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  1. #1
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    Apr 2006
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    Canmore/Banff Ride Recommendation?

    Hoping someone can recommend a Canmore/Banff area ride. I'm am driving from Calgary Airport to Panorama on Friday so am hoping to ride something en-route (headed to the Trans BC ride/race - stoked). Not sure how much light I'll end up with since I probably won't be out of Calgary until ~ 3 and will need to build my bike, I'm solo so hope to move through the airport shenanigans quickly.

    Ride wise - climb, descend - all good, probably three hours or less. Not looking for the gnarliest out there just fun ;-)

    cheers!
    Like I told my last wife, I never drive faster than I can see, besides it's all in the reflexes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Razors edge. A few km east of canmore. Trail forks will have it. You can combine jewel pass/prairie view to extend it and get the view in all directions

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  3. #3
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    Apr 2006
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    Sweet - thanks!
    Like I told my last wife, I never drive faster than I can see, besides it's all in the reflexes.

  4. #4
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    No problem. That's my fave and its also the closest to the highway(start at quate valley). The other 2 kananaskis classics (baldy pass, jumping pound/cox hill) are a 15-20 drive off the highway. Prospectors in exshaw is a fun trail only 10 minute off the highway(if you take 22x). In Canmore I like the highline trail(I go up 3 sisters side and drop down one of the downhills to the west to peaks/Corey lake), canmore nordic centre has some fun loops, if dry, but its confusing yo find your way around there for the first time(30 years later I still get indecisive with all the junctions). Banff has a bit of stuff around tunnel mountain but its built kind of strange so I'd say the classic upper/lower stoney sqaw is still the best(park by the timberline hotel, pedal up norquay road, upper stoney tech climb starts at the first parking lot on your right near the top of the pavement, descends down the other side on tight single track and connects to a fast fun dh on lower stoney and a quick pedal back to your car on the highway)

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Calgary
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    Sunset right now is 9:30pm.

    I would agree with Grinch's choices, only I would do Razor's/Jewel from the Barrier Lake/Dam (Kananaskis) side and that will only add about 20 min (10min per direction) driving time and 10 min pedalling time. This way you get the bigger climb done with first and have more energy for a very physical Razor's Edge, followed by the smaller climb and fast flowy dh back to the car.
    Park at Barrier Lake with its newly completed parking lot then:
    Prairie View climb (3 min hike-a-bike at the top) - Prairie View DH (look out for the blue pole on your right after about 5 min) - Razor's Edge - Highway - climb Quaite Valley - down Jewel Pass and then along the lake back to parking lot. First timer (one doing TransBC) might be 3 to 3-1/2hours.

    Otherwise in Canmore, Highline (underrated IMO-good because it keeps numbers low) is the go to. I always ride it as an out-and-back, start at the East end, climb up and along and go down what's called West Connector on Trailforks, combine either Reclaimer and/or Riders of Rohan (recommend RoR DH and then ducking out onto Highline so you skip the climb) and then traverse Highline back to the East end. I love it in both directions, keep in mind this is more 'trail' than 'enduro'. This can be as long or short as you want.

    Jumping Pound Ridge to Cox Hill would be THE 'classic trail' around here (old school ruggedness in a very scenic and fun way):
    Park at Dawson Trailhead - unfortunately without a shuttle you ride the gravel road 14km to Jumpingpound Summit Trail (1hr) - then back on Jumping Pound Ridge Trail and DEFINITELY Cox Hill Trail. Hard to gauge time but for a first timer, maybe 3.5hr? I do it in a little over 2.

    To recap:
    Option 1 (Razor's-Jewel) - Great climbs, great views, our most technical trail followed by a ripping DH (watch for hikers on Jewel)
    Option 2 (Highline) - Fun 'trail/downcountry?' riding with less climbing but still an effort
    Option 3 (JP-Cox) - Sadistic fun (punishing climbs and rough descents)

    And I say NO to Prospector or the Nordic Centre.

  6. #6
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    ^^makes total sense. Since razors has gone in I haven't done it with jewel pass , prairie view from the barrier lake side. That does sound better

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Calgary
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    Canmore/Banff Ride Recommendation?

    After all that and itís probably going to be raining Friday. The way the weather is looking this week (fuck, what a shitty season weíve been having), if you need to ride, Highline (including RoR and Reclaimer) is really the only trail in the area that can handle the wet.

    I enjoy a wet Razorís for some extra spice of wet roots but the climb gets greasy and Jewel Pass would be a no go.


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
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    if we get the rain, most of what is posted will be very slick roots/muddy trails.

    the first to dry out is usually banff tunnel trails. or lake minniwanka.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Creekside
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    I haven’t been on Jumping Pound, Cox Hill for years, and it was blown out back then, creeks running down the middle of the trail, climbing over rooty muddy disasters. Might be considered old school Rockies riding now, but it is really just the result of years of neglect, poor original routing/drainage and horse traffic. Both those trails used to be smooth, sometimes technical, but rideable on fully rigid bikes, views are still great, but that is the only reason to do them now. There are way better options for riding, unless you like the challenge of riding blown out trails. I’d almost suggest hightailing it all the way to Panorama and then get a ride in around there. Calgary airport to Invermere is around 3 1/2 hours, half hour to build your bike, light until 10:00.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2009
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    If it rains ^^^this. South facing stuff in banff canmore can be pretty good trail for a spin(Montane, g8 in canmore and tunnel, hoodoos in banff). Invermere will most likely be drier in that case. Looks like my Swansea has really developed nicely. Always was one of the favorites and they've expanded and dialed it in quite a bit

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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Calgary
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldereldo View Post
    I havenít been on Jumping Pound, Cox Hill for years, and it was blown out back then, creeks running down the middle of the trail, climbing over rooty muddy disasters.
    Enduro bikes have changed the game Itís become a favourite again, seriously.


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Well I might have to try it again, but I was on a 160 travel the last time and it was still an ugly mess.

    But I used to ride it when it was newly built, would have loved a modern bike on it back then, by the time I had a full suspension, with (wait for it) 3” of travel, it was already pretty much destroyed.
    Last edited by eldereldo; 07-04-2019 at 07:03 AM.

  13. #13
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    Apr 2004
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    I was on the crew who built all of those trails, the weren’t actually built that badly, but they were designed for hikers and horses, and due to budget cuts were left to decay for years, by which time the damage was done. Like so many of those more remote trails.
    Last edited by eldereldo; 07-04-2019 at 07:02 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tahoe City
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    626
    RAD - thank you for the recommendations, if it pours in the next couple days hope it clears late Friday you all get a ripping weekend of riding, i'll keep my eyes on the weather and get on my bike somewhere! FYI to anyone interested Canadian Outdoor Medical Consulting is running a Wilderness First Aid for mountain bikers at Panorama on Saturday and Sunday, I think there have been a couple recent cancellations so there may be spots open. https://canadianoutdoormed.com/wfa
    Like I told my last wife, I never drive faster than I can see, besides it's all in the reflexes.

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