mountain biking trails in jasper - bikers overlooking lake

Explore Jasper National Park’s Mountains by Bike

By <a>{authorName}</a> on {date} in Destination Lowdown

Jasper National Park is massive, covering 11,000km of pristine mountain wilderness. One of the quickest ways to explore all the beauty Jasper has to offer is by riding these mountain biking trails!

Jasper National Park is a large and beautiful park surrounded by snow-capped mountains and home to an array of Alberta wildlife. One of the best (and quickest) ways to take in as much of this enormous area as possible is by exploring the mountains by bike.
With almost 11,000 square kilometres within the boundaries of the park to cover, riders have a massive list of heart-racing trails to choose from. Each one offers a unique, and unforgettable, experience that will keep visitors coming back to tackle every trail.

Varied terrain that’s incredibly close

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National Geographic Photo

Although Jasper National Park is massive, many of the best mountain biking trails are within easy reach. In fact, there are more than 180 kilometres of singletrack trails that can accessed from the town of Jasper without the need for a vehicle.
From smooth singletrack trails to trails so jagged you might have trouble staying on your bike, Jasper serves up an enticingly diverse mix of mountain biking terrain.
You can be cruising on a mellow valley bottom trail and within minutes, find yourself pushing up a brutal climb or navigating over mud-slick roots. This fun variety gives mountain biking in Jasper its unique flavour.
So if this sounds like the kind of riding you’re looking for, check out our list of mountain biking trails in Jasper National Park.

Athabasca River Trail

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Eyfjord.com Photo

The Athabasca River Trail is a great ride for both experts and those new to mountain biking.
The loop winds mostly through forested areas, so the scenery isn’t quite as dramatic as other Jasper trails that climb high above the valley bottom. However, this trail does offer a relaxing ride that takes you alongside the picturesque Athabasca River.
The terrain offers some nice variety, plus the route isn’t quite as busy as more advanced spots along the Pyramid Bench trail system.
Starting at the Old Fort Point, this trail slips behind the Jasper Park Lodge golf course before serving up some steady climbs. The mountain biking route eventually joins the Maligne Lake Road but then returns to the trail along the river, cruising past the pretty Beauvert Lake and then Jasper Park Lodge again.
Directions
To get to the trailhead at Old Fort Point, exit the town of Jasper on Hazel Street and cross the tracks. Head across Highway 16, go to the next intersection and then turn left at the sign to Old Fort Point.
Details

  • Distance: 23km
  • Technical rating: Beginner/intermediate
  • Elevation gain: Minimal

The Overlander Trail

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Vern Dewit Photo

The Overlander trail is a historic 16km route in the eastern part of Jasper National Park that provides mesmerizing views of the Rockies. But keep your eyes on the trail: this singletrack can take you by surprise.
The path morphs with the geology of the area, shifting from scree-covered slopes to jagged rock and then heavily tree-lined terrain. It starts off fairly flat and mellow, curving in and out of the trees as you head to the historic Moberly’s Cabin.
After reaching the cabin, less experienced riders may want to head back and call it day. But those with advanced skills can push into difficult terrain. Get set for fast yet technical descents with steep climbs (and no switchbacks).
Many sections of this trail offer stunning views of the Athabasca River Valley, which makes some of the more leg-punishing sections of the route well worth it.
Directions
Follow Highway 16 heading east, turning right onto the Maligne Lake Road and then park at the sixth bridge picnic area. Veteran riders can certainly tackle this one as an out-and-back. But if you’re not up for putting in a full 32 kilometre round trip, you can park a second vehicle at the end of the trail near the Cold Sulphur Springs.
Details

  • Length: 16km
  • Technical rating: Intermediate/advanced
  • Elevation gain: 107 metres
  • Time: 4 hours

Mina-Riley Lake Loop

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Explore Jasper Photo

Mina-Riley Lake Loop is a well-traveled route in the Pyramid Bench Trail system that immediately rewards riders with views of lower Mina Lake after just two kilometres.
Following a steep climb, you’ll head along the north side of the lakes and then past upper Mina Lake. Afterwards, ride down an ultra-steep hill and you’ll soon be at the small but scenic Riley Lake. Turn around at the intersection with Trail #6 and return via the main trail turning left onto the fire road at Kilometre 7. A right turn onto the paved Pyramid Lake Road will lead you back down.
This is a fun and intense trail for immediate riders. However, it is one of the more heavily travelled routes – so it’s important to always watch out for hikers and other cyclists.
Directions
This trail starts right in town. The trailhead can be found at the Jasper Activity Centre Parking Lot, located at 303 Pyramid Avenue near the start of Pyramid Lake Road.
Details

  • Length: 9 kilometres
  • Technical rating: Intermediate/advanced
  • Elevation gain: 135 metres
  • Time: 1-3 hours

Wabasso Lake to Valley of the Five Lakes

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Brooke Campbell Photo

Wabasso Lake to Valley of the Five Lakes trail has one of the smoothest stretches of singletrack near the Jasper townsite. It also offers plenty of challenges.
Starting at the Wabasso Lake trailhead, riders weave through terrain that’s always changing: from mellow paths with some rocky sections to stunning ridgelines. Expect to encounter rollers and rough descents as well.
Once you’re cruising along trail 9a, which circles the Valley of the Five Lakes, you can take in sparkling views of these blue and emerald-coloured bodies of water. If you’re here in the summer, these little lakes provide a nice spot to cool off after a long, hot ride.
The trails around Valley of the Five Lakes are well-known, so expect to encounter hikers and horse traffic along the way. Set out extra early to beat the rush.
Directions
To start at Wabasso Lake, head south from Jasper on Highway 93 and turn off and park at Wabasso Lake. Start your ride from the parking lot heading northeast along trail 9, keeping to the left at the main junction just past Wabasso Lake.
Details

  • Length: 25 kilometres
  • Technical rating: Intermediate/advanced
  • Elevation gain: 1,177 metres
  • Time: 2-4 hours

Saturday Night Lake Loop

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Explore Jasper Photo

A popular trail among veteran riders, this route serves up sheer slopes and jagged terrain that’s later rewarded with some fun downhill sections.
No matter which end you start at, the Saturday Night Lake Loop (also known as the 20 Mile Loop) has you sweating right away with some steep and rocky terrain. Riding the trail clockwise, you start off with a gradual climb that quickly turns steep and technical near Minnow Lake. Some riders might even find it tough to stay on their bikes.
After crossing a bridge (watch out for rotten sections), you’ll get to enjoy one of the smoothest downhill sections of singletrack in the park. You won’t get to experience this fluid descent if you ride counter-clockwise, but you also won’t have to endure that brutally technical uphill terrain near Minnow Lake either.
No matter how you tackle this trail, you’ll be treated to stunning lake views of Caledonia, Saturday Night, Cabin and High Lakes.
Although you might see a few hikers at the beginning of this route, there isn’t normally a lot of foot traffic here.
Directions
The trailhead is located at the west end of Jasper just before the Cabin Creek subdivision. Then follow the trail leading from the parking lot.
Details

  • Length: 27.4 kilometres
  • Technical rating: Advanced
  • Elevation gain: 1,600 metres
  • Time: 4 hours

PLANNING A TRIP TO JASPER?

We have a variety of accommodations in Jasper with advantageous locations in the national park. Call our highly knowledgeable Destination Experts at 1.877.902.1616 and they can answer any questions you may have about the mountain biking trails in Jasper, or our fabulous selection of vacation rentals. They’re available 7 days a week!