Tunnel Mountain 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.
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.
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Route Description for Tunnel Mountain Loop
The bike ride around Tunnel Mountain is a classic bike ride in Banff, with a few steep bits that will get you out of the saddle. We love to pair this ride with any of the other local Banff rides, such as Minnewanka Loop, Legacy Trail, Vermilion Lakes or Banff Springs golf course. This creates a longer ride for those looking for a full-day.
The map for this bike ride starts in Banff, by the Banff Visitor Centre. Ride NE on Banff Ave, passing block after block of hotels along the way. There is a bike path you can follow once you pass Inns of Banff.
Take this bike path for 2.1 km, until you come to Banff Rocky Mountain Resort at the corner of Tunnel Mountain Drive on your right.
Go right on Tunnel Mountain Drive and follow the road for 3.0 km towards Tunnel Mountain campground. There can be big trailers driving up this road, so be aware of your surroundings.
After the Tunnel Mountain Campground, you will come to the Hoodoo Viewpoint, which is a great place to stop and enjoy stunning views of the geological formations, and Mount Rundle.
From the Hoodoo Viewpoint, ride for 2.1 km, eventually coming to some hotels and a T intersection, where you have Douglas Fir Resorts on your left.
Go left at this junction, onto Tunnel Mountain Drive, passing Buffalo Mountain Lodge on your right. This section is quieter than the rest, making it the best part of the ride.
After 2.0 km you will pass St Julien Way and the Banff Centre. You may notice a lot of parked cars here, as the trailhead to hike up Tunnel Mountain is nearby. Another 700 m will take you to a long right-hand curve and the famous Surprise Corner.
Surprise Corner is host to an iconic view of the historic Banff Springs Hotel and is a coveted destination for wedding photos. Use the pedestrian crossing to access the stairs on your right that will bring you to a viewing deck. Snap an idyllic shot while you take in the whimsy of the historic hotel, and continue on your way.
After descending the final section of Tunnel Mountain Drive, you will find yourself on Buffalo street. Follow this road as it curves around to the left and eventually comes to Banff Ave. Turn right on Banff Ave and within a few blocks you’ll arrive at the Visitor Centre.
Insider Hints for Tunnel Mountain Loop
- Pair this bike ride with any of the other local Banff rides, such as Minnewanka Loop, Legacy Trail, Vermilion Lakes or Banff Springs golf course. This creates a longer bike ride for those looking for a full day.
- The Banff Centre has a great selection of events on during the summer months, and is a spectacular facility. Be sure to check the events calendar to pair your bike ride with some evening entertainment.
Getting to the Tunnel Mountain 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, on the way to Norquay.
Tunnel Mountain Loop Elevation Graph
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Tunnel Mountain Loop Reviews
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