There are so many ways to explore the wonders of Banff National Park this summer. One of the most exciting ways to adventure around Banff’s paths and trails is by hopping on an e-bike. These electric bikes give you a little extra help, allowing you to experience the thrill of cycling while preserving your energy for even more adventures.
HOW DO E-BIKES WORK?
The SkiBig3 e-bike fleet is powered through pedal assist. They are perfect for families, those new to biking, or even seasoned professionals. As soon as you start pedaling, get ready for an exhilarating ‘”boost” that transforms your ride into an effortless adventure. And the best part? You can adjust the level of assistance to your liking, especially when you’re tackling those challenging hills. Once you hop on, it’s just like riding a regular bike, but with an extra dose of excitement.
Where are the best e-bike routes in Banff National Park?
Ranging from 2-hour, 4-hour, and full-day e-biking adventures, take a look below at some of the best routes to ride your e-bike in Banff National Park. Don’t forget to check out the points of interest on the maps including places to fill up your water bottle. All distances are calculated with the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub starting point at 114 Banff Avenue.
2-hour e-bike routes
6km one way (12km return): Suggested rental time min. 2 hour
Vermilion Lakes Road is the ideal place to get comfortable with your e-bike. Make sure to avoid the Bow River walking trail, as it is limited to pedestrians and traditional bicycles. Make your way down Mt. Norquay Road, turning off onto Vermilion Lakes Road before the Highway 1 overpass. Take in views of all three lakes along this road, complete with Mount Rundle’s reflection in each one.
TUNNEL MOUNTAIN LOOP
14 km round trip: Suggested rental time min. 2 hour
Tunnel Mountain Loop is your best bang-for-buck e-bike route in Banff. Starting on Buffalo Street and Banff Avenue, cycle your way to Surprise Corner for a beautiful view of a castle in the mountains. From there, continue up Tunnel Mountain Road until you reach the HooDoos viewpoint. Then hop onto the Legacy Trail and ride your way back to Banff Avenue.
INSIDER TIP: Take a break at the HooDoos and walk the short trail to some of Banff’s geographical wonders! Plus, you’ll get up-close views of the Rundle mountain range.
GOLF COURSE LOOP
14km round trip: Suggested rental time min. 2 hour
The first stop before you meander along the Banff Springs Golf Course is Bow Falls. With less traffic than other roads in Banff, this is a great beginner route. There are plenty of stops along the way that run alongside the Bow River and are perfect for a quick break. Don’t forget, cars are still able to drive on this road so make sure to keep to one side.
INSIDER TIP: End your bike ride with a visit to the Waldhaus and snag a spot on their patio. Their infamous ‘das boot’ of German beer is one way to celebrate, but make sure you have a friend (or three) to share!
4-hour e-bike routes
TWO JACK LAKE
11.5km one way (23km round trip): Suggested rental time min. 4 hours
Two Jack Lake is a summer hot spot along the Minnewanka Loop. Popular with campers, canoers, fishers, and more. With views of Mt. Rundle and vibrantly blue water, you’ll want to add this route to your list. Whether you’re taking in the views or stopping for lunch, there are many ways to enjoy this mountainous setting, so make sure to plan for some added time here.
INSIDER TIP: Looking to enjoy the pristine lakes of Banff National Parks to the fullest, why not peddle and paddle? If you book your e-bike at the same time as a SUP or Kayak you can save 15%. Just make your booking in the same online reservation and use the promo codes: E-Bike & Paddleboard: Pedal2023 / E-Bike & Kayak: Paddle2023
23 km round trip: Suggested rental time min. 4 hours
The warmest of three lakes on the Minnewanka Loop, this is a popular spot with visitors and locals. Don’t forget to pack your swim stuff as you may want to test those mountain waters. There are also washroom facilities and picnic tables, making it a convenient rest stop for lunch, too!
25 km round trip: Suggested rental time min. 4 hours
Sit back and enjoy the ride as stunning mountain scenery unfolds before you along this loop. Work your way along the West side of the loop until you reach Lake Minnewanka. Hop on a Minnewanka Lake Cruise or grab some ice cream and enjoy the shoreside while you’re here. Carry along to Two Jack Lake and end your loop at the quaint Cascade Ponds before heading back down into Banff.
Full-day e-bike routes
THE LEGACY TRAIL
24.5km (49km return): Suggested rental time min. full day
If you’re ready for a full-day adventure, take on The Legacy Trail. Connecting to Banff’s neighbor Canmore, the majority car-free trail runs adjacent to the Trans-Canada Highway. The easy-to-follow route will lead you straight into Canmore. You can take in the unique mountain vibe, browse the shops and boutiques, and enjoy summer patios in the sun. After completing your cycling adventure, don’t forget to pick up a Legacy Trail Tee from the adventure hub or online to remember your great achievement!
Download The Legacy Trail map here.
INSIDER TIP: If you don’t fancy heading to Canmore, halfway between the towns, you’ll find the Valleyview Picnic Area. With tables, rest areas, and the classic red Parks Canada chairs this is a great spot to stop for lunch. Then head you can head back to Banff the same way you came.
25.5km one-way (51km return): Recommended full-day rental
Looking to go further afield? Johnston Canyon is a spectacular full-day trip. Head west out to the Legacy Trail and onto the Bow Valley Parkway 1A. Once you arrive at Johnston Canyon you can hike to the thundering lower and upper canyons, or for something closer, you can walk to Silverton Falls. Keep your eyes peeled for some wildlife too!
For some months of the year, you can enjoy the 1A with just other cyclists. Parks Canada is testing a three-year cycling pilot program restricting vehicles on the parkways 17km section on the eastern end towards Banff. Take a look at the full details here.
Ready to embark on your very own e-bike adventure? Stop by the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub and talk to our specialists to get you started. From rentals to safety tips to maps, they have everything you need to e-bike in Banff this summer. Or, reserve your bike online to ensure your model of choice is available during your visit to Banff National Park.
TOP SAFETY TIPS TO REMEMBER:
E-bikes are much heavier and have very different weight distribution compared to traditional bicycles. Make sure to stay balanced at all times and be prepared to put both feet on the ground when coming to a stop. The additional power of an e-bike can initially take you by surprise. Start slow and build your skills on a flat and quiet side street before heading too far. Like a regular bicycle, slow and steady breaking is important. Never use only your front brake as you risk falling or launching over the handlebars. Always wear a helmet, this is the law.