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Ride the Canadian Rockies

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Biking the Canadian Rockies (Photo: Qdig, Sacred Rides)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on July 9, 2007. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: adventure travel, Alberta, Argentina, Botswana, Cairns, Chile and Easter Island, destination, eco travel, Fernie, Grand Canyon, Italy, Joshua Tree, Maine, Minnesota, Molly Feltner, mountain, Vietnam, wildlife.

Outfitter: Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Holidays
Price: from $1,227

Spectacular scenery, home-grown guides, socially- and environmentally-conscious practices, affordable pricing, and some of the best mountain biking in the world without a world-class attitude. Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Holidays' Rocky Mountain Singletrack trip has all the ingredients necessary for a top-notch adventure.

Founded 11 years ago, this British Columbia-based company runs mountain biking adventures around the world, but its Canadian Rockies trip in British Columbia and Alberta is still the most popular. While the Rockies singletrack trip (meaning you'll mostly ride on narrow, single-file trails) is adventurous, it's designed for riders with a year or two of experience who want to improve their skills, not daredevil experts. Plus, Sacred Rides only employs local guides, so you can rest assured you're in the hands of leaders who know the terrain intimately. "Our tours are for people who are passionate about mountain biking and the outdoors," says company president and founder Mike Brcic.

You'll ride three to six hours a day, spending the first few days in laid-back mountain town of Fernie trying out some of the local trails. Then you'll progress to trails near the town of Golden, stop to soak in the hot springs of Banff National Park, and finally end with the exhilarating Jumping Pound/Cox Hill Ride in Kananaskis, Alberta. "Ridge riding at 7,500 feet, views of the Rockies to the west and the prairies to the east, and a five-mile downhill provide the perfect 'cherry-on-top-of-the-sundae' end to a great trip," says Brcic of the trail.

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The details

The package price includes lodging, most meals, park fees, professional guides, and local transportation. A percentage of the cost goes to local development and sustainability projects. The company also operates the "Bikes Without Borders" charity, which distributes bicycles to needy families in the developing countries. The trip starts in Fernie, British Columbia but transfers from Calgary International Airport in nearby Alberta can be arranged for an extra charge. If you're not bringing your own bike, you can rent a high-quality model for about $249 CAD (about $235 USD; check XE.com for current converstion rate). Departures are scheduled June through September.

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