With more than 190 km of mountain bike trails and numerous road riding options, biking is an excellent way to explore Banff National Park. Trails range from easy to difficult and the biking season typically extends from May to October.
A new pilot shoulder season cycling experience is available starting Spring 2021, as a result of reduced vehicle access on two main roadways: the Eastern section of the Bow Valley Parkway, and the Minnewanka Loop Road.
Where to Bike
Banff National Park encourages the use of bikes for the appreciation and enjoyment of the park’s spectacular landscape of rugged mountains, broad valleys, glaciers, alpine meadows and wildlife species.
- Banff Road Rides
- Banff Mountain Biking Trails
- Banff Legacy Trail
- Lake Louise Road Rides
- Lake Louise Mountain Biking Trails
If your objective is freeriding or downhilling, please consider areas such as Golden or Fernie, BC or Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, where these activities are both appropriate and encouraged.
Rules and regulations
Be a mountain park steward, ride with care!
Riding non-designated or closed trails, building new trails, or riding off-trail displaces wildlife and destroys soil and vegetation. These activities are also illegal and violators may be charged under the National Park Regulations.
- Be bear aware. Cyclists are particularly susceptible to sudden, dangerous bear encounters because of the speed and silence of their travel. Slow down, stay alert, carry bear spray, and look ahead.
- Ride designated trails. It is your responsibility to know where you can and cannot legally ride.
- Avoid riding during extreme conditions. Wet, muddy or very dry trails are more likely to be damaged.
- Help preserve the quality of our trails. Ride, don’t slide— avoid skidding your tires by hard braking. Ride over obstacles, not around them. If obstacles are above your skill level, walk your bike.
- Ride within your limits. Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk.
- Pedal electric E-bike only on the Legacy trail, Lake Louise area designated bike trails, and public roads. Power-assisted bicycles are prohibited on all Banff National Park trails except the Legacy Trail and Lake Louise Mountain Biking Trails.
- Leave no trace. Be sure to pack out what you pack in. Leave natural and cultural objects undisturbed for others to discover.
- For the safety of wildlife, your pet and yourself, keep your pets on a leash and pick up after them.
- Yield appropriately. Let your fellow trail users know you are coming. Make each pass a safe and courteous one. Cyclists travelling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill.
Share The Trail
- The bike trails in Banff National Park are all shared-use trails— expect to encounter hikers and horseback riders. Ride in control and be ready to stop at any time.
- When you approach a hiker, slow down and make your presence known with a bell or a friendly greeting.
- Bicycles are fast and quiet, and can easily spook horses. When approaching oncoming horses, move to the side of the trail, stop and allow the horse party to pass. When passing horses from behind, slow down, let riders know of your presence before you get too close, and ask for instructions.
You are responsible for your own safety. Be prepared for a breakdown or accident. Know how to repair your bike and carry the tools and parts to do so.
- Choose rides that match your abilities. Be conservative—start with easier, shorter trails. Park staff or bike shop employees can help you select a suitable route.
- Wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.
- Bring extra food, water and clothing. Mountain weather changes quickly and it can snow any month of the year. Surface water may be contaminated with Giardia.
- Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
- Travel with others and keep your group together.
- Wearing earbuds restricts your ability to hear wildlife and could lead to an encounter.
- Ask for advice at a Parks Canada Information Centre about trail conditions, descriptions, and weather.
Safe travel in bear country
- Carry bear spray with you at all times when on the trail and know how to use it.
- Slow down and make noise. Your speed and quietness puts you at risk for sudden bear encounters. Slow down through shrubby areas and when approaching blind corners. Travel in groups, be alert and always look ahead.
If you see a large carnivore, such as a bear, cougar, wolf or coyote, please report the sighting (when it is safe to do so) by calling Banff Emergency Dispatch at 1-403-762-1470.