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Canmore Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking in Canmore and Kananaskis Country

     
   
     

Out of the many, many outdoor activities available to you on your next Canadian Rockies vacation, you should take some time to go mountain biking in Canmore and Kananaskis Country. It’s a great way to get out and see the beautiful country here, cover a lot of ground, and have great vacation fun, whether that be a family, friends or a corporate retreat.

Learn about mountain biking vacation in Canmore.

Baldy Pass – North Approach Mountain Biking Trail

Distance: 19.2 km return. Elevation gain: 620 metres. Time: 5 hours return.

Difficulty Rating: Difficult

To get to this trail: Drive 35 km east of Canmore on Highway 1 towards Calgary to the Highway 40 exit and drive south into Kananaskis Country. The trailhead is 7.8 km. south to the Sibbald Creek Trail (Highway 68) and 1.5 km to the Lust Creek Day Use area.

Stoney Trail Mountain Biking Trail

Distance: 31 km return. Elevation gain: 50 metres. Time: 5 hours return.

Difficulty Rating: Light

To get there: From Canmore, drive 35 km east on Highway 1 towards Calgary to the Highway 40 exit and drive south into Kananaskis Country. The trailhead is 9 km. south at the Barrier Dam Day Use area.

Ribbon Falls Hiking / Mountain Biking Trail

Distance: 16.5 km return. Elevation gain: 300 metres. Time: 7 hours return.

Difficulty Rating: Medium

To get there: From Canmore, drive 35 km east on Highway 1 towards Calgary to the Highway 40 exit and drive south into Kananaskis Country. The trailhead is 23 km. south at the Ribbon Creek Day Use area near Kananaskis Village.

Skogan Pass – North Approach Mountain Biking Trail

Distance: 16.5 km return. Elevation gain: 670 metres. Time: 5 hours return.

Difficulty Rating: Difficult

To get there: From Canmore, drive 7 km east on Highway 1 towards Calgary and use Alpine Resort Haven exit. The trailhead parking lot is 1.25 km, just before the Resort.

Canmore Nordic Centre Mountain Biking Trails

Distance: Over 60 km of trails.

Difficulty Rating: Light to Difficult

To get there: From Canmore, follow the signs from downtown.

Goat Creek Mountain Biking Trail

Distance: 18 km to Banff. Elevation gain: Minus 300 metres. Time: 3 hours one way.

Difficulty Rating: Light

Location: From Canmore, drive 9 km south on the Smith-Dorrien / Spray Trail (Highway 742 – gravel road) which begins just past the Canmore Nordic Gentre. Turn right into the parking lot, where you will find the trailhead.

To get there: This is an exciting ride on a gravel and dirt doubletrack that is mostly downhill all the way to Banff. Leave a vehicle in Banff and another at the trailhead to make this is an easy ride for the novice or the whole family.

Karst Spring Mountain Biking / Hiking Trail

Distance: 9.5 km return. Elevation gain: 200 metres. Time: 3 1/2 hours return.

Difficulty Rating: Light

To get there: From Canmore, drive 39 km south on the Smith-Dorrien / Spray Trail (Highway 742 – gravel road) which begins just past the Canmore Nordic Gentre. Turn right 5 km. to the Mount Shark parking lot, where you will find the trailhead.

For more on biking the Rockies, check out the Col0rado Adventure Biker here.

Here’s are 7 Rules of the Road for mountain biking in Banff, or anywhere, really:

  1. Don’t scare the wildlife. You don’t like it when someone sneaks up on you, and neither do wild animals. Usually, the repercussions of doing this with a bear are worse though. Avoid unannounced approaches, a sudden movements, or a loud a noises. These actions can be dangerous for you, others, and wildlife. Give wildlife space and time to adjust to you, and make some noise as you come down the trail.
  2. Plan it, darn it! Know your equipment, be honest about your abilities, and check up on the riding trail, preferably with a park ranger. Prepare accordingly. A little planning is often the difference between a horrible day and an awesome day.
  3. Stay in Control. Don’t go faster, or attempt terrain that you know you can’t handle. Always be attentive and mind bicycle regulations and recommendations.
  4. Leave no trace. It’s everyone’s park, so treat it with respect by following a few simple rules. Stay on maintained  trails and don’t create new ones. Pack out what you pack in, and bonus points if you pack out some other jerk’s discarded rubbish.
  5. Ride open trails only. Respect the trail and avoid areas which are closed to bikes. They are closed for a reason. Seriously, no one is trying to hide trails from you just to ruin your vacation. Also, remember that the way you ride will influence Parks Canada trail management decisions and policies.
  6. Always yield the trail. Make your approach known well in advance. A greeting, a bell or some other noise is basic politeness; don’t startle others. Show respect when passing by, slowing to a walking pace or, if need be, stopping. Anticipate trail users around corners and in blind spots.
  7. Put a lid on it! Always wear a helmet.

Keep trails open by setting a good example of environmentally sound and socially responsible off-road cycling.