9 miles
189 ft
-88 ft
Avg time

Minnewanka Details

  • Riding area
    Banff, Alberta
  • AKA
    Major Wanker
  • Difficulty rating
  • Trail type
  • Bike type
    AM, XC, Fat
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
  • Physical rating
  • Season
    Sept 15 - July 10
  • Global Ranking
  • Land Manager

Out and back trail along Minnewanka lake. Usually opens up early in the season for riding. The hardest climb is near the beginning, the rest is up and down along the lake shore. The riding is not super-technical, but it is singletrack with roots and rocks. It's also fun in the winter, where you can ride on the frozen lake [studded tires recommended - make sure it's frozen - ride at your own risk].

Note that Minnewanka is one of the most popular trails in Banff. There can be HUGE crowds of hikers on weekends. Start and finish early on the weekends, or ride on weekdays to avoid the masses. If you are riding the trail, don't stop for a rest on the narrow exposed sections - keep moving until you can find a spot to stop where others can pass you.

Seasonal Closure to bikes is from July 10 - September 15. The Parks staff take this seriously.

Access Info

From the Minnewanka parking lot, the trail starts at the northeast end past the picnic tables.


Seasonal Closure to bikes is from July 10 - September 15

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Minnewanka mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    101 ft
  • Altitude min
    4,886 ft
  • Altitude max
    5,003 ft
  • Altitude start
    4,886 ft
  • Altitude end
    4,987 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    5,142 ft
  • Distance down
    4,195 ft
  • Distance flat
    7 miles
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on Nov 12, 2017
Snow Packed
Avg: 4.4 (8 votes)

view (125)
Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Directions to minnewanka trailhead (51.247740, -115.500560)
update trails status or condition

Minnewanka Trail Reports

Nov 12, 2017 @ 11:10am
Nov 12, 2017
Perfect winter conditions, didn't make it super far so I am not sure how far the trail is tree free.
Oct 26, 2017 @ 2:10pm
Oct 26, 2017
Significant trees down (12-15 incidences) prior to LM9. Turned around due to deadfall. Perfect for cyclocross training. Trail condition buff!
Oct 10, 2017 @ 8:13pm
Oct 10, 2017
Perfect condition. A few trees still down towards the cabin. Thank you whomever cut the dead fall recently. Much appreciated. Bigly!
Sep 16, 2017 @ 7:18pm
Sep 16, 2017
reporter Lots of trees down. Great condition otherwise.
Jun 12, 2017 @ 3:34pm
Jun 12, 2017
Trail is re-open effective June 10. Warning in effect. http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/scond/cond_e.asp?oid=27548&opark=100092
view all reports »


more »
26 |
Dec 24, 2017 @ 8:39am
Dec 24, 2017
Minnewanka, Canmore
9 |
Dec 14, 2017 @ 6:52am
Dec 14, 2017
Minnewanka, My City
7 |
Oct 27, 2017 @ 12:30pm
Oct 27, 2017
Minnewanka, My City
266 |
Oct 14, 2014 @ 1:34pm
Oct 14, 2014
Minnewanka, Banff

Routes with this trail

Bow Valley Extreme
162 miles

3 Reviews & Comments

  • + 4
flag pinkrobe CMBA (Oct 19, 2014 at 14:16)
 Views on this ride are absolutely spectacular, and worth riding it just for that aspect. Now, a warning: this trail is RAMMED with people on the weekends all summer. It is nicknamed "Major Wanker" for a reason - the hordes that hit this trail on the weekend have no clue how to interact with others. Sadly, some of the worst offenders are people on group rides. You'll be happier if you ride it on weekdays or well before/after the tourist season.
  • + 0
flag traviswbrown82 (Jun 11, 2017 at 21:17)
 Ive never seen so many people and dogs on a trail before in my life! If you can hit it during the week or before 10am on any weekend its super fun. Conditioned legs are a must. For the hard tail riders lower tire pressure for extra traction on the loose shale and rock. But not TOO low to force a puncture. The last half is typically less busy as larger groups of hikers have turned back by this time. Well worth the ride to the end if your up for a serious workout. Unfortunately most who hike this are tourists who have no idea of trail etiquette so be prepared to brake hard often.
  • + 0
flag StoshIam (Sep 23, 2017 at 18:42)
 Rode it 23/09 equal numbers of Hikers and Bikers, no conflicts today.

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Lake Minnewanka
10:51 | 378 | Nov 22, 2012 , Banff
XC ride at Lake Minnewanka
4:18 | 454 | Oct 31, 2012 , Banff
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