Feb 03

Join us to ride Jaspar to Banff

by in 2013 Trips

EDITORS NOTE: This tour has been postponed due to our bike crash on Memorial Day, 2013. Sheila fractured her hip and won’t be riding at all this season! As of 3/1/2015 we have decided to do a different version of this trip with Cycling Escapes.

This is a route we’ve yearned to ride for a long time. The logistics are complex and the commercial tours are spendy. At first we thought we’d do it with Cycle America who we did our cross country trip with. Their dates don’t work for us and it was way more than we wanted to spend. Long ago we bookmarked this tandemist’s detailed tour description thinking we could do it ourselves.

Eventually after considering many options we’ve settled on doing it with Mountain Madness Tours. They are based in BC and have a lot of experience. They will carry all our gear and provides support each day. The trip includes your choice of primitive hostels or expensive hotels as well as transportation back to your car at the end. We’ve worked with them to create our own ETC tandem tour. Since we’ll already be in Bellingham for this year’s NWTR we thought we’d just piggy-back this tour onto the rally. The challenge is that the accommodations up there are limited and get booked quickly. We still need to find two more couples as soon as possible but we have gone ahead and booked the tour.

Please look this over and let us know if you have questions or are ready to sign up.
There’s only room for 8 people, so 2 more tandems can join us on this great adventure.
What follows is the proposed itinerary. Your input is welcome.

Sunday, July 7

Group drives from US to Jasper (approx. 8.5 hrs from Bellingham). Stay in Jasper for the night at Beckers Chalets

Monday, July 8: 24 miles

hostelBen meets group in Jasper mid-morning, shuttle cars to Hostel car park a few minutes out of Jasper. Pass by Jasper Park Lodge and Lac Beauvert on the way. Stay at HI-Athabasca Falls for the night. This is a wilderness hostel with limited creature comforts – no running water, no showers, and no flush toilets. They do have purified water for cooking, a refrigerator, stoves, and solar-powered lights.

Tuesday, July 9: 68 miles

After a steep, winding climb we stop for lunch around Tangle Falls rest area then continue down to the Columbia Icefields. We then climb up to the top of Sunwapta Pass, down a nice steep hill and along some flats and rolling hills to HI-Rampart Creek where we stay the night.

Wednesday, July 10: 58 miles

banff-jasperToday we ride past Saskatchewan River Crossing then up hill again to the top of Bow Summit (highest point on the Icefields Parkway). From here it is all down hill past some spectacular lakes, rivers, glaciers and mountain peaks all the way to Lake Louise to the HI-Lake Louise Alpine Centre. This hostel is quite a bit fancier than the wilderness hostels and is a great place to relax after completing the most challenging part of the ride. Lake Louise is just down the road and is a great place to stretch out the legs during a stroll around the lake later in the afternoon.

Thursday, July 11: 37 miles

The last day of riding is a mixture of flats and gentle rolling hills along the Bow Valley Parkway towards Banff. Depending on the group and the time available on the day we can extend this ride past Banff to Canmore. We pack up the bikes and luggage and drive back to Jasper (approx. 3 hrs) and stay again at Beckers Chalets.

Friday, July 12

On your own to stay as long as you like or drive straight back home.


  • Price per couple:  $1200 inc tax.
  • National park entry fee’s per vehicle is about $100 for 5 nights parking. You will have to pay this as you enter the national park near Jasper on the first day.
  • Price doesn’t include food. The group is responsible for food purchase and preparation of main meals during tour. They will set up prepared food and snacks at various points during the ride. Each accommodation includes a kitchen and has access to either onsite or relatively nearby restaurants.
  • Hotel supplement: add about $500 per couple for 3 hotel nights.

8 Responses to “Join us to ride Jaspar to Banff”

  1. From Thyce:

    What a beautiful and enticing presentation. We have signed up for rides that weren’t nearly as well presented as this. I only wish we could join you. I can’t wait to read all about this trip.

    Posted on Feb 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm #
  2. From Jim G:

    In another lifetime, many, many years ago, I spent a whole summer driving a limousine between Jasper and Banff. The hills are ‘enthusiastic’, the proposed distances are extensive, but the scenery is absolutely spectacular. Enjoy!

    Posted on Feb 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm #
  3. From Ben & DeeDee Rixe:

    Hi there – we are very interested in doing this trip with you guys. Is there still room? We are a a bit confused on some of the logistics but would like to plan to go. Just trying to figure out if this will be a camping sort of supported tour or do we carry all our own stuff or will we be shuttling cars daily…?

    Still it sounds beautiful and we were looking for something just about this long in terms of days in July.

    Let us know! Thanks –
    Ben & DeeDee

    Posted on Feb 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm #
    • From S2Cycle:

      Hey there! We were literally just about to give up on finding anyone when your message arrived! Do you think you can help us find two more couples to lock this in? Maybe another message on the ETC list serve and Facebook page from you would have more pull than ours did?

      The company carries all our gear and provides support each day. The trip includes your choice of primitive hostels or expensive hotels as well as transportation back to your car at the end. It’s very well orchestrated.

      The challenge is that the accommodations up there are limited and get booked quickly. We need to find two more couples asap to book the tour. Feel free to email us directly if you have any ideas and/or send folks to our webpage about the trip.

      Sheila & Spencer

      Posted on Feb 17, 2013 at 7:32 pm #
  4. From Ben & DeeDee Rixe:

    OK – why don’t you add the above to your description and let me know when updated. I’ll repost on the ETC FB site, and also distribute via the board. I’ll have to ask if I can send a note to the entire distribution list but I will do it! People will want details before committing, like the above, and when you need deposit or full payment, etc. that kind of thing you know. We thought you guys had organized it alone – so thanks for the clarification!

    We met some really great riders in Victoria that might be interested too – I’ll send them a note.

    I hope we get people! sounds cool for the price.

    Posted on Feb 17, 2013 at 7:41 pm #
  5. From linda kanter:

    This sounds wonderful….. I guess…skip N.W. Rally and go to Baniff???? I check with hubby tonite.

    Posted on Feb 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm #
    • From Spencer:

      Linda, That sounds exciting. Let us know as soon as you can. We need to get hopping on the reservations.

      Posted on Feb 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm #
  6. From Kevin:

    My wife and I would be interested, is there more detailed contact information to learn if you have found participants or are still looking?

    Posted on Feb 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm #