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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

My wife to be and I will be roadtripping through Banff/Lake Louise / Golden area next week for our honeymoon - Hooray!

I was just wondering if anyone could recommend a couple trails in this area that we should try to hit. Right now, we've got a couple nights at Shadow Lake and will be staying a couple nights in Field, so if there is anything in those areas (hiking, for that matter too!) that is a must do, I'd certaintly appreciate the info!

cheers,
josh <------------about to marry an awesome biking partner!
 

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Jed Peters
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rockbender said:
Hi all!

My wife to be and I will be roadtripping through Banff/Lake Louise / Golden area next week for our honeymoon - Hooray!

I was just wondering if anyone could recommend a couple trails in this area that we should try to hit. Right now, we've got a couple nights at Shadow Lake and will be staying a couple nights in Field, so if there is anything in those areas (hiking, for that matter too!) that is a must do, I'd certaintly appreciate the info!

cheers,
josh <------------about to marry an awesome biking partner!
Check the Canmore Gathering post above, it's chalk-full of ideas about rides in the Banff-Canmore area.

Also, buy the book "Backcountry Biking in the Canadian Rockies". It's considered the biking "bible",
 

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Believer in Darwin
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rockbender said:
Hi all!

My wife to be and I will be roadtripping through Banff/Lake Louise / Golden area next week for our honeymoon - Hooray!

I was just wondering if anyone could recommend a couple trails in this area that we should try to hit. Right now, we've got a couple nights at Shadow Lake and will be staying a couple nights in Field, so if there is anything in those areas (hiking, for that matter too!) that is a must do, I'd certaintly appreciate the info!

cheers,
josh <------------about to marry an awesome biking partner!
Hey there,
I just stayed about 5 minutes from Field, at Emerald Lake. I know there is a little trail from Field to Lake Emerald that starts across the street from the gas station on the Trans Canada Highway. I did ride from the Lake Moraine Trail from Lake Louise to Lake Moraine. That was a descent trail, about 7-8 miles each way. I was a little concerned about the grizz, and did see a bear not long after my ride had ended.
I didn't really find too much riding out that way. I did hike the Iceline Trail which starts at Tawkakwa falls, which is only about 10 km from Field. One of the best hikes I ever went on. Yoho National Park is really beautiful. Go give that hike a try. I will take about 7 hours to do.
I found that Banff Springs and Canmore were too far from Field to go and for a ride. If you find something more local, let me know. If you want to know more about the hike, let me know.
paz Afuera
 

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My wife and I just returned from a road trip up there - we were surprised to find that riding is allowed within the national parks. There is a nice trail that parallels the road to Moraine Lake - I think it was ~10k one way, really really nice single track, check in with visitor info for more detail. If you head further north, the single track from the town of Jasper to the Valley of the Five Lakes is pretty spectacular. We stopped off in Fernie on our way up - fantastic riding there too! Have fun.

rockbender said:
Hi all!

My wife to be and I will be roadtripping through Banff/Lake Louise / Golden area next week for our honeymoon - Hooray!

I was just wondering if anyone could recommend a couple trails in this area that we should try to hit. Right now, we've got a couple nights at Shadow Lake and will be staying a couple nights in Field, so if there is anything in those areas (hiking, for that matter too!) that is a must do, I'd certaintly appreciate the info!

cheers,
josh <------------about to marry an awesome biking partner!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks!

Thanks for the info, everyone!

Sorry about the delayed response here... I actually had to WORK at work yesterday! (lots of windshield time - blah).

The Canmore gathering thread is what gave me the idea to post the question here, because it is full of awesome info but no real specific locations of some of the trails. Anyway, I'll definately go pick up the biking book - that sounds like the ticket!

The specific trails you guys have described above sound like perfect little jaunts. Thanks for the beta on the Iceline trail hike - sounds great, paz!

much thanks, and hopefully should have some good photos here in a week or two.

cheers,
josh
 

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Believer in Darwin
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I did buy that book that Zonic Man refers to, but still the riding is limited in Banff Park, much like it is here at any National Park. At least that is the MO I felt. Though some local knowledge would have been nice. Banff Springs and Canmore are about 45 minutes to an hour from Field. Kind of a long way to go in all that wilderness.
I don't know what Golden has to offer, but a lot of locals told me that BC has a more lax view on mountain biking than ALberta, so there might be a lot more trails that way. Plus it looked really pretty from field.
Do the Iceline Hike all the way the Apline Club of Canada house. That is a loooong hike, amongst glaciers, icefields, moonscape, forests and waterfalls. I wished I was riding that day as we began the hike, but the hike was great I completely forgot.
My bad with the incoherent post I left above.
If you are really looking to ride, camp at Little Elbow CG in Kananaskis Country. There are a lot of world class trails around there that are refered to in the book. I did Powderface, Little Elbow, Jumping Pound, Cox Trail, and some others. Much more fun than Banff.
Paz Afuera
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Formica, we havn't checked out everything that Kicking Horse has to offer, but we ARE staying a night there, so that is worth checking out. Thanks for the tip!

Paz, I guess I am a little vague when I specify "Banff" - it is kind of like saying all of southern Cali is L.A. Thanks for the hike and ride recommendations - I'm going to print the thread out so I can match it up to the book when I get it. To be honest, I know we are going to have a fantastic time whatever we do, I just need to make sure I have a couple things planned so that we aren't wasting time looking for the cool stuff when we get there.
cheers,
josh
 

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I think this is a trail..
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Moraine Lake is a dandy ride, except that it is usually closed from mid July on due to bear issues. You will want to check with the Lake Louise info centre to see if you can actually ride it. Ross Lake is a nice alternative, it takes off from behind the Chateau Lake Louise and ends up at a pretty mountain lake.

Around Field I don't know of too much other than some fire roads. I have never been on them so you'll have to check the bible and see if there is anything interesting.

Regarding Shadow Lake: You can ride up Red Earth Creek fire road to the junction with the Shadow Lake trail but you have to park your bike there. You aren't allowed to ride up to Egypt Lake either, which is a shame because it used to be a beautiful ride. There is plenty of amazing hikes around the lodge, I'm sure the folks there can point you in the right direction.

The two other rides I would recomend are Minnewanka and Goat Creek/Rundle Riverside. Both can be done from the Banff townsite.
 

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My wife and I honeymooned there (well, part A - she didn't consider the honeymoon complete until we went somewhere tropical, but that's a different story). We rode Minnewanka and enjoyed it. Didn't make it all the way to the end, but the scenery along the lake is spectacular. Rode a second day, but I don't remember where. No real shortage of trails around there... just remember to stop at the ranger station every morning for the bear report!
 

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Don't worry, be happy!
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rockbender said:
Formica, we havn't checked out everything that Kicking Horse has to offer, but we ARE staying a night there, so that is worth checking out. Thanks for the tip!

josh
OK, you have to at least take the gondola up to the top and have a drink in the bar.
we've skied there, this photo does not do the view from the top justice.
 

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President, CEO of Earth
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Lake Minnewanka

I don't know if its still open to bikes, but look into riding at Lake Minnewanka. Its a trail that traces the edge of a large glacial lake. Its a long ride and I dont know if it can be a loop (maybe a long out-and-back only). The terrain is somewhat challenging. It is primarily singletrack with some steep climbs and low-traction sections. Also many opportunities for stopping for a rest on the shore of the beutiful cold green lake.

When I went a few years ago I shared the trail with a herd of bighorn sheep (not rare in Banff), and was eventually turned back by a lot of "bear in area" warning signs.
TN
 

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Believer in Darwin
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Banff

The Lake Moraine Trail was the best rode I found close to Field. I was told though that it was possibly closed due to berries fruiting and the grizz come down. Too many possible problems, so they close the trail. I was there 2 weeks ago, and they had already closed the hikes at Lake Louise(huge, huge, tourist trap, I hated it there) and were only allowing groups of 6 go at a time. It could possibly be closed now. I am almost positive.
I did think Lake Moraine was 100X more beautiful and scerene than Lake Louise. SO did my girlfriend. If you get a chance, that is the ride to do in that area.
Watch out for the grizz. Get a bell, I did.
Paz Afuera
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
We are definately looking to avoid the over commercialized tourist trap areas, so we won't be doing much more than driving through Banff and Lake Louise. Hopefully the griz won't be too active, but I'm glad that everyone brought that up so we didn't get caught up in the scenery and just start cruising out into the middle of nowhere! As the old saying goes, we'll be there with bells on!

This is a great start - sounds like we will have so much to see and do, I just didn't want to land right in the middle of it without a decent plan or two. Thanks so much for all your contributions!
 

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If you want to stay away from the tourist traps, I'd recommend spending some time in Kananaskis Country (east of Banff), and Waterton National Park. Good biking/hiking in K-Country. Good hiking in Waterton, not sure about the biking there, but great scenery in both places. Definitely worth a visit since you'll be in the area.
 

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ride your bike
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Hey man. My wife and I honeymooned in Banff last year, in the second week of July. We rode almost every day out of six. The most memorable rides were the Lake Minnewanka trail (long out n' back) and the Nordic Center in Canmore (where the 24 hr race is). Put a bear bell on your bikes and have a blast!
 

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First off, Congratulations & Best wishes.

I'm from Calgary and ride the Kananaskis & Banff area. I can recommend some nice trails in those areas for you and your honey. However, in order to recommend the right trails, a few questions;

What physical level are you & your (future) wife?
a. Low (We ride our bikes in the park once in a while)
b. Medium (We ride single track 1 - 2 times a week
c. High (We are in great shape and physically challenge ourselves 2-3 times a week)
(***Very Important***: My wife likes mountain biking but she is more of a beginner, she would divorce me if I took her to some of the more physically challenging trails mentioned in previous threads (Powder Face & Cox Hill)

What type of riding do you two like to do?
i.e. X/C, DH, Technical trails, Easy trails, Road

Technical ability?
a. Low (Big rocky sections & roots scare us) 2WD roads
b. Med (Enjoy rooty rocky rides) 4WD & single track
c. High (2 foot + drop offs, rockier the better) Where is the trail?

What kind of experience are you after
i.e. Scenery, challenging technical & physical, easy ride, isolation don't want a popular trail...

How long of a ride do you want?
5 miles, 10 miles, 15 miles&#8230;.

Where are you staying in the Banff/Lake Louise area and how far/long are you willing to drive to get to the trail head?

Tequila!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Tequila Joe, Thanks for the personalized trail search!

So, we are both mostly XC oriented, so would prefer trails with the rooty rocky technical trails, or smooth trails - not so much the big rock gardens / drops! Fitness level shouldn't be an issue - we're both in good shape and ride all the time. I think that for what we are looking at, we'd be good with anything between 2 miles and 15 miles.

For trail quality, I think that scenery is more important than trail quality, but good trails are always a bonus.

We are actually going to be north of Banff the entire time - I just think of Banff as a general area. Most of our time will be around Lake Louise (AROUND lake louise, not AT it!!!) and Field I think.

thanks a bunch - I'm getting really psyched to be hitting the road!
 
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