Castle Mountain, one of the many stunning views from the Bow Valley Parkway.

Castle Mountain, one of the many stunning views from the Bow Valley Parkway.

Bow Valley Parkway to Lake Louise

58 km one-way, 412m elevation gain
This is the most popular ride for road cyclists in the Bow Valley, and one of the very best road-biking rides in Canada. The Bow Valley Parkway, or Highway 1A, is the old highway between Banff and Lake Louise, and has relatively little traffic.

There are a few good hills along the way in both directions. You are gaining elevation overall on the way to Lake Louise, and generally have a headwind on the way there, which usually means a tailwind on the way home (no guarantees!).

Castle Junction (30 km), Baker Creek (45 km) and Lake Louise (58 km) all have rest stops with food, bathrooms and water refills, and can also serve as good turn-around points depending on how far you want to go.

Directions from Banff Townsite:

  • From Banff townsite, you head towards the Trans-Canada highway on Mount Norquay Road

  • Turn left on Vermillion Lakes Road (before highway overpass)

  • Continue to end of Vermillion Lakes road and onto bike path

  • Bike path passes through two gates and ends at Highway 1A

  • Turn left onto the highway and continue on this road to Lake Louise

Elevation profile one-way from Banff to Lake Louise along the Bow Valley Parkway.

Elevation profile one-way from Banff to Lake Louise along the Bow Valley Parkway.

Map of full ride

Map of full ride

Close up of directions from Banff to Highway 1A past Vermillion Lakes and onto bike path.

Close up of directions from Banff to Highway 1A past Vermillion Lakes and onto bike path.

Brand new pavement on some sections of the Bow Valley Parkway, June 2019.

Brand new pavement on some sections of the Bow Valley Parkway, June 2019.