Mountain Biking in Banff
There is literally an endless list of activities to be tackled in and around Banff National Park. One of the best things to do though in Banff National Park must be to rent a mountain bike and explore the many beautiful surrounding areas. Here are some great rides to recommend, all of which are not too demanding, even for the lazier amongst us or the newly initiated rider.
Spray River Fire Road
Take your bike out to the Banff Springs Hotel and then onto the old Spray River fire road. This eight mile loop brings you to the Banff Springs Golf Course and then back into town. You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy the splendid beauty of this course. You can continue around the golf course road for an extra 45 minutes where you may be lucky enough to spot elk on the way or unlucky enough to see a grizzly!
This is a lovely ride through the woods to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site and then along Sundance Road to Sundance Canyon. The ride is about 6 miles one way. You can park your bike once you arrive at the canyon and take an easy hike around the area. Then hop on your bike and head back to town.
Tunnel Mountain Campground
If you pop up Buffalo Street to Surprise Corner and then along the Tunnel Mountain/Hoodoos Trail, you will come out near the Tunnel Mountain Campground. The ride will take you through beautiful wildflower meadows where you can stop for a picnic or just relax amongst nature’s beauty.
Vermilion Lakes Drive
This drive takes you out about 6 miles to an area where you can see waterfowl and often deer and elk. Don’t forget to look up to see the Bald Eagles and their nests between First and Second Vermilion Lakes.
Tips for making your bike travel safe and responsible:
- Stay within the range of your fitness level. Remember you’re not in a competition, but rather here to enjoy the flora and fauna and to make the most of your vacation travel. Go slow!
- Forget about making a fashion statement and think about safety. Wear your helmet! Put flowers in it if you want to look good.
- Keep your eye out for wildlife. It’s best to cycle with at least one other person. Make some noise every now and then to let the animals know you’re around. They are shy and will want to run from the road if they know you’re coming. Slow down when approaching blind spots to avoid possible collisions. Rockies wildlife is breathtaking.
- Keep your eye out for drivers. Often Banff National Park vacationers are so busy looking at the sights that they miss cyclists riding nearby. Ride your bike defensively and keep your reflexes honed for the unexpected.