Welcome to the Icefields Parkway Inn-to-Inn cycle tour. This trip ranks among the best cycling holidays on earth.
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- Trip Outline
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The spectacular scenery found in the national parks of the Canadian Rockies is unprecedented in North America. Rocky Mountain Cycle Tours offers you the opportunity to travel this high country on one of the greatest mountain roadways on the planet – The Icefields Parkway. Stretching an impressive 200 miles (300 km) between the historic towns of Jasper and Banff, the Icefields Parkway traverses beneath some of the most majestic mountains of the world. Flanked by dozens of massive glaciers that plummet to the roadsides, it follows three major river systems and passes by exquisite scenery studded with turquoise lakes and brilliant wildflowers. Along the route, two mountain passes – Sunwapta and Bow – take you up to elevations in excess of 7,000 feet (2,100 metres) for breathtaking views of the Columbia Icefield, the largest conglomeration of glaciers in the Canadian Rockies whose melting waters feed rivers that eventually drain into the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. From the elegant to the formidable, the mountain peaks of the Canadian Rockies are nothing less than spectacular and deserve the United Nations World Heritage Site designation bestowed upon them. Let our guides take you on a mountain cycle tour in the style and luxury of an inn-to-inn experience you won’t forget. Climate The winters in the Canadian Rockies are long. But summers, although short, are spectacular and are blessed with glorious bursts of heat. A typical day in the summer averages in the high 70’s (25C) while evenings cool off to the high 50’s (15C). Higher elevations may see frost in any summer month. Rain showers can occur at any time but they are generally short and infrequent. In fact, by the time clouds have arrived at the lee side of the Rockies, their moisture has been spread over the Coastal Mountains and the west side of the Great Divide. Thus, riding along the east side of the Divide, we get the advantage of drier air masses.
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Trip starts and ends in Banff, Alberta
Day 1 (Sunday)
Meet the guidesThis morning you will meet your guides and other guests (9am). Meeting point at the Banff train station. From here you will be transferred to Jasper via shuttle van. The mountains capes during your transport is spectacular. Upon arrival at the Jasper Inn, participants can size up the bikes and take a tour of Jasper before our evening orientation and dinner. Overnight Jasper Inn.
Breakfast then departAfter a delicious breakfast we will depart Jasper, taking a secluded valley road south to Athabasca Falls. We will stop for a hike to the Angel Glacier and marvel at a lake studded with icebergs. After lunch the road follows the wild Athabasca River Valley to our home for the night at Sunwapta Falls Resort. A short walk to the falls will feel great after a fantastic dinner at your own leisure Distances: 56km/35mi without optional ride. 84km/52mi with optional ride. Gains: 877m/2877ft without optional ride. 1444m/4765ft with optional ride. Lost: 543m/1792ft without optional ride. 1110m/3663ft with optional ride.
Climb to SunwaptaToday is a relatively short biking day as we have a morning climb to Sunwapta Pass and the spectacular Columbia Icefield. We will be staying at the newly reimagined Glacier View Lodge. Dinner is included at the Altitude dining room. Join your guides for an amazing optional walk to Parker Ridge or the toe of the glacier (weather permitting). Parker ridge hike is 5km/3mi round trip with elevation gain and lost of 216m/708ft. Toe of the glacier walk is 1.8km/1mi. Biking: Distance: 50km/31mi. Gain 840m/2772ft. Lost 248m/818ft.
Follow the Saskatchewan RiverAfter a good night's sleep, it's onto the bikes again. Today's ride starts with a long descent down the pass as we follow the Saskatchewan River. Climbing out of the river valley, we will reach the highest point on the Parkway at Bow Summit (7000 feet). A side trip to Peyto Lake viewpoint is a must. We will continue downhill to historic Num-Ti-Jah Lodge on the shores of spectacular Bow Lake. Dinner at the amazing Elkhorn Dining Room caps off the day. This day offers 3 riding options: Option 1: 50km/31mi. Gain 344m/1135ft. Lost 844m/2785ft. Option2: 68km/42mi. Gain 655m/2161ft. Lost 954m/3148ft. Option3: 93km/58mi. Gain 1251m/4128ft. Lost 1297m/4280ft.
Bow River to Lake LouiseAfter another of many delightful breakfasts, we will enjoy the amazingly scenic descent along the Bow River to Lake Louise. In the afternoon there is time to hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House, ride to Moraine Lake or even take an optional half-day whitewater rafting trip on the Kicking Horse River. Dinner at your leisure. Distance: 39km/24mi. Gain 216m/713ft. Lost 614m/2026ft.
Day 6 (Friday)
Bow Valley Parkway towards BanffOur last day's ride takes us along the beautiful Bow Valley Parkway towards Banff. This is an amazing ride along the Bow River offering great wildlife watching. We will finish our ride just outside of Banff at Vermillion Lakes where we say our good-byes. You will be dropped off at the train/bus station or at your hotel for those of you extending your stay in Banff. Distance: 58km/36mi. Gain 517m/1706ft. Lost 674m/2224ft.
2 Professional Guides from the region
- 5 Breakfasts
- 5 Lunches
- 3 Dinners
- Snacks and beverages between meals
- Jasper Inn & Suites
- Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge
- Glacier View Lodge
- Num-Ti-Jah Lodge
- Mountaineer Lodge
Transportation & Luggage:
- Support Van for cyclists
- Transportation from/to Banff
- Luggage transfers
- National Park fees and other entry fees
$500 CAD deposit per person is due at time of booking. If you are part of an exclusive group booking a non-refundable deposit of 25% is due at the time of booking. Balance is payable 60 days prior to the trip. If trip is cancelled more than 60 days prior to departure, we refund the deposit minus a $150 CAD cancellation fee. If trip is cancelled 31-60 days prior to departure 50% of the trip fee is non-refundable. If trip is cancelled 30 days or less before departure the entire trip fee is non-refundable. We recommend trip cancellation insurance.
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