OverviewA roller coaster of a trail beside a beautiful glacier lake. Typical Banff surroundings and an early / late riding season make this a popular trail. Do a 35km total ride to the ranger cabin and back, or continue to the end of the lake for 60km total...or even further through the Devil's Gap into the Ghost area for an over 100km tour!
Trail DescriptionThe trailhead is well marked and starts at the extremely popular Minnewanka boat launch area on the west side of the lake. Dodge the hikers during the short climb and enjoy the equally short scree slope descent.
past this point, there won't be many (if any) hikers so enjoy the scenery! The trail never deviates from what you see...endless singletrack that neither gains nor loses much elevation. Plenty of twists and turns, as well as little jumps keep you occupied.
After around 17km, you will come across a small ranger cabin. There is an excellent beach here to have some lunch and soak in the amazing Devil's gap view.
Most will turn around here for a 35km round trip, but the intrepid will continue on towards the end of the lake. Advanced riders only, as the track gets significantly rougher and more exposed, with often frequent deadfall.
The really serious will continue on through the Gap towards Ghost, however this ride is well over 100km and will require a car shuttle or an overnight stay in the backcountry.
Getting ThereDrive about 120km west from calgary on HWY-1 and turn north on the signed Minnewanka exit. The road continues for about 7km to a large parking area. The trailhead is on the east end of the parking area, at the west edge of the lake.
When to BikeMinnewanka is often open early for a mountain ride, sometimes late May to late october is rideable! There are occasional bear closures so be aware. Also on the weekends the staging area at the west end of the lake can get extremely busy, watch for hikers for the first 5km.
***The farther you ride into the trail, the farther into the backcountry and away from help! please be prepared for anything!***
17.5 ranger cabin
30 devils gap trail begins (end of lake)