Region Overviews: Canada Travel Guide: Overview
Sprawling, massive Canada contains everything from six time zones to a series of ecosystems so diverse you could conceivably encounter polar bears and grizzly bears on the same trip.
Breathe in the pristine air of the Canadian Rockies. Deeply as you ascend. Slowly when you reach a viewpoint. Snowcapped mountains, flowering meadows, virgin forests, crystalline lakes, rushing rivers—the raw beauty here can take your breath away. Explore this magnificent mountain range by bicycle. And don't forget to breathe.
THIS ITINERARY: 6 days, 5 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Premiere Hotels*
Start Calgary / End Banff
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
See dazzling views of the Bow Valley and Cascade Mountain unfold as you bike along the scenic Legacy Trail in Banff National Park and to its postcard-perfect town of Banff | Pedal to Lake Minnewanka—the largest body of water in Banff National Park | Treat yourself at the world-renowned Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
Built in the style of a Scottish baronial castle, this exquisite hotel is set in the heart of Banff National Park and offers magnificent panoramic views, luxurious guest rooms and an award-winning 35,000-square-foot spa. Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)
Keep an eye out for black bears, elk and bighorn sheep along your route | Bike Bow Valley's rolling hills past Pilot, Storm and Castle Mountains and the striking Bow River | The spray flies and water pounds at roaring Johnston Canyon waterfall | Savor what Travel + Leisure proclaims one of the best hotel dining experiences in North America at the venerable Post Hotel.
This European-style mountain chalet, set on the Pipestone and Bow Rivers, is the epitome of old-world elegance. Travel + Leisure World's Best. A Relais & Châteaux member. (pool, spa)
Visit Lake Louise, a World Heritage site flanked by glaciated peaks | Watch for mule deer and coyotes as you begin a steady ascent toward Bow Lake and the Crowfoot Glacier | Witness one of the most iconic views in the Canadian Rockies on the ride to Bow Summit—the highest point on the Icefields Parkway | In Jasper National Park, board a massive all-terrain vehicle to explore the Athabasca Glacier.
A modest lodge with simple rooms selected for its phenomenal alpine wilderness location overlooking the famed Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Icefield.
Bike past Athabasca, Dome and Stutfield Glaciers and descend into Sunwapta Valley | Get exclusive access to the glass-floored Glacier Skywalk for an incomparable view of the valley below | With the dramatic Endless Chain Ridge in the skyline, arrive at roaring Athabasca Falls | Arrive by bike to Maligne Lake, world-renowned for its intense blue-green color | Explore Maligne Valley's karst landscape, from the seasonally “disappearing” Medicine Lake to Maligne Canyon | At the canyon, come face to face with the sculpting power of water in the depths of this limestone cathedral | Next to our lodge, take a tranquil evening stroll around Lake Beauvert | End an amazing week with a ride to Pyramid Lake.
This 700-acre ideal mountain retreat sits in Jasper National Park and wraps around the beautiful Lake Beauvert. (pool, spa)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do. LEARN MORE.
Note: The routes on this trip are hilly, with some significant elevation gains and losses. This, coupled with the relatively high altitude, can make biking more challenging, but you're sure to finish each day with a great sense of accomplishment. Traffic can be busy on some routes, with narrow shoulders on Days 1–2 and wide should on Days 4–6.
The key to a stellar day's ride is a bike that's perfectly in tune with your cycling style… Backroads has you covered with the best bike fleet in the world! Read on for your available bike options for this trip.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Our exploration of the Canadian Rockies includes time riding on the famed Icefields Parkway for its unrivaled access to wildlife and natural beauty. While the scenery is stunning, sections of the pavement can be rough and repaving is ongoing. The parkway's shoulder is wide, but the area is busy so you should be comfortable riding with traffic. Of course, you're always welcome to jump in the shuttle to avoid more trafficked sections.
Fairmont Banff Springs, Post Hotel & Spa and Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge are Premiere Hotels. While they offer outstanding service and amenities, please note that they're not equipped with air-conditioning and guest rooms can occasionally become warm during peak temperatures.