2 miles
Distance
977 ft
Climb
-1,168 ft
Descent
00:38:23
Avg time

Topp Notch Details

  • Activities
    • Mountain Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Riding Area
    Banff
    , Alberta
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Trail Type
    Singletrack
  • Bike Type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
    Biking Primary
  • Direction
    Downhill Primary
    Popular direction shown
  • Physical Rating
    Moderate
  • Dogs Allowed
    Yes
  • TTFs on Trail
    Berm, Bridge, Rock Face, Skinny
  • Global Ranking
    #3047 in Mountain Biking
  • Local Popularity
    90 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 5 in Hiking
  • Year Opened
    2014
  • Land Manager
    Banff National Park

Topp Notch begins with a squirrel catcher [mandatory feature] meant to weed out the less experienced. If you cannot ride this feature, head back down to Star Wars. Once past the entry on Topp Notch, the trail will climb several switchbacks towards the first large feature, the Big Daddy corner. What follows next can only be described as incredible flow along some challenging technical trail features (TTFs). Most TTFs are pretty wide, and very well built. The end of the trail rolls right into Return of the Jedi so you can climb back up.

This trail is named after Doug Topp, former president of the Bow Valley Mountain Bike Alliance and all-around good guy. Buy him a beer.

Access Info

The access to Topp Notch is found west of the Star Wars trailhead, accessible from Tunnel Mountain Road and located across (south) from Buffalo Mountain Lodge. As you approach the trailhead for Star Wars (30 metres in), continue right (west) and past the entry to Star Wars up the trail. From here, there are markers and arrows pointing you in the direction of Topp Notch.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Topp Notch bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -191 ft
  • Altitude min
    4,593 ft
  • Altitude max
    5,101 ft
  • Altitude start
    4,784 ft
  • Altitude end
    4,593 ft
  • Grade
    -1.444%
  • Grade max
    -91.166%
  • Grade min
    86.47%
  • Distance climb
    4,880 ft
  • Distance down
    1 miles
  • Distance flat
    1,692 ft
  • Avg time
    00:38:23
  • Avg reverse time
    01:30:20
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Oct 5, 2019
Dry
Avg: 4.1 (36 votes)

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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Ridden Direction
Trailforks scans users ridelogs to determine the most popular direction each trail is ridden. A good flowing trail network will have most trails flowing in a single direction according to their intension.
The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
Trail Last Ridden
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine the last time a trail was ridden.
  • < 2 days
  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
  • < 6 months
  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intended direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
ContributeDetails
Colors indicate trail is missing specified detail.
  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos
Trail Popularity ?
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine which trails are ridden the most in the last 9 months. Trails are compared with nearby trails in the same city region with a possible 25 colour shades. Think of this as a heatmap, more rides = more kinetic energy = warmer colors.
  • most popular
  • popular
  • less popular
  • not popular

LEGEND
Trail Difficulties
  • Access Road/Trail
  • White
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Double Black Diamond

Trail Report Status
  • Clear / Green
  • Minor Issue / Yellow
  • Significant Issue / Amber
  • Closed

  • Land Owner Overlay
  • Wilderness (typically no bikes in USA)
  • BLM (public)
  • USFS (Wildlife sanctuaries darker than usfs)
  • State land
  • Indigenous
  • Military
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
  • Map Markers
  • trail Trail Head
  • photo Photo
  • place Directory Listing
  • region Riding Area
  • TTF TTF
  • Parking Parking
  • Viewpoint Viewpoint
  • Information Information
  • Warning Warning
  • Directions Directions
  • Sight Sight
  • Restrooms Restrooms
  • eBike Charging Point eBike Charging Point
  • Water Fountain/Source Water Fountain/Source
  • Gate Gate
  • Trail Sign Trail Sign
  • Table or Bench Table or Bench
  • Ladder Ladder
  • Stairs Stairs
  • Bridge Bridge
  • Camping Camping
  • Cabin Cabin
  • Lodge Lodge
  • Bear Cache Bear Cache
  • Dock Dock
  • Ranger Station Ranger Station
  • Summit Summit
  • Other Other
      Directions to topp-notch trailhead (51.181840, -115.552820)
      update trails status or condition

      Topp Notch Trail Reports

      statusdatedescription
      Oct 5, 2019 @ 2:24pm
      Oct 5, 2019
      Aug 23, 2019 @ 10:03am
      Aug 23, 2019
      Great condition
      Aug 8, 2019 @ 5:52pm
      Aug 8, 2019
      Dry with a couple small puddles.
      Jun 29, 2019 @ 11:49am
      Jun 29, 2019
      Wet but not sloppy, few puddles on the way through. Northshore dry. Tree down just after bridge jump that blocks 2 sides of a switch back. Small...
      Jun 22, 2019 @ 9:30am
      Jun 22, 2019
      A handful of wet muddy spots, only one puddle along the way, all Northshore sections dry
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 1 rides
      • 9 miles avg distance
      6 Months
      • 260 rides
      • 8 miles avg distance
      All
      • 729 rides
      •  

      Photos

      more »
      140 |
      Jun 24, 2019 @ 11:51am
      Jun 24, 2019
      132 |
      Jun 24, 2019 @ 11:51am
      Jun 24, 2019
      964 |
      Jun 25, 2016 @ 6:58pm
      Jun 25, 2016
      958 |
      Jun 25, 2016 @ 6:58pm
      Jun 25, 2016

      Trail Lists

      Routes with this trail

      titleratingdistance
      Bow Valley Extreme
      162 miles

      7 Reviews & Comments

      • + 1
      flag northshoregurl (Apr 1, 2017 at 21:04)
       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]
      • + 1
      flag traviswbrown82 (Jun 11, 2017 at 21:04)
       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
      flag DizzyNinja (Sep 10, 2017 at 21:00)
       Awesome trail. It's more like a dark blue. Been twice on weekends n wasn't "crazy" busy.
      [Reply]
      • + 1
      flag advocate (Jul 7, 2018 at 11:38)
       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]
      • + 1
      flag mackg KBRA (May 23, 2019 at 10:17)
       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]
      • + 0
      flag MLeier (Jun 23, 2019 at 11:46)
       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]
      • + 1
      flag BrentZombie (Jul 15, 2019 at 12:40)
       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]

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      Videos

      more »
      Topp Notch
      423 | May 13, 2018 , Banff
      Topp Notch
      2734 | Oct 29, 2015 , Banff
      Cody Top Notch
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      Wood Flow
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