So there’s something liberating about mountain biking. Sure there’s usually still a trail, but its a trail commissioned by adventurers, maintained by grit, and laden with dirt. On the mountain bike, while the city bustles at 8am on a weekday, you can be the only one for miles and miles on the trail. Set out on that same trail in the winter, and suddenly you’re in a world like no other. A world reserved for those wandering souls that yearn for some escape from the ordinary.
Just 90 minutes from Calgary, something spectacular awaits riders. The High Rockies Trail is an 82km mountain bike trail that extends from the Goat Creek parking lot and trailhead, and continues south all the way to the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park here in Alberta. Its continuous single and doubletrack trail that’s especially accommodating to new riders. Rookie riders will find the lack of overly technical terrain welcoming, and seasoned adventurers will be won over by the jaw dropping splendour and expansive views.
On this January morning we kept driving about 10 minutes past the beginning of the trail to reach the Spray Lakes Reservoir. Frozen over in the winter time, sub zero temperatures make the ice thick and safe enough to be passable three to five months of the year. From there we’d ride across the lake and hook back up with the High Rockies Trail.