View of Two Jack Lake from Lake Minnewanka Road, taken June 2019.

View of Two Jack Lake from Lake Minnewanka Road, taken June 2019.

Lake Minnewanka Loop Ride

24 km, 178m elevation gain
This is a beautiful road ride leaving from Banff on the Legacy Trail along Banff Ave, then turning off onto Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive loop. This takes you past the turquoise Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake, with fantastic mountain views along the way. Includes a fairly decent climb, with a fun decent on the way back.

This loop is generally best to do in a clockwise direction.

Directions from Banff Townsite:

  • From location in Banff, head out of town on Banff Avenue

  • Once you are out of the hotel zone (the Inns of Banff) on Banff Ave, you will see the legacy trail start on the right-hand side running parallel, get onto that.

  • Near the Trans-Canada highway overpass, the legacy trail turns to the right, follow it around, then down a relatively steep hill. Take a hard left at the bottom of the hill to go under the highway. (see closeup map below)

  • The bike path curves around past a small lake, and ends in a parking lot. Turn right in the parking lot, proceed towards the exit

  • Turn right onto Lake Minnewanka Scenic Dr

  • Proceed straight, this will take you all the way to Lake Minnewanka, then around to Two Jack Lake and back down. You will T-intersection with Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive again, turn left.

  • Turn left at the park (right before the highway), to get back to the legacy trail and back to Banff

Another option:

  • Rather than take the legacy trail, stay on Banff Ave, proceed directly over the overpass and onto Lake Minnewanka drive. This is simpler but also requires crossing two guard rails, and navigating traffic.

Lake Minnewanka Loop elevation profile (clockwise loop).

Lake Minnewanka Loop elevation profile (clockwise loop).

Lake Minnewanka Loop ride

Lake Minnewanka Loop ride

Close-up for navigating Legacy Trail to Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive under the highway.

Close-up for navigating Legacy Trail to Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive under the highway.