Kananaskis Country and Canmore

Mountain Biking in the Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies are one of the finest places in North America for cross country mountain-biking! World-class Canmore Nordic Centre, Kananaskis Country and Banff National Park are right at your doorstep. Invigorating, challenging, inspiring and fun - a few words to describe the feelings conjured up by this sport for all ages.

This is truly Canmore's sport. We are proud of the vast trail network designated to the mountain biker throughout the mountains and the multi-use paved and groomed trail system on the valley floor. Professional mountain biking competitors, amateur enthusiasts and spectators, gather annually in this region to take part in the fun of numerous mountain biking events. For groups of friends and families with a love of this '2-wheelin' sport and the beautiful outdoors - this is the place to ride.

Bring your own gear or rent it locally. The Outfitters are plentiful and excursions endless...

Links of Interest
Kananaskis Trail Reports
Regularly updated trail reports for all of Kananaskis Country. Check this website before your trip for any warnings, closures and general trail conditions.
Banff National Park Trail Reports
Up-to-date trail reports for Banff National Park. Check this website before your trip for any warnings, closures and general trail conditions.
Bow Valley WildSmart
The Bow Valley Wild Smart program is a proactive conservation strategy that encourages efforts by communities to reduce negative human-wildlife interactions.
Bow Valley Mountain Bike Alliance
The Bow Valley Mountain Bike Alliance (BVMBA) is an association of mountain bikers who live mainly in Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise. Alliance members work with land managers on general issues relating to mountain bike use, particularly in Banff National Park (BNP) and the Canmore area. Many of these issues are related to environmental and wildlife concerns, as people and animals struggle to share the same physical space here in the Bow Valley. Other issues relate mainly to trail user conflicts and the growth of informal trails.

Popular Trails in the Canmore and Kananaskis Area:

Baldy Pass - North Approach Mountain Biking Trail

Difficulty Rating: Difficult
Distance: 19.2 km return. Elevation gain: 620 metres. Time: 5 hours return.
Location: From Canmore, drive 35 km east on Highway 1 towards Calgary to the Highway 40 exit and drive south into Kananaskis Country. The trailhead is 7.8 km. south to the Sibbald Creek Trail (Highway 68) and 1.5 km to the Lust Creek Day Use area.
Description: The demanding climb to Baldy Pass from the north is via dirt roads through trees. Their are great views once you reach the pass.

Stoney Trail Mountain Biking Trail

Difficulty Rating: Light
Distance: 31 km return. Elevation gain: 50 metres. Time: 5 hours return.
Location: From Canmore, drive 35 km east on Highway 1 towards Calgary to the Highway 40 exit and drive south into Kananaskis Country. The trailhead is 9 km. south at the Barrier Dam Day Use area.
Description: A leisurely ride on gravel and dirt roads with very little elevation gain. At the trailhead at the Barrier Dam Day Use area, cross the dam and head through an aspen grove to the powerline.

Ribbon Falls Hiking / Mountain Biking Trail

Difficulty Rating: Medium
Distance: 16.5 km return. Elevation gain: 300 metres. Time: 7 hours return.
Location: From Canmore, drive 35 km east on Highway 1 towards Calgary to the Highway 40 exit and drive south into Kananaskis Country. The trailhead is 23 km. south at the Ribbon Creek Day Use area near Kananaskis Village.
Description: The trail follows along Ribbon Creek up a narrow valley to a view of Ribbon Falls. The medium grade and several waterfalls has made it a great hike for families, with the first 4 km open to mountain bikes. There is a campground for those wishing to make this an overnight hike. 2 hours further (1.8 km / 200 metre rise) is Ribbon Lake, which also has a campground. Note: This section is extremely strenuous with 3 chains that you must haul yourself up a cliff with.

Skogan Pass - North Approach Mountain Biking Trail

Difficulty Rating: Difficult
Distance: 16.5 km return. Elevation gain: 670 metres. Time: 5 hours return.
Location: From Canmore, drive 7 km east on Highway 1 towards Calgary and use Alpine Resort Haven exit. The trailhead parking lot is 1.25 km, just before the Resort.
Description: 200 metres from the trailhead use the left trail to the powerline and take the road to 1700 metres where the trail climbs steeply from here as it moves away from the powerlines. You will enjoy the great views of the Three Sisters Mountain.

Canmore Nordic Centre Mountain Biking Trails

Difficulty Rating: Light to Difficult
Distance: Over 60 km of trails.
Location: From Canmore, follow the signs from downtown.
Description: Designed and developed for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, the Canmore Nordic Centre offers you exhilarating cross-country outings on over 60 kilometres of world-class cross-country and biathlon trail systems. The trails are designed to meet international Nordic competitive standards, with a variety of challenging terrain to please skiers of intermediate or advanced skill, with some novice trails as well. Trails are groomed and trackset to accommodate both classic and skating techniques on the same trail. A 2.5 kilometre track is illuminated for night skiing. A Day Lodge offers a relaxing atmosphere, enhanced by the large stone fireplace, comfortable seating, and picture window views of soaring Mount Rundle.

Mt. Shark Mountain Biking Trail System

Difficulty Rating: Light to Medium
Location: From Canmore, drive 39 km south on the Smith-Dorrien / Spray Trail (Highway 742 - gravel road) which begins just past the Canmore Nordic Gentre.
Turn right 5 km. to the Mount Shark parking lot, where you will find the trailhead.

Goat Creek Mountain Biking Trail

Difficulty Rating: Light
Distance: 18 km to Banff. Elevation gain: Minus 300 metres. Time: 3 hours one way.
Location: From Canmore, drive 9 km south on the Smith-Dorrien / Spray Trail (Highway 742 - gravel road) which begins just past the Canmore Nordic Gentre. Turn right into the parking lot, where you will find the trailhead.
Description: This is an exciting ride on a gravel and dirt doubletrack that is mostly downhill all the way to Banff. Leave a vehicle in Banff and another at the trailhead to make this is an easy ride for the novice or the whole family.

Karst Spring Mountain Biking / Hiking Trail

Difficulty Rating: Light
Distance: 9.5 km return. Elevation gain: 200 metres. Time: 3 1/2 hours return.
Location: From Canmore, drive 39 km south on the Smith-Dorrien / Spray Trail (Highway 742 - gravel road) which begins just past the Canmore Nordic Gentre. Turn right 5 km. to the Mount Shark parking lot, where you will find the trailhead.
Description: This trail leads to Karst Spring where boulders and driftwood are covered with bright green moss. The gentle elevation gain makes this hike a favorite with families, and the cool air near Karst Spring is appreciated hot summer days. The first 3.6 km. are open to bicycles. Walking on the road leads you through the Mount Shark Trail System into the forest above Watridge Lake where a short descent puts you at the shore of this lake known for it's trout fishing (don't forget your licence). Then follow the boardwalk and climb the trail along the creek to where Karst Spring bursts out of a rock face. The spring drains from passageways between limestone layers of Shark Ridge creating a karst formation. Snow and rain water seep into cracks and dissolve the rock, creating tunnels from which streams begin.

 


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