It’s not as much fun as skiing it, but Goat Creek from Canmore to Banff is a very enjoyable bike ride. I did it yesterday(Saturday), and I would say it’s the driest I’ve ever seen this trail. Not one mud puddle.
It’s nice that all the bridges are now in place once again, with one minor exception. A small single lane bridge at 4.3K still has not been replaced but you can cross the drainage with no problem.
At 13.4K you have to make a choice whether to take the final 5.4K into Banff on the Spray River west or East trails. I chose the hilly West trail. There are a few places where there’s a lot of gravel on the trail, so you have to be careful that you don’t hit it at full speed, at least if you’re ability level is like mine.
The weather was perfect with a temperature of 20°C with a light breeze. I have never seen so many vehicles at the trailhead. The parking lot was full and vehicles were lined up on the road. Keep in mind that it also serves as the trailhead for Ha-Ling peak which is a popular hike.
Since the end of ski season I haven’t been very active, so it’s always a test of my fitness(or lack thereof) to see if I can make it up all those hills without stopping. I managed to do it by sheer force of will but my granny gear got a good workout.
From the Goat Creek trailhead to the Spray River West trailhead in Banff, it’s 18.9K with a net elevation loss of 280 metres.