15.7 miles
Distance
1,142 ft
Climb
-1,149 ft
Descent
4,887 ft
High Point

Ride at your own risk, especially on Topp Notch and the Toe

- Take the Hoodoo trail off of the Hoodoo parking lot towards
- Take to the Condo/Store areas to get to Star Wars/Topp Notch
- Take Top Notch to Return of the Jedi back to the top of Star Wars
- Go down Star Wars to Return of the Jedi
- Second loop of Return of the Jedi will cut out behind the condo units to the road
- Connect to Banff Ave Trail
- Go to the end of Banff Ave to connect to Coastline
- From there, connect with Stinky D
- At the end of Stinky D, go left for the Toe
- The Toe actually continues down further around the bend of the river
- Follow the lower Toe to get back onto the lower Toe and to Super G
- Go up Super G to get back up to the top of Tunnel to parking lot

Detailed Description
Banff Big Toe Loop is a 16 mile popular intermediate route located near Banff Alberta. This mountain bike primary route can be used one direction and has a moderate overall physical rating. This route includes 11 trails. This route climbs 1,142 ft with a max elevation of 4,887 ft then descends -1,149 ft.
Local Trail Association
Local trail association
Bow Valley Mountain Bike Alliance (www.bvmba.org)
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40 Reviews & Comments

  • + 1
sendsome (Sep 19, 2022 at 0:57)
Trail Topp Notch
Rode it 11th of September, all good Nice trail with some variability.
Full run, top to bottom in one run, on YouTube: youtu.be/iUfo5nOechc
[Reply]
  • + 0
wbrown1 (Aug 13, 2022 at 15:34)
Trail Topp Notch
Rode today. I bet there was 25 downed trees across the trail. Very very dry conditions as well.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Aargon (Jul 3, 2022 at 15:45)
Trail Star Wars
Well built flow trail. The whole trail rides nicely together with a mix of berms, tables, wooden features. Could session this multiple times and have fun. We rode this trail then climbed back up to do top notch, which is quite different. If you are looking for smooth flowy riding stick to Doing laps on this trail.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Aargon (Jul 3, 2022 at 15:41)
Trail Topp Notch
Fun old-school trail. Mostly technical climbs more than technical downs. Fun rock garden and bridge sections. Some fun flow sections. More of complete ride than Star Wars, which is a quick berm and jump trail.
[Reply]
  • + 0
fathomtrials2you (Jun 26, 2022 at 12:54)
Trail Topp Notch
One hell of a trail. Will defiantly be riding again on my next trip to Banff.
[Reply]
  • + 0
ertman (Jun 1, 2022 at 17:03)
Trail Topp Notch
This trail is 80% fun blue trail, 19% hard blue trail for the technical climbs, and 1% black for some very tight loose and rocky corners. Loose dusty rocky bits will sneak up on you, so don't get lazy thinking it's all blue!

If you can't easily ride the uphill entry stunt, to you are not going to have a good time!
[Reply]
  • + 0
Jkill277 (Oct 26, 2021 at 7:59)
Trail Topp Notch
For how much of a climb it was to get up there I was expecting a downhill trail. I’d call this an XC trail personally. As soon as you think it’s time to drop the seat post and cruise for a bit the trail goes right back uphill again… Not a fun trail if you’re a DH junkie like me who only climbs in order to ride down.
The features are pretty easy, I’d call it a blue and it’s scenic. That’s about it.
[Reply]
  • + 0
AchillesRider (Sep 22, 2021 at 9:09)
Trail Topp Notch
Loved this trail. Rode it twice, wet and dry. I would not say it is a black one but the ups and downs require some endurance and a newbie would maybe not have too much fun on the downhill. Anyway there is nothing dangerous. It is a fast track with great curves. Really loved it, great building. Would start with the StarWars downhill and then pedal everything up in one turn. Feels somehow less exhausting than climbing it after the end of the trail. I was on the campground and finished my loop after this track with the trail running down into the canyon, which leads via a smooth uphill (besides one section) back to the campsite!
[Reply]
  • + 0
Dugit (Sep 13, 2021 at 21:09)
Trail Topp Notch
Ok
[Reply]
  • + 0
patricknoel (Aug 23, 2021 at 13:10)
Trail Topp Notch
Same thing as BrentZombie said previously…
Plus, the wooden and rock features are cool, but the wood gets very very slippery when just a little wet. Asphalt clapboard would be very useful for that. Requires very good climbing skills and good downhill skills.
[Reply]
  • + 0
duncm (Aug 14, 2021 at 22:08)
Trail Topp Notch
Should be considered a must ride trail. A number of the features are after a switchback, so you ride towards them before turning onto the TTF.

Such a great well conceived approach. Sight lines are great. Incredibly fun trail.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Krawczukj (Sep 25, 2020 at 18:18)
Trail Topp Notch
Just did this with my 17yr old son, him on a Giant Trance XL and me at 44yrs on a Giant Reign XL. Absolutely amazing trail. Thank you builders. The climbing switch backs are tight on these big bikes but with your corner hops it’ll help with the climb. So much fun and a gob of pucker points. Look ahead as your coming out of the switches when going down and you’ll book it.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Mysterious1818 (Aug 28, 2020 at 10:46)
Trail Star Wars
The features were built well and are so much fun! I immediately went for a 2nd round to catch some of the ramps I missed the first go around. Some of the features can look intimidating for less experienced bikers like myself, but you should absolutely give them a go cause they're doable.
[Reply]
  • + 0
cowanjt (Aug 23, 2020 at 18:32)
Trail Star Wars
Beautiful mini park feature trail with smooth sweeping berms that aren’t beaten to a pulp like most other trails this year. Ride this in combination with Topp Notch and you’ll experience everything enduro/XC riding has to offer on 2 short fun laps
[Reply]
  • + 0
cowanjt (Aug 23, 2020 at 18:29)
Trail Topp Notch
Coming from an Enduro/DH background this feels like what I’d imagine from an Olympic XC race course. Amazing technical trail, requires 50% cardio 50% bike skill. Great opportunity to work on a wide range of bike handling
[Reply]
  • + 1
Boss4291969 (Aug 2, 2020 at 13:13)
Trail Topp Notch
I rode this trail yesterday, the most challenging part is the rocky climb after the first decent. As most have pointed out, it is a blue trail with maybe one or two black features.

Or XC Black Or DH green...
[Reply]
  • + 1
Rebecca1712 (Jul 19, 2020 at 19:34)
Trail Topp Notch
Amazing trail, more like a dark blue tho. Very fun and well built
[Reply]
  • + 0
riddell30 (Jul 10, 2020 at 13:07)
Trail Star Wars
Fun loop. It should be counter clockwise only for fun and safety. Clockwise Bikers were getting annoyed by down hill riders flying down but it's silly to ride up a trail where all the jumps are pointing at you, non?
[Reply]
  • + 0
Andykmn (Jul 7, 2020 at 20:33)
Trail Topp Notch
Ahhh. I forgot to kiss my brakes tonight to see if it is a blue or black! Probably can't do that anyway with covid. I'm sure resin pads have it impregnated in them.

Fun trail, someplace between a blue and a black. I've ridden harder blues and easier blacks. So mash the words together. Either it's a Bl-ue or a bl-ack. Huh, that isn't helpful.

Unbelievable the amount of work put into this trail. Whatever color it is, bravo!
[Reply]
  • + 1
BitterOldMan (Jan 12, 2020 at 12:41)
Trail Topp Notch
I have a logical answer to the philosophical question that Topp Notch trail poses...
Can a trail be rated a Blue and a Black Diamond at the same time?
Field Test and interpretation of results...
Run the trail as quickly as you can. When you reach the junction with Star Wars trail STOP and press your lips onto your front brakes. If you can hold them in place congratulations you have just ridden a black diamond trail if you cannot you just rode a blue diamond trail.
I hope that you find this information helpful.
[Reply]
  • + 1
stebb (Sep 28, 2019 at 18:49)
Trail Star Wars
This trail had been improved a great deal in the late Summer, its getting better everytime and new routes appear to be marked out in the lower section where some of the corners are tired. Thanks for all the work BVMBA have and are doing here!
[Reply]
  • + 0
98teg (Jul 25, 2019 at 22:08)
Trail Star Wars
Just rode this a couple of days ago, layout looks differnt than the last time. I did come accross a heard of elk, had to cut the ride short.
[Reply]
  • + 2
BrentZombie (Jul 15, 2019 at 12:40)
Trail Topp Notch
Although it is probably the best trail in Banff, I have to say its overrated. I cannot say there's "flow".... simply look at the map, its nothing but zigzaggs. The extremely tight turns arent berms either really... they're just super tight corners. Some of the terrain it goes through is so beautiful, and there are nice sections, I just think its a a little overrated. I feel like they were trying to pack too much trail into a small space. Prospector in Exshaw or any trail at the Nordic center is more enjoyable than this Smile I'd like to see Banff have more trails!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
MLeier (Jun 23, 2019 at 11:46)
Trail Topp Notch
Wow! This trail is definitely top notch! Such an amazing feat of trail building. This trail is so much fun. It winds up and down and all around the side of the mountain lots of great switch backs going both up and down. Lots of really nice wooden features that are wider and not too scary. This is definitely my new favourite trail. Kudos to the amazing trail builders and maintainers! Thanks!
[Reply]
  • + 2
mackg KBRA (May 23, 2019 at 10:17)
Trail Topp Notch
Fun trail that has great bang for your buck as there are some mini-ascents to re-gain the vert. I would say it's a blue trail with a few black sections. Climb out via the blue trail is also very reasonable.
[Reply]
  • + 3
mackg KBRA (May 23, 2019 at 10:16)
Trail Star Wars
I would not describe this as a tough blue. It starts with a descent that has good flow, nice berms, and a handful of cheese wedge jumps. Short and sweet. The climb back up as also very well laid out and not a savage grade. Would highly recommend sessioning and I think this is a standard blue if anything.
[Reply]
  • + 0
aSliceofSam (May 6, 2019 at 14:50)
Trail Star Wars
What a killer climb after the descent. I re-did some bits because I didn't manage to get up the first time with out putting a foot down.
[Reply]
  • + 0
IanChick (Sep 12, 2018 at 6:38)
Trail Star Wars
Sessioned early morning, great track, wood ttf's could do with a bit of metal mesh on them, especially the wall, as really greasy, but dried during the day and speed picked up.
[Reply]
  • + 1
advocate (Jul 7, 2018 at 12:04)
Trail Coastline
Rode Coastline last week and it's in great shape. The new optional line known as High Rollers is a blast!
[Reply]
  • + 1
advocate (Jul 7, 2018 at 11:38)
Trail Topp Notch
Rode Topp Notch last week, and it was riding very well esp the top third which had just been scrubbed by the BVMBA guys. Be sure to turn right at the bottom and check out the new exit down to the valley floor. It’s a beauty!
[Reply]
  • + 0
AndrewDe (May 4, 2018 at 22:07)
Trail Coastline
All dry
[Reply]
  • + 0
MLeier (Oct 6, 2017 at 12:32)
Trail Star Wars
My first comment was supposed to say flat part, not fat.
[Reply]
  • + 0
MLeier (Oct 6, 2017 at 12:31)
Trail Star Wars
We found this to be a tough blue. Not for the faint of heart and would not take our 8 and 10 year olds on it even though they have ridden many other blues with no problem. Going clockwise around the trail, there are a lot of very, very tight turns in the downhill section, the fat part was pretty fun and then a long, long twisty uphill. If you want to hit the technical features like the ramps, drops and jumps, take the trail counterclockwise.
[Reply]
  • + 1
DizzyNinja (Sep 10, 2017 at 21:00)
Trail Topp Notch
Awesome trail. It's more like a dark blue. Been twice on weekends n wasn't "crazy" busy.
[Reply]
  • + 1
gpeden (Aug 31, 2017 at 12:55)
Trail Coastline
A bypass around the new and substantially more challenging section has been constructed. It will be nicer in the winter. Thanks!
[Reply]
  • + 0
Deinarson (Jul 30, 2017 at 12:55)
Trail Coastline
A good beginner trail where you can start to focus on your flow and not just on pedaling. It's a fun way to get off the multi use trails and start to experience the corners rocks and roots that mountainbiking has to offer.
[Reply]
  • + 1
gpeden (Jul 23, 2017 at 22:20)
Trail Coastline
Beware that a short section of the trail has been modified towards the end if travelling CW. It is substantially more challenging, steep, narrow, on a side slope. Sorta ruins it for the novice rider, maybe winter riding.
[Reply]
  • + 1
traviswbrown82 (Jun 11, 2017 at 21:04)
Trail Topp Notch
A must ride for the intermediate to advanced rider. Non stop adrenaline till its done. Crazy busy on the weekends. Recomends : warm up before running it
: weekdays are free anytime
[Reply]
  • + 1
EngiAli (May 14, 2017 at 17:46)
Trail Coastline
While technically fairly easy, many sections ride very close to the edge of the bench (aka falling off tunnel mountain). Not recommend for young or unsteady riders or anyone afraid of heights.
[Reply]
  • + 1
northshoregurl (Apr 1, 2017 at 21:04)
Trail Topp Notch
I rode this trail a couple of years ago while on a trip to Banff. It was one of the best trails I have ever ridden!! Blew my mind!
[Reply]





Trails in Route

Details

  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Other Activities
    • E-Bike
  • Difficulty rating
    Blue
  • Route Type
    Loop
  • eBike Allowed
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
    Moderate
More Stats for Banff Big Toe Loop mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    4,462 ft
  • Altitude start
    4,651 ft
  • Altitude end
    4,646 ft
  • Grade max
    -31%
  • Grade min
    26.7%
  • Distance climb
    7 miles
  • Distance down
    5 miles
  • Distance flat
    5 miles
Avg: 5 (1 votes)

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youtuber Banff's Best Mountain Bike Trails (Topp Notch...
Banff's Best Mountain Bike Trails (Topp Notch And Star Wars)!
trail: Topp Notch
9:26 | 447 | comments: 0 | favs:
Aug 24, 2021
Return of the Jedi at Tunnel Mountain
Return of the Jedi at Tunnel Mountain
5:44 | 6 | comments: 0 | favs:
Sep 22, 2022

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

statustraildateconditiondescription
Star Wars
Sep 12, 2022 @ 1:17pm
Sep 12, 2022
Clear and dry, some corners are getting loose. Watch for braking bumps on the higher-speed corners.
Topp Notch
Sep 12, 2022 @ 1:17pm
Sep 12, 2022
Clear and dry, some corners are getting loose. Watch for braking bumps on the higher-speed corners.
Return of The Jedi
Sep 12, 2022 @ 1:17pm
Sep 12, 2022
Clear and dry, some corners are getting loose. Watch for braking bumps on the higher-speed corners.
Coastline
Aug 30, 2022 @ 3:59pm
Aug 30, 2022
The Snake
Aug 22, 2022 @ 6:56am
Aug 22, 2022
All Clear. Fantastic Trail.
more reports »
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