Last Updated on July 6, 2020 by Irene Seto
There are so many adventures to be had in Banff and one you must try is by e-bike! E-bikes are an accessible and family-friendly way to take in the sights of Banff National Park (and get a little exercise too). With an e-bike, you’ll be able to pack a lot into a short bike ride, half-day or full day trip. Get ready to enjoy all the beauty that Banff has to offer by e-bike.
E-bike rentals at the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub
E-bike rentals in Banff are easily accessed at the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub. The rental shop is ideally located right on Banff Avenue. They provide a variety of e-bike options to fit all sizes. As a smaller cyclist, I’m always wary about borrowing bikes that won’t fit me. But the SkiBig3 Adventure totally had me covered with their Electric Step-through Bike! As e-bikes are a lot heavier than a regular bike, it’s important that you can easily control it when riding and stopping.
The Adventure Hub e-bike rentals are some of the most affordable fun you can find in town. 2-hour rentals start as low as $29! Save even more money by booking ahead online for 4-hour and all-day rentals. If you’re not sure what day you might want to bike, stop by the Adventure Hub to see what is available. Every rental also comes with a helmet, lock and map of suggested routes.
Tip: Bring your own bike helmet for your own comfort if you’d like. I’ve always been squeamish about wearing borrowed helmets (and this was even before a pandemic hit!).
Where to e-bike in Banff
This was our first e-bike adventure and we were excited to get started! E-bikes are allowed to be ridden on public roads and along the Legacy Trail within Banff National Park. With a 2-hour rental on hand, we decided to take the Tunnel Mountain Loop within the Banff town site.
From the Adventure Hub, it’s a quick jaunt up Buffalo Street to get to Surprise Corner. At this viewing point, you’ll get a great shot of the Fairmont Banff Springs, the town’s castle in the mountains.
So how did the e-bike feel? What I noticed right away is that the electric assist kicks in with the first pedal – zoom zoom! A digital keypad lets you easily change the electric assist speed from 1 to 5 for more of a boost. There are also regular bike gears that can be adjusted as well. You do still have to pedal the ebike to keep moving as the motor on the bike is just there to assist. However, I really noticed the difference going up hills and long stretches that I would normally tire out on my regular bike.
RELATED STORY: Tips for the lady cyclist
From Surprise Corner we followed Tunnel Mountain Drive. It’s a gentle inclining road that winds along a beautiful forested road. And the best part: no vehicle traffic which gave us the freedom to enjoy all the space for ourselves! Along the way we saw some deer frolicking through the woods and enjoyed the gentle breeze in the summer sun. We eventually connected to Tunnel Mountain Road and followed it to the Hoodoos Viewpoint.
TIP: When you get to the Hoodoos Viewpoint, lock up the ebikes at the bicycle rack and follow the trail up to see the sandstone formations up close. Several resting spots are available and makes for a great lunch stop while enjoying the Rundle mountain range and the Hoodoos.
Tunnel Mountain loop by e-bike
From here, we continued along Tunnel Mountain Road as the route turned north for beautiful views of Cascade Mountain. This stretch of road is also relatively quiet making for a peaceful ebike ride in the mountains. Eventually, we connected back west onto the Banff Legacy Trail to head back into town – all done in less than two hours.
Our first e-bike adventure in Banff is a fun success! There are tons of other e-bike routes to check out so we will definitely be e-biking again the next time we visit Banff.
If you have the time, consider a full-day bike rental! Many access routes in the national park like the Bow Valley Parkway to Johnston Canyon are closed off from vehicle traffic. However, you can bike in! E-bikes will let you visit these places quickly and easily – and you’ll likely find yourself enjoying these areas with few other visitors.
COVID-19 PREPARATION IN BANFF
Plan ahead and explore safely! Find more tips from Banff & Lake Louise Tourism.
- Make sure you have your parks pass!
- Parking in designated areas – enjoy free full day parking at the Banff Train Station, Fenlands Recreation Centre, Bear Street Parkade, and Central Park, all within minutes of walking to downtown.
- If you’re biking the Bow Valley Parkway or Lake Minnewanka loop, it’s best to park in town at the Banff Train Station or the Fenlands parking Lot.
- Many businesses are open, but may be operating differently. Call ahead or check their website before your visit.
- Bring your own COVID-19 kit: hand sanitizer, water and supplies as fewer services are available than normal (plus it’s more sustainable too).
#hosted: Thank you to the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub for providing e-bikes
and routes for our biking adventure.