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Alberta Summer Biking Bucket List

People travel to many other countries during their holidays and often do not see the beauty that is right here in their own back yard of Alberta.
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There are so many places to go and so many beautiful things to see when travelling throughout Alberta, and when you decide to bike you can interact with nature and see things that you may have never seen before. There are so many places to bike but here are a few that make the bucket list for biking in Alberta.

Banff Legacy trail

This bike ride can be done in about 3 hours. However, when biking many people take longer so that they can stop and see the scenery that is before them. If Banff is on the list of places to attend for a day trip or for a staycation, then this bike trail is a must for all cyclists. The trail is 26.8 km long with a 30 metre elevation gain. This is a simpler ride that extends from just outside the Banff National Park boundaries to the east park gate’s visitor centre. There are resting spots along the way to enjoy a small break or to explore nature.

Jasper to Lake Louise (Sunwapta Peak and through the Columbia Icefields)

This trip can be completed in a few days and covers about 290 km and 2,800 meters up going from Jasper to Lake Louise, going through Banff, or as day trips. The highlights of this trip include Sunwapta Peak and falls. The falls are spectacular to view after going through the Peak. For the riders looking for the adrenaline rush, flying down the back side of the peak passing cars will do it! There is the “Big Bend” that is 180 degree turn to get momentum to go back up.

Traveling the icefields has been something families and individuals have done for many years. There are bus tours that bring people to see the sites, but this is only a small portion of the icefields. Biking allows you to see so much more; the scenery changes from kilometre to kilometre and hour to hour. There are ways to bike the icefields. To bike where the tours go is about a 900 metre climb and can take 2-3 hours depending on the rider’s experience on ice and snow as well as things like the weather. This is not a beginner ride, but worth the ride for anyone with experience.

Biking into the main centres such as Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise can show the rich history of Alberta and allows you to enjoy all the amenities in the urban centres.

AR700 route

This trip was designed for the Alberta Rockies Race. There are two loops to choose from: either the 500 km or the 700 km. The bike-packing trip will take six days for the average rider but could be longer depending on your experience. Technically and navigationally it is an easy ride compared to other mountain trips, however physically it is gruelling as it covers gravel roads through the foothills and also travels the Highwood Pass (2206 meters), which is the highest paved road in Canada.

Sylvan Lake Half Ironman Loop

This 75 km bike tour is more rural and less in the mountains, making it a little easier then biking the Rockies. Although it seems rural, there are summer communities around the lake that are close by for places to rest and enjoy the scenery. Sylvan Lake is between Edmonton and Calgary making it a great day trip for friends to meet up for the day.

Nathan Reeves is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the Hot Summer Guide advertising feature.  It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.

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