This post may contain affiliate links. Please read disclosure. Thank you for your support.

Call me smitten and bitten by the bike tour bug. My cycling adventure in the Canadian Rockies with Trek Travel was a truly outstanding and memorable way to experience one of Canada’s most unforgettable landscapes. 

Biking in Banff is an incredible way to explore the stunning landscapes of the Canadian Rockies. This is particularly true this year, as Parks Canada has limited private vehicle traffic to many iconic park sites like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist, these tips will help you make the most of your biking adventure in Banff with Trek Travel.

bikes on roof of van in summer

How to get the most from a Trek Travel Bike Tour in Banff, Alberta

Getting up close and personal with the Canadian Rocky Mountains on the saddle of my e-bike, smelling the wildflowers and the forest after the rain, and enjoying a hot tub soak after a long ride was the epitome of a successful active outdoor adventure on two wheels. 

Planning a cycling holiday in the wild vastness of Banff National Park with Trek Travel is easier than you’d think. After all, Trek has done the heavy lifting by hiring guides, preparing the bikes, and planning the routes, meals and hotel accommodations for you as part of signing on for riding the bike trails in Banff.

The Trek Travel Canadian Rockies itinerary includes some of the most beautiful places in Banff National Park. Iconic spots like Moraine Lake, Tunnel Mountain, Peyto Lake, Takakkaw Falls, the Lake Minnewanka scenic drive, Banff Springs Hotel and Lake Louise. You’ll even get to experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River, which I thought about avoiding but absolutely loved. I even took a swim in the freezing cold water.

But, before you pull on those padded shorts and get pedaling, there are some things you need to do to prepare for an epic bike ride in Banff.  

Choose the bike that’s right for you

Trek Travel offers several bike options for guests to choose from for the Banff cycling tour. The Trek Domane SL 5 Disc road bike is fabulous for active road cyclists. It’s a light weight, stable and technologically advanced machine that makes the toughest climbs, like the ride up the Columbia Icefields Parkway seem easy.

If you’re an occasional cyclist like me, Trek’s Electric-Assist Verve+ bicycle is the perfect choice. It’s got a Low-Step frame design, so hopping on and off the Trek Verve+ is super easy.

bikes in a row in banff with trek travel

The bike’s suspension takes the edge off any bumps along the Bow Valley Parkway. And the integrated battery keeps this bike looking sleek as I pedaled along our various cycling routes through Banff and Yoho National Parks.

With either bike choice, you’ve got what you need to get you moving on the 234 kilometers/143 miles that you’ll be riding through Banff’s incredible mountain landscape during this Trek trip. 

Trek’s trip planners contact guests months prior to a trip date to finalize bike choices, as well as height requirements. This ensures each bike is properly fitted for each guest. Guests can also bring their own saddles and pedals if desired.

Pack strategically

Packing for a mountain bike trip can be tricky, as weather can change quickly. In addition to cycling gear like padded bike shorts, gloves, shoes and layers, pack a good wind shell, thin insulated jacket and long cycling tights.

Generally, summer temperatures are around 23 degrees Celsius or 71 degrees Fahrenheit. There are long days of light, but there are always possibilities of rain and even snow.

For evenings out at Banff restaurants and pubs, causal clothes and comfortable shoes are great.

And don’t forget to pack a swimsuit for soaking in the rooftop hot tub of the Moose Hotel and Suites. It’s the perfect way to relax after a great day’s ride.

Safety first

Trek Travel guides are professionally trained and certified. Before heading out onto the road, guides conduct a guest orientation and go over the trip itinerary, meal plans, safety protocols and answer questions. 

On the first day of riding, guides ensure each guest is equipped with a properly fitting helmet and tuned bicycle, including inflated tires and working Garmins.

Our trip had two great guides, Michaela and Fred, who alternated between riding with the group and the other driving the support van. They set up lunch and snacks at picnic areas and picked up anyone who was finished riding.

Guides are also responsible for calling a halt to a day’s cycling journey if bad weather makes riding dangerous.

This happened on our ride up to Peyto Lake on the Columbia Icefields Parkway, an iconic road between Banff and Jasper National Parks. The day began well but, as so often happens in the mountains, the weather turned and strong winds, rain and hail made cycling difficult, cold and hazardous. 

peyto lake banff

Our guides made the wise choice to wave our group down near Bow Lake and call it a day, fixing a hot lunch on a portable BBQ while we all tried to warm up in the van. It was the right call.

Pick your ride

This being a Trek Travel bike tour, the water, snacks, Garmins and repair tools travel with the group. We fueled up at the start with fresh water bottles and snacks, and each bike had a small basic tool kit attached.  

The Garmins were pre-programmed for each day’s ride, including three cycling itineraries – Short, Today and Avid. Riders make the choice at the start of each day which itinerary they would tackle, reserving the opportunity to change minds as the ride progresses. 

For our final full day ride, I chose the Avid route of about 90 km/56 miles from Lake Louise to Moraine Lake and back, then along the Bow Valley Parkway to Banff.

It was a brilliant day and a fantastic ride, especially as Moraine Lake Road is closed to private vehicles for the first time this summer. Cycling along this beautiful route, smelling the wildflowers and drinking in the scenery is a magnificent experience.

trek travel cyclist on moraine lake road

moraine lake in summer

Stay hydrated

Biking at higher altitudes can be dehydrating. Banff is at 1,383 m/4,537 feet elevation, and we often cycled higher than the townsite. 

It’s important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while cycling, even if you don’t feel particularly thirsty. Guides filled our water bottles each day, and I added NUUN tablets for an extra electrolyte boost.

At designated rest stops, you can refill bottles and enjoy tasty snacks (peanut butter pretzels were personal favorites), and a great lunch spread.

lunch at trek travel canadian rockies bike tour

Be aware of wildlife

Banff is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears. On my rides, I saw big horned sheep, mountain goats, marmots, rabbits and elk. No black or grizzly bears, though other riders spotted them. 

It’s important to keep eyes open while riding, obviously. If you do spot a wild animal, to stay at least 100 feet away and make noise to alert them to your presence.

An epic adventure through the Canadian Rockies, this trip captures all peaks and valleys of Canada’s iconic mountain range. Meander your way through National Parks, cresting the white waters of the Kicking Horse river as you journey through incredibly scenic, open landscapes, capturing sights and sounds of unique wildlife, and bucket list-worthy experiences.

Emily Brinkley, Trip Designer

Dress in layers

Banff’s weather can be unpredictable. Sunny and warm one minute, howling wind and rain the next. Dress in layers so you can easily adjust your clothing as conditions change. You can always leave extra clothes in the Trek van.

Wear sunscreen

The mountain sun can be intense. Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a brimmed hat underneath your cycling helmet to protect yourself from UV rays.

Know your limits

The terrain of Banff and Yoho National Parks is varied with mountainous areas and occasional climbs. This trip is best suited for Trek’s Type 2-3 Riders. But guides can also easily accommodate Type 1 Riders, who seek less mileage or fewer uphills, with a boost in the van. 

Trek’s cycling itineraries offer three riding routes each day – Short, Today and Avid. You can do as much or as little cycling as you want to. If you haven’t adequately prepared for a steep ascent of Mt Norquay (an Avid ride) or the switchbacks to Takakkaw Falls, perhaps don’t choose that option. But if you have trained for it, enjoy, it’s incredible!

cyclist on road in yoho national park

Like many Trek trips, there are non-riding options for riders who want to take the afternoon off. In Banff, choices abound and include hiking, canoeing, forest bathing, spa treatments, shopping, horseback riding and golf. 

Leave no trace

Practice responsible biking by packing out everything you bring with you, including trash. Leave nature as you found it for others to enjoy.

Enjoy the ride

The Canadian Rockies are incredible and seeing them by bicycle is a special and unique experience. Take time to enjoy the view, and the incredible landscapes that Banff has to offer, as much as you enjoy the ride.

You’ll also get to see the town of Banff from the top of Sulphur Mountain. The final night of the tour includes a ride on the iconic Banff Gondola. Our guides prepared a fun slide show as we toasted a successful trip with bubbly. Then we enjoyed a tasty meal at the Northern Lights Alpine Kitchen over-looking Banff and the Bow River.

trek travel cyclists at lake louise

Trek Travel Canadian Rockies Tour FAQ

Where do you stay on Trek Travel Banff Bike Tour?

Tour guests stay at the Moose Hotel & Suites on Banff Avenue, steps away from the main downtown area. This hotel offers an elegant stay and features a warm interior design using natural materials, including a wood-burning fireplace in the main lobby.
A long list of amenities include the Meadow Spa & Pools with 10 treatment rooms and private outdoor hot pool, a bright indoor swimming pool and exercise room on the third floor, and two spectacular rooftop hot pools with exceptional views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The hotel features one onsite restaurant, Pacini, serving tasty Italian food.

Pin for Later

Disclosure: The writer was hosted by Trek Travel. As always, her opinion about the beauty of cycling in the Canadian Rockies is honest and her own.

Photos: Claudia Laroye, Trek Travel

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *