19 miles
2,826 ft
-3,440 ft
Avg time

High Rockies Details

  • Riding area
    Kananaskis Country, Alberta
  • Difficulty rating
  • Trail type
  • Bike type
    AM, XC, Fat, Adaptive MTB
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
  • Physical rating
  • Global Ranking
  • Year Opened
  • Land Manager
    Alberta Parks

This section of the High Rockies trail begins from the Goat Creek parking lot and is the starting point if riding the entire trail from north to south. Descend the Goat Creek trail to the Banff park boundary, the first signed trail junction. As of May 2016 there was no sign indicating the trail to the left is the High Rockies trail, but it is. This section of trail primarily follows old service roads used to access power lines. The scenery is outstanding but the riding itself is fairly ordinary. There is a short, but beautifully built, boardwalk section just before Goat Pond. Traveling south one gains altitude fairly steadily but never steeply. Cross the dam at the north end of Spray Lake and keep right, the trail parallels the lake all the way up to the Driftwood parking area and comes out on the just south of the Driftwood parking area access road. The trail continues on the east side of the road with a very visible climb back up into the trees, the character of the riding changes to up and down single track. Let the fun begin.

The Original trail report was close, but it missed a large section in the middle and a suggested that you have to ride the gravel road. It's all one trail, no need to break it up. Strava has the correct trails as well.

Access Info

From Canmore follow signs to the Canmore Nordic Centre then keep driving past the Nordic Centre up the Spray Lakes Road (AKA Smith Dorian Road). This soon turns to dirt and cuts across the steep lower slopes of the East End of Rundle (EEOR). 10 minutes up the dirt road you'll level out and pass a long, narrow body of water, Whiteman's Pond. As you begin to descend slightly you'll find the Goat Creek carpark on your right. If it's a weekend it will be packed with cars as this is the starting point not only for the High Rockies trail but also the Goat Creek trail (drops you in Banff) and the hiking routes up both Ha Ling and EEOR.

More Stats for High Rockies mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -614 ft
  • Altitude min
    5,324 ft
  • Altitude max
    6,007 ft
  • Altitude start
    5,999 ft
  • Altitude end
    5,384 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    8 miles
  • Distance down
    9 miles
  • Distance flat
    2 miles
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on Dec 4, 2017
Snow Packed
Avg: 4.2 (5 votes)

view (14)
Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Directions to high-rockies trailhead (50.874330, -115.343470)
update trails status or condition

High Rockies Trail Reports

Dec 4, 2017 @ 3:42pm
Dec 4, 2017
Conditions are excellent for 10 south of Driftwood. Punched a little further past that. More traffic would help. Studs not necessary.
Nov 11, 2017 @ 2:54pm
Nov 11, 2017
Trail is packed by snowshoes but not consolidated enough for it to be fun on a fat bike. Do able but lots of work. Was much faster on the way out...
Oct 6, 2017 @ 5:01pm
Oct 6, 2017
Today, Bob and I rode from Peninsula (Penstock), to Sawmill and back. 26km with 740m of cumulative elevation. Wow, this is really a well...
Sep 4, 2017 @ 2:43pm
Sep 4, 2017
Aug 27, 2017 @ 2:58pm
Aug 27, 2017
Kent to Sawmill return 25 km, almost 2000 vertical climb. One of the best sections of this trail with minimal climbing and super flow. One of the...
view all reports »


more »
55 |
Sep 16, 2017 @ 10:50pm
Sep 16, 2017
High Rockies, Banff
78 |
Sep 16, 2017 @ 7:25am
Sep 16, 2017
High Rockies, Banff
106 |
Aug 27, 2017 @ 7:51pm
Aug 27, 2017
High Rockies, Calgary
100 |
Aug 27, 2017 @ 7:51pm
Aug 27, 2017
High Rockies, Calgary

Routes with this trail

High Rockies-Driftwood to Buller Out and Back
25 miles
Buller to Banff
30 miles

5 Reviews & Comments

  • + 1
flag GregandStaish (Jul 9, 2016 at 18:49)
 Lost a Suunto watch on the High Rockies bike trail Saturday July 9th, 2016 near driftwood area. It has a bright purple wristband. If found please contact 403-679-1266. Thank you! - Beer reward if returned.
  • + 1
flag tbkfan (Sep 25, 2016 at 10:01)
 Rode Buller to Driftwood yesterday with a few younger/beginner riders. There is a fair amount of climbing involved for beginners, but none of it is steep or sustained. The trail is beautifully built and the scenery is pretty hard to beat for such an accessible trail.
  • + 1
flag teleskier (Jun 18, 2017 at 8:46)
 We rode it June 16th from Driftwood, 35 km return and 3200 vertical feet. Amazing trail conditions, wouldn't classify this as green due to it's length and some of the corners may present challenges to beginners. Really flowy and great for an all day in the saddle ride! Can't wait for phase 2 to be smooth and complete to Elk pass. I posted some recent photos of the truly amazing day out.
  • + 1
flag ayoun (Jul 20, 2017 at 13:35)
 Is it better to start from the Goat Creek Trail?
  • + 2
flag warrenmacdonald (Aug 25, 2017 at 21:52)
 I've now ridden most of this trail on a Lasher Sport ATH (all terrain handcycle), and have to say with front wheel drive some sections are super challenging. I couldn't have done them without my partner pushing me up a bunch of the steeper hills where I just couldn't get traction on the front wheel. Will post in more detail at some point section by section, but would say that a rear wheel drive HC, like a One-Off, Reactive Adaptions "Bomber" or SportOn Explorer would do just fine, though in my mind these bikes are just not as enjoyable for this type of XC riding.

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FatBiking High Rockies Trail | Dec 2016
474 | Jan 16, 2017 , Kananaskis Country
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