Photo courtesy of Paul Zizka/Banff & Lake Louise Tourism
Bow Valley Parkway
The section of Alberta Provincial Highway 1A that runs parallel to the Trans-Canada Highway between Banff and Lake Louise is known as the Bow Valley Parkway. Developed as a scenic drive by Parks Canada, the road has a series of marked stops along the way with interpretive signage that provides meaning and context for points of interest; highlights include Johnston Canyon, Moose Meadows, the Castle Mountain Cliffs, and Morant’s Curve. The 51-kilometer (32-mile) drive only takes an hour, but the pull-offs—and the 60-kilometers-per-hour speed limit—make it a great day trip from Banff. Committed cyclists can tackle the ride from Banff to Lake Louise in a day, and while it is tempting to make a loop of it using the Trans-Canada, the latter is so busy that it’s best to stay on the Parkway for both trips, there and back.