Banff’s Historical Shadow Lake Lodge

There are no roads leading to Banff’s historical Shadow Lake Lodge. Instead, the only way to reach this series of secluded backcountry huts tucked between the pine trees and the towering rajamahjong face of Mount Ball is to embark on a meandering 14km or 26km trail on foot, snowshoes, skis or bike. In many ways, the journey is half the fun.

My husband and I first hiked to Shadow Lake Lodge this past autumn. After wandering through honey-hued larches reflecting in the sapphire waters of Shadow Lake, enjoying a sumptuous solar-powered hot shower in our gingerbread-like cabin and feasting on a gourmet dinner in the lodge’s restaurant, we were keen to return this winter. Yet, I was worried that my limited ski skills would render me immobile in a snowdrift halfway up the trail. So when I heard that Banff National Park was piloting a fat biking programme on designated paths, I was eager slot server thailand super gacor to revisit one of Banff’s most beautiful backcountry destinations – only this time on two wheels.

A fat bike – with its large frame and oversized wheels – is designed to tackle a variety of tricky terrain that a regular bike usually can’t, such as snow, ice, sand or mud. The park’s pilot programme also includes pedal assist e-bikes, which rely on the rider pedalling to engage the bike’s electric motor. According to Kim Logan at Banff and Lake Louise Tourism, it’s all part of an effort to enable more people to explore the national park. “[E-biking and fat biking] create opportunity for those who may not have the fitness to otherwise enjoy the trails. It’s another way for visitors and locals alike to enjoy our backyard,” she said.

Fat biking in Banff

There are a number of outfitters around Banff and Lake Louise where travellers can rent fat bikes. Two companies in the park – Bikescape and Radventures – also offer electric fat bike tours for people who don’t want to venture out solo.

When we’d arrived in Banff that morning, we’d picked up our rental bikes at Banff Cycle & Sport. Despite the bikes’ behemoth tyres rajamahjong that bulged out of their frames, we were surprised by how light they were. The company can arrange drop-off and pickup of rentals with advance notice, but we managed to fit both bikes into the back of our Subaru and headed out to the trailhead – a mere 15-minute drive from downtown Banff.

With memories of the Shadow Lake Lodge’s complementary afternoon tea dancing in our heads, we strapped on our packs, hauled rajamahjong slot our bikes through the wildlife gate and began the ride through crisp, crystalline snow, savouring the snap of it below our wheels.