Photo Friday: Anna’s Canada Adventure

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August 11, 2015

The enthusiastic group before the 2,000m pass.

My name is Anna, a member of the Tripsite team and an enthusiastic explorer. In July, I had an opportunity to bike the Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Canmore, on the Jasper to Banff Bike Tour. The equipment was top-notch, the group was extremely friendly, and the food was amazing, but the highlight of this trip was the unforgettable/breathtaking/absolutely magnificent scenery. The photos speak for themselves...

Getting there:
Edmonton is the starting point. Being strategically located directly east of Jasper and connected by a major highway, Edmonton is the stopover for all adventure junkies and cyclists heading to the park.

The famous Lake Louise, gorgeous as ever! Jasper, Canada.
The famous Lake Louise, gorgeous as ever!

Cycling the Icefields Parkway:
Setting off on the bikes after the 4 hour slog from Edmonton to Jasper is particularly exhilarating, not even adding in the fact you are surrounded by the most impressive scenery in the world. The first day’s ride is around 35 miles with a few hills in between, enough to get your heart rate up and your legs burning for a few minutes. The first thing I noticed about the Parkway is although it can be quite busy at times; the shoulder is wide enough to cycle with general ease.
Anna and Dean biking Jasper to Banff.
Anna and Dean

Day 2 is the longest day of the itinerary, and includes the intimidating Sunwapta Pass – a 2,000m climb over 4-5 km. Yeah, it’s hard. But at the top you are rewarded with some pretty incredible views so you almost don’t mind. The Glacier Skywalk, a glass platform that juts out over the valley, is located at the top. Tickets normally cost around 20 dollars, but for cyclists it’s free (anyone that cycles up that hill deserves a free ticket).
Waterfalls
Tangle Falls, halfway up the Sunwapta Pass

Day 3 includes another difficult hill, the Bow Pass. It is twice as long as the Sunwapta and twice as hard, in my opinion. It ended up raining the whole day and getting down to 5 degrees C, making it downright miserable to cycle in. I’m sure this part of the trip is quite beautiful, although I didn’t see any of it because my glasses were covered in raindrops. We did finally make it to Lake Louise and the hotel did have laundry so wet clothes were dried and the day’s toils forgotten. PS, if you’re ever in this area go see Moraine Lake as well. It’s a few minutes drive from Lake Louise but totally worth it!!

Group photo right after a nice morning bike ride.
Group shot on the 3rd day.

Day 4 (LAST DAY!) was my favorite, I think. Getting off the Icefields, you ride on the much quieter Bow Valley Parkway. Surrounded by forest for the first several kms, it is quite peaceful. It is 37 miles from Lake Louise to Banff, but you’ll want it to be longer!
Typical views along the Icefields Parkway.

Typical views along the Icefields Parkway

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