Distance: 7 km
Time: 30 min – 1.5 hrs
Elevation Gain: 11 m
Elevation Loss: 11 m

Technical Rating: Beginner
Physical Rating: Easy
Season: May – October
Permit Required: Yes (Park Pass)

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A great family-friendly trail, the Bow River Loop is a relatively flat gravel trail which loops around the edge of the Bow River located near the village of Lake Louise. The loop is short, but a lot of fun for families with young kids or for folks looking for a scenic and pleasant cruise. Bow River Loop is typically one of the first trails to dry out in the spring, making this a great early season ride. When riding the loop please remember that you are in bear country. Carry bear spray and keep your eyes open. Bears are often spotted alongside this trail in the spring and fall, closing sections of the trail. Check the bikepirate.com Trail Report before venturing out to get the latest update on conditions and closures.

Accessing the loop is relatively easy from the Station Restaurant, located on Sentinel Road, where you’ll find plenty of parking and a trailhead map. Alternatively, you may access this loop from Wilson Mountain Sports located at the Samson Mall, if you’re picking up a bike to rent.

TRAILHEAD | N51 25.720 W116 11.325

Take Hwy 1 to Lake Louise. Exit on to Lake Louise Drive/Bow Valley Parkway and drive south to the four-way stop. Drive straight through the stop and turn right immediately after the stop sign to enter Samson Mall area to park. Alternatively, continue on to Sentinel Road by driving straight through the stop sign. Take a right (west) on to Sentinel Road and follow it to the parking area at the end of the road, next to Station Restaurant.


N51 25.493 W116 10.590 (Samson Mall)
N51 25.720 W116 11.325 (Station Rest.)

bikepirate rating: 2 Skulls

Trail options

Bow River Loop may be shortened by cutting across any of the bridges found along this route, looping back to your starting point. Alternatively, it can be extended by incorporating the short Campground Loop which literally loops around the Lake Louise Campground.