A Canadian Rockies Ride

The Route: Lake Louise to Jasper
  |  Gorp.com

Back on the bike and heading north once more, you have a seemingly never-ending array of mountains, glaciers, and lakes to enjoy. If you're up for additional mileage — or rather, kilometrage — I strongly suggest you pedal off the main road to Jasper to take in Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park. Farther west on the Trans-Canada Highway lie Glacier National Park and Mount Revelstoke National Park, but these lovely places entail long out-and-back spurs.

Don't forgo the short hike to Peyto Lake and the guided icewalk on Athabasca Glacier while on your way to Jasper, a quieter place than Banff and less spectacular in scenery; you'll enjoy the feeling in the cool air here of being on the edge of the Far North. And Jasper's famed totem pole is a delight to photograph.

Twenty miles south of town you'll see a sign for Highway 93 A. This is a scenic and far less busy route to the end of your ride.

You'll enjoy your riding in the Canadian Rockies even more if you bring rain gear for the occasional mountain shower, if you dress in layers for the (normal) summer temperatures in the 40-to-80 range, and if you engineer into your schedule a few days for hiking through this beautiful alpine world.

Don't be upset if you opt for the human companionship and hassle-free travel of a bike touring company, and thus are in the saddle almost every day. You can always return on your own sometime, or, if groups are your thing, contact a touring company to do a fall hiking tour when the larch turn golden and snow dusts the highest trails. The season is romantic, the colors unbeatable. And physically it's cross-training at its very best.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 8 Nov 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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