Canadian Rockies Cycling Banff to Jasper - Lodge Based

Trip Length6 Days
Group Size4–12
Activity level
Starting from
$4,299 for REI Members
$4,728 for non-members
DeparturesAug 2024-Aug 2025

Spend 6 days cycling the Icefields Parkway through the Canadian Rockies.

Known for its jagged peaks, brilliant blue lakes and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canadian Rockies evoke a sense of wonder in even the most seasoned adventurer. With historic mountain villages and endless outdoor adventure, the region is classified as one of the most spectacular outdoor playgrounds on earth.

We'll spend 6 days cycling the world-renowned Icefields Parkway. Our over 200-mile ride from Jasper to Banff isn't for the faint of heart, but the biking is spectacular, and the rewards are great. The mammoth Columbia Icefield. Cascading Athabasca and Sunwapta Falls. Sapphire blue Bow Lake. Each day will be filled with an exploration of the parkway's most quintessential natural wonders. By the end of our journey, we'll be making plans for our next visit to the remarkable Canadian Rockies.

Towering peaks provide a spectacular back drop throughout our journey along the Icefields Parkway.

Trip Highlights

  • Cycle over 200-miles of the world-renowned Icefields Parkway
  • Ride beside the ancient glaciers of the Columbia Icefield
  • Stand among towering peaks and verdant valleys of Banff and Jasper National Parks
  • Enjoy comfortable accommodations at charming mountain inns

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3/4]. Participants should have cycling experience and be comfortable in the saddle for up to 6-8 hours per day with variable climbing grades with approximate elevation gains of up to 4,000' per day. Daily rides are typically between 35-61 miles, with Day 1 being just over 10 miles. All rides are on paved roads with some days going up and over mountain passes (see itinerary descriptions for each day). Vehicle support will be available throughout the trip when needed.

  • Cycling

What's Included

Double-occupancy accommodations; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; drop-bar performance road bikes; E-bikes (limited quantity - first-come-first-served); flat pedals and flat pedals with straps; helmets; bike tools; all vehicle transfers as noted in the daily itinerary; guide leadership; park entrance fees; all gratuities at lodges and restaurants.

Accommodations

Hotel and Inns, 5 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Canadian Rockies Cycling Banff to Jasper - Lodge Based
Day 1

Transfer to Jasper before taking an inaugural ride to Beauvert and Edith Lakes

Our trip starts today in the heart of Banff. We meet our guides and traveling companions for introductions before transferring 4.5-hours to the alpine town of Jasper. Along the way we stop to stretch our legs and enjoy a picnic lunch along the shores of the North Saskatchewan River. After a bike fitting and briefing we're off on a warmup ride to nearby Beauvert and Edith Lakes. Lunch and dinner included.

Cycling: 10 miles, Elevation gain: 429'; Van transfer: 4.5 hours

Day 2

Cycle from Jasper to Medicine Lake and back

Today's ride is all about maximizing saddle time while acclimating to the higher altitudes of the Icefields Parkway. We'll leave directly from our accommodations and spend the full day cycling through beautiful Maligne Valley. Considered to be one of the most spectacular areas in Jasper National Park, the Maligne Valley is known for a diversity of wildlife, glacier fed lakes, and ice-capped peaks. We'll make stops at some of the most iconic destinations in the area, including the geologic anomaly, Medicine Lake, and Maligne Canyon, the deepest canyon in the Jasper National Park. Our day wraps up back at our comfortable accommodations in Jasper, where we'll recharge for tomorrow's ride. Dinner will be on our own today. Breakfast and lunch included.

Cycling: 44 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,571' / -2,571'

Day 3

Ride the Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Sunwapta Falls

We begin our journey to Banff with a day of remarkably beautiful views and an assortment of noteworthy pit stops. As we head south from Jasper, we merge onto a 15-mile road which runs parallel to the Icefields Parkway and is a cycling favorite. We explore some of the more noteworthy sites along route, including the Path of the Glacier Trail and Athabasca Falls. We finish our ride at a charming mountain lodge close to beautiful Sunwapta Falls. All meals included.

Cycling: 35 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,603' / -1,505'

Day 4

Climb Sunwapta Pass, ride beside the Columbia Icefield and descend to the Saskatchewan River

Today is full of big challenges and giant rewards. We start out from our lodge at Sunwapta Falls and travel the beautiful Sunwapta River Valley, with incredible views of the Endless Chain Ridge to the east and the Winston Churchill Range to the west. Our first objective for the day is the Mushroom Peak lookout. We climb approximately 1,294' before taking a well-deserved breather at this scenic pit stop. We're then off on our most challenging climb of the day, Sunwapta Pass. While the climb isn't for the faint of heart, the jaw dropping scenery, including the iconic Columbia Icefield, offers a spectacular distraction. After enjoying a well-earned lunch, we're rewarded with an epic descent down the "Big Bend" to the Weeping Wall, where we regroup before our final ride to Saskatchewan River Crossing. Dinner will be on our own this evening. Breakfast and lunch included.

Cycling: 61 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +4,109' / -3,951'

Day 5

Bike from Saskatchewan River Crossing to Lake Louise

With what seems a never-ending supply of glacier-fed lakes just a stone's throw away, today's ride to Lake Louise makes clear why the Icefields Parkway is considered one of the most scenic cycling routes in the world. We start with a 1,327' climb out of the Mistaya River Valley. A welcome and scenic pit stop at Waterfowl Lakes provides a well-timed breather before a second climb up to Bow Summit. Along the shores of turquoise-blue Bow Lake, we enjoy a picnic lunch and, for the brave at heart, take a quick dip in the lake's ice-cold waters. We're rewarded with a gradual descent into Lake Louise for the last section of our ride. This evening we indulge in a celebratory dinner before our final push into Banff tomorrow. All meals included.

Cycling: 50.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +3,456' / -3,139'

Day 6

Finish our epic journey along the Icefields Parkway in beautiful Banff

Our triumphant ride into historic Banff is the perfect way to cap off six days in the saddle. Surrounded by towering peaks, roaring rivers and a verdant valley floor, riding through the Bow Valley provides a glorious conclusion to our time on the Icefields Parkway. As an added reward, gravity makes our final journey a breeze, with most of the route traveling along a gradual decline into the village. We wrap up our ride to Banff early this afternoon. Breakfast included.

Cycling: 36 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +'1,706 / -2,224'

Itinerary map for Canadian Rockies Cycling Banff to Jasper - Lodge Based

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Already booked this trip? Sign into your online traveler profile for a more detailed list of what you'll need.

REI members can shop for gently used gear online or at most REI stores. Members can also trade in pre-loved used gear online or at any REI store in exchange for REI gift card credit. Check out Re/Supply at REI to learn more.

We provide

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 1 (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales ( 1 (800) 426-4840 ) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

Trip specifics may change over time. Reviews reflect the version of the trip that was active at the time the reviewer took it. Please review the itinerary as described above and call our team for any additional details.