Day 1: Arrive in Nelson, either by road, or via the Castlegar Airport, where we’ll be there to pick you up. We’re staying at the newly renovated Hume Hotel and Spa, a beautiful hotel and Nelson landmark. Today we’ll make sure bikes are ready to go and enjoy a welcome dinner at the Library Lounge.
Day 2: After an early breakfast, we’ll jump in the van for the short shuttle to Balfour, where we’ll ferry across Kootenay Lake to the start of your introduction to the Kootenays – the climb of Gray Creek Pass. Averaging 8.9% over it’s 17km, you’ll have plenty of time to take in the incredible views of Mt Bonner, Snowcrest, and Evans before the rolling, 30km descent to picturesque St Mary’s Lake. Take a well-deserved dip in the lake and enjoy a cold brew and gourmet picnic lunch to celebrate your achievement. A short shuttle brings us into the quaint Bavarian mountain town of Kimberley, where we’ll enjoy dinner at the Old Baurenhaus, an authentic 1800’2 German restaurant dismantled in the Alps and reassembled in Kimberley! Ride details: 81km/2100m
Day 3: After a hearty breakfast in the ‘Platzl’ we hop on the bikes for what will be one of your favourite days of the tour. Departing Kimberley, we head south on the recently completed Northstar Rail to Trail. For it’s 27km length, you won’t have to worry about any vehicles, but keep your eyes open for horses, hikers, and other trail users. Just north of Cranbrook, we join the Chief Isadore trail, a gorgeous 44km multi-use trail showcasing what an engaged community can create. The 17km Mayook Trail section with its 1.5m wide enhanced gravel singletrack will blow you mind! Finishing our ride in the hamlet of Wardner, we have lunch lakeside before loading up for the short shuttle to the Bull Creek Guest Ranch. Dinner tonight is prepared by your guides and promises to deliver. Ride details: 72km/400m
Day 4: With two big mileage days behind us, today we dial back the distance, and dial up the fun! After a short shuttle to Elko, at the foot of the massive Elk River Valley, we ride 20km of forest service road along the Elk River to Morrisey, site of a 1918 internment camp turned ghost town where the only residents today are a majestic stand of ancient cottonwood trees. Leaving Morrisey, we continue 6km on gravel before turning into the Elk Valley trail network, providing close to 20km of swooping, rolling singletrack all the way into Fernie. Cold beers and comfortable beds await at the Snow Valley Lodge, our home for two nights. A hearty, homestyle dinner at The Brickhouse, one of Fernie’s legends, awaits. Ride details: 44km/700m
Day 5: Today we enjoy a well-deserved recovery day in Fernie. Boasting four great breweries, multiple spas, great restaurants, a vibrant village centre, and more outdoor activities than cities ten times its size, Fernie offers up an incredible day of exploring. Chat with us about the many activities on offer and we’re happy to organize an amazing side trip!
Day 6: Crossing the Divide. After a hearty breakfast, we shuttle to Elkford, where we bid farewell to civilization and start our ride north to Elk Pass. Following a combination of gravel road, double/single track and mountain trails, this long, gradual climb into a massive wilderness valley will take your breath away. With towering mountain ranges on either side of you, you’ll truly learn the meaning of isolation as we follow the Elk River to its headwaters, and the crest of the continent. After reaching the Divide, surrounded by 3000+m peaks, a 5km descent brings us to the aquamarine waters of the Kananaskis Lakes, and our destination for the day. Dare to take a dip in the glacial waters, or simply enjoy the view as we pop a bottle of bubbly and celebrate a truly unique and monumental ride. A short shuttle to Mt Engadine Lodge, where a soak in the outdoor hot tub awaits before a celebratory feast in the lodge’s award-winning restaurant. Ride details: 80km/1400m
Day 7: A fitting end to a spectacular trip, our final ride follows the idyllic Goat Creek and Spray River trails from the Spray Lakes down into lovely Banff. After a deservedly leisurely breakfast at the lodge, we load into the van for an hour-long shuttle to the Spray Lakes, high above Canmore. From the trailhead, 30km of gently descending gravel trail and double track follows the creek and river down a deep alpine valley, hemmed in the massive Rundle and Goat escarpments. We finish at the foot of the iconic Banff Springs Hotel, where we’ll stop for a drink to celebrate the completion of our journey on the Hotel’s legendary patio. A quick spin into Banff Village takes us to the four-star Canalta Lodge, our comfy mountain retreat and home for the night. Spend the afternoon strolling the village, or maybe soaking in the famous Banff Hot Springs before our final dinner at Block, a casual asian-fusion restaurant that critics are raving about.
Day 8: Sleep in, have a relaxed breakfast and then we’ll pack up and depart for Calgary and your flight home.