Road Biking Trail
This is another classic bike ride in the Canadian Rockies, taking in part of the Icefields Parkway. While we love doing this as a return tour, many people take a taxi or organize a car shuttle with a friend out to Bow Summit and cycle back, thus greatly reducing the ascent.
From the Lake Louise Visitor Centre, exit the Samson Mall parking lot in the direction of the Husky Service Station, and turn left onto Village Road. You will be taking a less frequented route through Lake Louise in order to limit time spent on the Trans-Canada Highway.
Pass the Post Hotel, HI Lake Louise, and Lake Louise Inn. When the road splits, take the left-hand side, now on Sheol Road. The road passes the Lake Louise Fire Department and continues over an overpass onto a path on the other side of the Trans-Canada.
Go left once over the bridge and onto a bike path that runs beside the highway. Follow this bike path for 850 m and stay off of the busy Trans-Canada.
The bike path gradually merges onto the main road, which is now the stunning icefields Parkway. The route begins immediately uphill and in 3.2 km you reach Herbert Lake, visible on your left.
Continue along the route as it continues to ascend, and in 15.7 km you’ll gain about 230 m of elevation, riding below Mt Hector and Mt Andromache. All of a sudden you’ll get glimpses of the incredibly blue Hector Lake on your left. This is a captivating lake that is fed by the Waputik Glacier on the opposing end, with Bow Peak resting on the North shore.
Another 5.2 km and you’ll pass by the Mosquito Creek Campground and HI Mosquito Creek Hostel.
The next section of 10.7 km to Bow Lake is spectacular, with views abounding on your left-hand side. You’ll have a great view of Bow Peak, the Crowfoot Glacier, and then the exceptionally breathtaking Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. If you need a break, stop into Simpson’s Trading Post for a snack or the Elkhorn Dining Room for something more substantial.
Bow Lake is one of our favourite lakes. It’s stunningly blue and there is a nice path you can walk around on the northern side of Bow Lake, which gives a wonderful view back onto the lake while glaciers and mountains fade away. If you have time, definitely hike partway around Bow Lake.
From Bow Lake there is only 5.9 km to reach Bow Summit. While the views from Bow Summit are pretty impressive, it’s the hike to the Peyto Lake Viewpoint that is really special. Turn left into the parking lot, lock up your bike and spend 30 minutes exploring the area and snapping the iconic shot of Peyto Lake.
Get back on your bike; you’ve earned your kilometres today. Point the bike south and head back towards Lake Louise.
When you reach the end of the Icefields Parkway and the road splits in three different directions, keep straight to take the overpass onto the Trans Canada Highway, following it for 1.8 km. Bear right here to use the off-ramp, keeping right onto Village Road where you will very quickly arrive back at the point where you set out on the Lake Louise to Bow Summit and Back Road Biking Route.
Insider Hints for Lake Louise to Bow Summit Road Biking Trail
- If you want to do this as a one-way trip, we suggest getting a taxi to Bow Summit and biking back. It’s almost all downhill! Taxi’s can take you and your bike to Bow Summit, but it’s not cheap.
- You can rent a bike at Wilson’s Mountain Sports in Lake Louise.
- Bring a bike lock with you so you can leave your bike and explore Bow Summit and Bow Lake. Last we checked there were no dedicated bike racks, so you may need to chain your bike to a tree.
Getting to the Lake Louise to Bow Summit Road Biking Trail Trailhead
Begin anywhere in Lake Louise. If you are driving up for this tour, we recommend parking at the Lake Louise Ski Hill.
Lake Louise to Bow Summit Road Biking Trail Elevation Graph
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Lake Louise to Bow Summit Road Biking Trail Reviews
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