Day 1: Ride from Jasper to Sunwapta 60km.
Meet in Jasper at 08:00 to begin cycling along the lesser-traveled east side of the Athabasca River on a quiet road through stands of pine and spruce with wonderful views of the Athabasca River Valley. Afternoon ride on the broad plain of the Sunwapta River. This is a natural corridor of all types of wild life, including grizzly and black bears, coyotes, wolves, elk, deer, mountain goats, and big horn sheep. Keep your eyes open; you will have a good chance of seeing these animals from your bicycle. The day will finish with a short climb, and a hike to see the Sunwapta Falls before dinner. BLD Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge, Sunwapta Falls.
Day 2: Cycle up to the Athabasca Glacier 50km.
Today’s ride is largely uphill, helped, we hope, with the prevailing tailwind. This is the hardest ride of the trip, and will be rewarded with spectacular views of the largest icefield south of Alaska - the Athabasca Glacier. From your panoramically-situated chalet, you can hike up to the Icefield, watching for the yearly markers that show the glacier’s annual retreat. Walk to Parker Ridge or tour the icefield before dinner. BLD
The Glacier View Inn, Athabasca Glacier
Day 3: Cycling to Bow Lake and Peyto Lake 90km.
Descend from the Athabasca Glacier for lunch near the North Saskatchewan River Crossing, then climb to follow the Bow and Mistaya Rivers and some beautiful lakes that create wonderfully photogenic landscapes, before cresting the highest point of the Parkway at Bow summit, and descending to enjoy the fireplace at your spectacularly rustic log mountain lodge overlooking the turquoise waters of Bow Lake. You must take the opportunity to hike to nearby Peyto Lake, known for its picturesque emerald waters – a result of an abundance of glacial ‘flour’, before dinner. BLD. Num-ti-Jah Lodge, Bow Lake.
Day 4: Ride the Bow Valley Parkway to Lake Louise 43km.
This morning’s descent to Lake Louise will go quickly, being downhill and usually downwind almost all the way. You are likely to see abundant wildlife, and should maintain a respectful distance from any deer, elk, bear, or other animals you encounter. If you arrive in Lake Louise with time to spare, you can ride to Moraine Lake, or do some hiking around Lake Louise itself. BL Deer Lodge, Lake Louise.
Day 5: Hiking Plain of Six Glaciers 10 to 20km, or bike ride to Moraine Lake.
Incredible hiking! The views and terrain create a superlative experience that really shouldn’t be missed. First destination is a mountain tearoom, after which the trail continues to enchanting alpine meadows. Those who prefer to cycle can ride to Moraine Lake and the valley of the Ten Peaks. BLD. Same lodging.
Day 6: Ride Bow Valley to Banff 64 km.
Follow the Bow Valley Parkway to Banff. The parkway is fairly gentle, with a succession of beautiful views. Stop to enjoy the spectacular hanging path up Johnston Canyon to waterfalls, and to carry on up to the look off or Ink Pots Trail. Arrive at Banff in time for optional transfers to Calgary, or extend your stay by planning a night or two in this cool mountain town. BL.
- Start: Jasper 08:00.
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Canada Alberta Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Native Americans
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