Distance: 13 km (return)
Time: 1 – 2 hrs
Elevation Gain: 202 m
Elevation Loss: 202 m
Technical Rating: Beginner
Physical Rating: Moderate
Season: June – October
Permit Required: Yes (Park Pass)
Pipestone is a narrow doubletrack trail ridden as an out-and-back. The trail parallels the Pipestone River from about the halfway point, ascending into the Pipestone Valley. It is located just north of Lake Louise and may be ridden to directly from town. The route travels along the doubletrack deep in the forest for the length of the trail, with periodic views of the river found beyond the halfway point. This is a great trail for families or for beginner riders looking to explore Lake Louise on two wheels. Pipestone is a pleasant ride with moderate elevation gain all the way to the turnaround point. Please note that no biking is permitted beyond the bike turnaround at the 6.5 km mark.
The trail may be accessed directly from Lake Louise Village via bike, or one can drive to the Pipestone parking area. Pipestone begins up the gravel path to your left directly from the car park right after the gate. Ride up the doubletrack past the first Pipestone Number 20 marker to the second Pipestone 20 marker. Turn left onto the well-used narrow doubletrack, Pipestone 20, and continue on up. From here it’s a straightforward ride to the turnaround point. Important route finding note: if using the Parks Canada map, it highlights Pipestone as being number 8, when in reality you will need to follow number 20 to properly navigate this route.
Not far from the trailhead, an 800 m side trail offers a short, sometimes muddy, trip to Mud Lake. This is a great side trip if you’re looking to explore the picturesque area. Watch out for hikers and equestrians on this well-used trail and travel in groups. Remember to carry bear spray and make lots of noise, as this area is frequented by bears, especially in late summer during berry season.
TRAILHEAD | N51 26.012 W116 11.123
Ride: Start in Lake Louise Village and ride south on Lake Louise Drive to Village Road. Continue west (right) on Village Road to the start of the bike path. Ride the pathway across the pedestrian bridge over the highway and turn right at the end of the path and onto to the road. The parking area for Pipestone is 50 metres ahead to your left.
Drive: Take Hwy 1 west just past the Lake Louise turnoff (exit), taking the Pipestone exit. Park at the Pipestone car park and begin your ride up the trail.
bikepirate rating: 3 Skulls