Canmore has a strong mountain biking community, attracting anything from veteran riders to the active cycling family. The mountain town has a vast network of beautiful trails that are well maintained and feature a variety of terrain. Here are our favourite mountain biking trails in Canmore!
Mountain biking in Canmore ranges from easy to extreme, and attracts seasoned mountain biking veterans while still pleasing more casual riders. A vast network of trails sprawls throughout the region, where riders can hit everything from mellow cruises to knee-numbing climbs.
You can cycle along more than 70 kilometres of immaculately maintained trails that meander through town – many sections are even paved. Several of these trails follow the beautiful Bow River, providing a scenic tour for the entire family.
If you’re more of an adrenaline junkie head to the Highline Trail for a pulse-racing descent or tackle some of the technical single-track at the Canmore Nordic Centre.
Providing further proof that Canmore is a true mountain biking town, there are two well-developed skills parks in the community that allow riders to perfect their technique.
The Millennium and Benchlands Mountain Bike Skills Parks span a total of 2,000 kilometres worth of logs, ladders and jump lines designed for all skill levels. In the summer, the Rundle Mountain Cycle Club helps youngsters improve their riding abilities by providing lessons at these parks.
Additionally, Canmore plays host to several intense competitive mountain biking events every year, like the 24 Hours of Adrenalin Mountain Bike Race in July, and Rundle’s Revenge in June. This sport is supported by a dedicated community of volunteers, further fostering the unique mountain biking culture in this Rocky Mountain town.
If you’re planning on doing some mountain biking in Canmore, check out our list of the area’s top trails:
LEVEL: EASY – EXPERT
The Canmore Nordic Centre hosted the 1988 Olympic Nordic events and is home to Canada’s National Cross Country and Biathlon Team.
The centre has world-class cross country skiing in the winter and over 100km of mountain biking and running trails in the summer. Despite it’s high flying legacy, the Nordic Centre is now oriented towards family use, with a variety of quiet forest trails and family-friendly facilities. It’s a real local gem.
In the summer, the centre is mostly used for mountain biking, trail running, hiking, orienteering, and disc golf (on a challenging 18 hole course). Choose from leisurely, double-track mountain biking trails or technical, single-track trails. In the winter, over 60km of trail is groomed and track set to accommodate both classic and skating techniques.
The Nordic Centre’s day lodge offers information, ski pass sales, washrooms, showers, a café and a warm spot by the fire to meet up with family and friends. Ski and bike equipment sales, rentals, instructions and guiding services are all available too, so you don’t have worry if you’re looking for rentals.
1988 Olympic Way
This world-class facility is only a 5 minute drive from downtown Canmore. Drive through downtown and continue up the hill, which will turn into Spray Lakes Road. Turn right at Olympic Way.
Zoom down the slopes of the Ehagay Nakoda Range on this exhilarating cross-country ride.
One of the most challenging routes in Canmore, the narrow and technical Highline Trail winds its way through the alpine forest. Breaks in the trees offer views of the surrounding mountain scenery that will leave you speechless.
The Highline Trail is popular and well maintained, so the difficult climb will be certainly worth the adrenaline-pumping descent. Hold on tight to your handlebars and enjoy the ride!
There are four different trailheads to choose from. Ride up to the Quarry Lake parking lot and ride south on the gravel road toward the mountain range and power lines. At this point, turn right for the Riders of Rohan entrance and left for the West Connector entrance. There is also an entrance from the middle of the turn-around in the east of the Peaks of Grassi community as well as a trailhead at the end of Three Sisters Boulevard.
Looking for an active way to spend the afternoon with the kids? The Riverside Loop is an easy ride that even smaller kids can do, and it includes handy playground stops for some diversion along the way.
This trail is partially paved and part compact gravel, which makes it easy for kids on runner bikes. Make way for the locals because this popular path is also great for pulling a bike trailer or for going on an evening walk or jog with a stroller.
The path follows the Bow River through the heart of town and although it just seems like a casual walk by the river, be sure to bring your camera because the views of the peaks surrounding Canmore are spectacular in the changing light through all seasons.
LEVEL: ADVANCED (DUE TO DISTANCE)
This fun ride passes through quiet forests over to Goat Creek from Canmore to Banff.
A locals’ ‘rite of passage’, this popular 18 kilometre trail is generally wide and smooth, making this a fun outing for groups of friends or families with older children.
Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it. There are lots of great places to stop along the way for snack breaks where you can lounge in the sun and take in the views of towering Mt Rundle. When you arrive in Banff, choose to either return directly to Canmore or head into town to grab an ice cream or a locally brewed craft beer at the Banff Ave Brew Pub before returning to Canmore.
The trick with this one is to either arrange to have a car waiting at the trailhead in Banff, near the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel or, arrange for the guys at Bikes and Hikes Shuttle to bring you back to Canmore after the ride. Another option is to return by bike along the Legacy Trail and catch a shuttle ride back up to the trailhead to collect your car. You may want to hold off on the beer until you hit Canmore if you choose this option!
From Canmore drive through downtown and up the hill past the Nordic Centre. Continue a few kilometres up Spray Lakes Road. Look for the Goat Creek Trail parking lot on your right, which marks the beginning of this ride.
We have an exclusive partnership with Canmore’s GearUp Mountain Sport and Rentals. We can offer our guests free bike rentals for kids under 12 with the rental of an adult bike. Find out more about this offer here.
We have a variety of Canmore vacation rentals, from hotel-style to fully-equipped condos. Call our highly knowledgeable Destination Experts who can answer any questions you may have about mountain biking in Canmore, or our accommodations. They’re available 7 days a week!