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First Time Visiting the Canadian Rockies

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by parafire, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. parafire

    parafire n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Uxbridge Ontario
    Recently got back from a 5 day, 4 night trip to Alberta to ride through the Canadian Rocky Mountains with my GF.

    I'm from Ontario and have never seen or ridden in the mountains before, this was also my first experience renting a motorcycle. I would have gladly taken mine but I only had 5 days and it would have taken a few days to just out there.

    My GF would be riding on the back so we elected not to camp. We only took one carry on each that would fit in each saddle bag and our helmets. No issues taking helmets on the flight.

    Overview
    Fly from Toronto to Calgary where we picked up a bike from Calgary Harley. Bike was a 2019 Ultra Limited with the 114 CI motor. I chose this bike because I have a 21014 Ultra Limited at home, I figured it would be somewhat familiar and we didn't plan on riding off pavement.

    The plan was to then ride to through the mountains following HWY 1/1A to Canmore and Banff, make a slight detour out to Field B.C. and then take the Ice Field Parkway to Jasper and then turn around and ride back.

    The adventure actually started the night before with an ER visit that lasted until 2am. Some severe abdominal pain (possible kidney stones) but thankfully it didn't delay the trip.

    Day 1
    Flew discount airline Flair, no issues, be warned you have to pay for carry on and its more expensive at the gate.
    Calgary Harley was great to deal with, picked up the bike and were on our way quickly.
    Rode 1A into Canmore.

    Went mountain biking at the Nordic Center, great trails and facilities, just be careful the showers and change area closes at 530pm but the rental shop is open until 6. We got locked out with our motorcycle gear (helmets) locked inside. Thankfully we were able to get the attention of a very helpful custodian who let us in.

    Checked into our hotel, Windtower Lodge and Suites.

    3 - Arrivng at Canmore.JPG Canmore
    5 - Canmore 2.JPG My Ride for the week JFJN0429.JPG MEGK7069.JPG TWNZ6995.JPG
    5 - Canmore 9.JPG
    #1
  2. parafire

    parafire n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Uxbridge Ontario
    Day 2
    Rode to Lake Minnewanka, nice ride and great views, hiked up to the Cascade Falls (didn't look that far or hard but it was more than expected)
    Rode up Mt Norquay (Mt Norquay Scenic Dr) which was a half down switch backs up the mountain with a great view of the town of Banff at the top.
    Rode up Tunnel Mountain, also a nice road with a great view.
    Checked out Bows Falls and took a scenic drive down the golf course road.
    After Banff we headed out to Field B.C., the ride was amazing (bigger roads but the view and elevation changes are great), had lunch and went to see the Takakkaw Falls (2nd biggest waterfall in Canada). The road out to it is also a great road with a couple switch backs (Yoho Valley Rd).
    Then headed back to the Ice Fields Parkway to The Crossing Resort, making a quick stop at Bow and Peyto Lakes.
    1 - Lake Minnewanka 6.JPG
    Lots of wild life
    2 - Cascade Waterfall 2.JPG Cascade Falls
    3 - Banff 11.JPG Bow Falls
    3 - Banff 18.JPG
    Downtown Banff
    3 - Banff 21.JPG
    Golf Course Rd
    4 - Mt Norquay Banff 2.JPG View point from Mt Norquay
    6 - Takakkaw Falls 10.JPG Takakkaw Falls
    6 - Takakkaw Falls 35.JPG
    Yoho Valley Rd
    7 - Bow Lake 2.JPG
    Bow Lake
    8 - Pyto Lake 10.JPG
    Peyto Lake
    #2
    wmfleet2 and glasshousebc like this.
  3. parafire

    parafire n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Uxbridge Ontario
    9 - The Crossing 10.JPG
    The Crossing
    #3
  4. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    20,954
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Great stuff. I love having it so close.
    #4
  5. parafire

    parafire n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Uxbridge Ontario
    Day 3
    Some rain throughout the day, stayed dry in rain gear but it was cold near the glacier (about -7 degrees c)
    Left The Crossing and continued along 93 Ice fields Parkway to Jasper.
    Made a stop at the Athabasca Glacier and a couple of waterfalls.
    Arrived in Jasper for a late lunch, went for a scenic horseback ride and then a Gondola and hike up the Whistlers Summit (8080 ft).
    Stayed at the Jasper Inn and Suites - had a motorcycle wash station! 1 - Glacier 3.JPG
    Athabasca Glacier
    1 - Glacier 6.JPG 2 - Tangle Creek 13.JPG
    Tangle Creek Falls
    3 - Sunwapta Falls 0.JPG
    Sunwapta Falls
    4 - Jasper 0.JPG 4 - Jasper 6.JPG
    Bull Elk
    5 - Skytram 2.JPG
    Gondola
    5 - Skytram 3.JPG
    View from about halfway up, Had dinner at the restaurant at the top
    6 - 93 0.JPG ELJD7427.JPG
    #5
    bomose, wmfleet2 and glasshousebc like this.
  6. parafire

    parafire n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Uxbridge Ontario
    JLNU8918.JPG
    View from Whistlers Summit
    PVLD9804.JPG
    Views from Whistlers Summit
    #6
    mike25 likes this.
  7. parafire

    parafire n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Uxbridge Ontario
    Day 4
    Headed East on HWY 16 to hike the Sulphur Skyline Trail, lots of wildlife and a tough hike but worth it for the views.
    Headed back toward Jasper and then back toward Lake Louise to our accommodations at Baker Creek
    1 - Sulphur Skyline 0000.JPG
    Black Bear walking up the road
    1 - Sulphur Skyline 0.JPG
    Mountain Sheep checking out the bike
    1 - Sulphur Skyline 10.JPG
    End of the trail (approx 10 km round trip)
    1 - Sulphur Skyline 11.JPG 1 - Sulphur Skyline 18.JPG 2 - Baker Creek 2.JPG Bow Valley Parkway (1A)
    2 - Baker Creek 5.JPG
    Baker Creek Mountain Resort - very nice place - no cell service and limited wifi
    2 - Baker Creek 22.JPG

    4 - 93 0.JPG
    Random Ice Fields Parkway Pics
    4 - 93 1.JPG
    #7
  8. parafire

    parafire n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Uxbridge Ontario
    Day 5
    Woke up early to get to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake - big crowds, but they do have motorcycle parking and are very accommodating to motorcycles.
    Lake Louise was great but y favorite was Moraine Lake and the Valley of the 10 Peaks.
    Stopped in Banff for lunch and some shopping before heading back to Calgary to return the bike and catch our flight home.
    1 - Lake Louise 14.JPG
    Lake Louise
    1 - Lake Louise 15.JPG
    Lake Louise
    2 - Moraine Lake 4.JPG
    Moraine Lake
    2 - Moraine Lake 9.JPG
    Moraine Lake
    2 - Moraine Lake 11.JPG
    Moraine Lake
    #8
  9. parafire

    parafire n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Uxbridge Ontario
    Overall a great trip, the views were amazing and the road conditions were great, much better than expected. I do have some video (GoPro) which I may post if I get some time to review it.

    Highly recommend it for anyone.
    #9
    studad and glasshousebc like this.
  10. glasshousebc

    glasshousebc Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Great pictures. Very fortunate to have this virtually on my doorstep.

    Glad you and your significant other had a great time.
    #10