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Old 12-28-2014, 12:18 PM   #16
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Dinosaurs & Coulees

Easy gravel and paved from Calgary to Rosedale through Rockyford, Rosebud and Wayne Alberta. Backroads that any large barge could do.

On a sunny summer day the smells of the crops lining the roads will add to the relaxing, easy run east as you zigzag your way across a mixture of paved and gravel roads toward the town of Rosebud. As you start to head northeast and get nearer Rosebud you will run along irrigation canals and catch glimpses of old defunct rail lines that follow and cross the river valleys. The valleys carve their way through an otherwise gently rolling landscape, but can offer some dramatic viewpoints.

Rosebud is a tiny community known for its dinner theater and a wander around the picturesque town is well worth the time.

Mainly for the scenery around Drumheller and Dorothy. Campground at Dinosaur Provincial Park marked. 250 km fuel range recommended. Brooks to Calgary uses Canal roads from Milo into Carseland and was un-gated at the time of this post.


RR 274a

Last Chance Saloon in Wayne, AB

Old East Coulee Bridge (walk over only and be careful !)

RR 264 looking south
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File Type: gpx Drumheller & Dinosaurs-modified (2).gpx (221.2 KB, 15 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 12:24 PM   #17
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Margaret Lake

This is another run that branches of Waiprous Valley Road heading west off the trunk road. It can be done by larger dual-sport bikes but is much more fun (I imagine) on smaller more dirt specific machines. Weight is definitely your enemy here. The trail is very rocky, has been scooped out by 4X4's and has lots of puddles along its length. A group of us on various machines, my 990 Adventure being the biggest did this. I had trouble on one of the steeper, loose hills but made it the second try. The last hill before the muddy section by the lake I opted to sit out. Good off road tires (TKC's or more aggressive would be advisable) and better not to do this run solo unless you are very confident about your abilities. It does see a fair amount of jeep traffic and dirt bikes on weekends.


Just before the trail turns north (right in picture) and climbs the hill that I crashed on.

End of the easy trail that 4X4's use.

Last Hill before the mud starts. I opted to skip it at the time, as it looked much steeper in person!

Boys never outgrow getting dirty while palying.

Margaret Lake in the background.

Video from Youtube:
Attached Files
File Type: gpx Margaret Lake-modified.gpx (57.5 KB, 20 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 12:32 PM   #18
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Limestone Lookout

Another nice trail on the West side of the trunk road a little farther north than Mountain Aire Lodge. You should fuel there if you plan to do this run. The trail is easy, almost right to the Radio tower, with about the last 200 yards very rocky. It makes for a good workout steering your bike across the lumpy surface trying to find a good line across the baseball sized (and bigger) rocks. The view on a sunny day is amazing and the fire lookout tower can be ridden out to if you are comfortable riding loose and sometimes fairly steep surfaces. Again a small dual-sport would have the advantage past the radio tower (and gate). It can get really windy on top. I did it on My 990 Adv., but did not go past the radio Tower, as I did not believe my worn rear tire would get my bike back up the hill. It is worth getting at least that far just for the views!


Looking North East from the tower

The Rock Garden



Looking up the hill to the tower from the gate.

Looking west from the gate.
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File Type: gpx Limestone Lookout-modified.gpx (69.5 KB, 21 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 12:41 PM   #19
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Grand Southern Loop

Mostly Big bike friendly, I have done all this on my 990 loaded with camping gear. This ride is approximately 858 km round trip. Payne Lake at the southern end is my favorite alternative to Crandell Mountain campsite in Waterton, and much less crowded.

The ride will take you through a wide variety of landscapes, the most mountainous along Dutch creek and Allison roads which are also the most challenging sections and should be avoided early (or late) in the season.

The Porcupine Hill section is one of my favorite areas other than Dutch Creek, and east Sharples road is a highlight. The entire route gives ample opportunity for photo ops and even those that have grown up in Alberta will find plenty to enjoy along its length.


Just before Dutch creek road turns south to Allison Creek road.












Payne Lake sunset from the dock.
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File Type: gpx Alberta Grande Southern Loop-modified.gpx (315.7 KB, 27 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 12:57 PM   #20
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Calgary Cochrane 1/2 day loop

A little loop around the south west area of Calgary, Turner Valley over Powderface to Cochrane without hitting the Trans Canada or Hwy 22. Make sure to fuel in Turner valley unless to have really good range. This is big bike friendly.





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File Type: gpx Cochrane to Calgary back road-modified.gpx (151.4 KB, 24 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:12 PM   #21
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Calgary to Elkwater Canals

This is a mostly gravel route that incorporates both gravel back roads and the canal service roads. It is a full day ride. I last did this 2 years ago (in its entirety) and there were spots were land owners adjacent had tried to block the canal service road with rock piles. They were circumvent-able but could be a tight squeeze for bikes with non-removable bags. Much better when dry, but do-able in the wet. Nice relaxing ride with very little traffic.


From 2011 spring.


Courtesy of LAV1200.


Courtesy of LAV1200.


The lake just north of the hotel (nice) at Elkwater.
Attached Files
File Type: gpx Calgary to Elkwater 2011.gpx (1.18 MB, 22 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:18 PM   #22
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BIG Day Loops from Calgary

For those who like a real full day, here are a couple of tracks that would be a hard push, all day event. They consist of about 45/55% split (paved to gravel) either way, depending on which track you take. Fuel stops are marked, and any sized dual-sport should be fine on these.














West Sharples road looking west.
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File Type: gpx Calgary Big Loops-modified.gpx (577.1 KB, 23 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:24 PM   #23
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Calgary to "The Hump" Loop

Any Dual-Sport regardless of size can do this easy day loop from Calgary. Nice empty back roads and a good variety of scenery. The road, 532 can have snow late into Spring, and the small water ford north of Black Diamond can be a hazard after a day of rain, or during spring melt and caution should be used. A good rule of thumb for the river ford (it has a concrete pad) is if you can see the edges of the concrete pad it is safe. If the water is turbid and wider than the pad, don't do it. I made the mistake early one spring and nearly got washed away in 2,1/2 feet of fast flowing water!


Just west of the summit (hump) on 532 early season.




Just after the 2013 flood damage was repaired east of the summit.



Climbing the quad track south of 532 at the summit. Good tires recommended.
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File Type: gpx Calgary to 532 The Hump-modified.gpx (159.6 KB, 18 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:33 PM   #24
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Calgary South Foothills Loop

A solid day via back-roads and highway. Easy for any large dual-sport with a rider comfortable on gravel.











Attached Files
File Type: gpx Alberta Foothills Loop-modified.gpx (64.3 KB, 15 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:55 PM   #25
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Finally Redone

Quote:
Originally Posted by 250senuf View Post
Neither Mapsource nor Basecamp were able to open Koot Loop.
This one is for you. A loop that travels through Whiteswan Provincial Park across great pavement and sometimes (depending on weather) challenging loose (or muddy) gravel.









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File Type: gpx Calgary Kootenay Loop-modified.gpx (345.7 KB, 24 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:11 PM   #26
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Water Valley Hinton Loop

This makes use of the trunk road north of Cochrane as well as numerous backroads that zig zag across north of Water Valley. Gas can be scarce so don't pass fuel-up opportunities. That said my 990 isn't renowned for light fuel use and I have never had any problems although I do carry 5 liter Kolpin fuel pack any time I head out there. Most of the gravel has a good base and can be run in the wet without serious issues. The Ghost town of Mountain Park is interesting and the scenery is spectacular in the area.









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File Type: gpx Water Valley Hinton Loop route-modified.gpx (189.2 KB, 15 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:25 PM   #27
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Going to the Sun Eureka Loop

This was made for the upcoming season (2015) and travels over enough territory south of Calgary to make for a good Long-Weekend ride. There is a lot of Pavement, but the pavement is premium (other than hwy 22). It travels through Glacier National Park across the "going to the sun" road, then hits gravel on the "inside north fork" road to Polebridge MT. Then across gravel and the CDT to Eureka, returning to Canada and across a couple of scenery intensive back roads up to Crowsnest Pass.


A few Pictures from Previous runs.













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File Type: gpx Going to the Sun, Eureka loop-modified.gpx (466.8 KB, 14 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 04:01 PM   #28
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Mesa Butte to Calgary

I did this run on my 990 Adventure but I'm a bit stupid that way sometimes. It is not really big-bike-friendly but a decent, confident rider with some ground clearance can get it done. Rider must enjoy mud, steep rocky climbs and getting sweaty. Good tires (knobbies) strongly recommended.











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File Type: gpx Mesa Butte to Calgary-modified.gpx (60.3 KB, 15 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 04:12 PM   #29
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Castle Falls to Calgary

Great mostly gravel run recorded from south to north. The section south of Blairmore is truly amazing and Ok for Big bikes as long as the rider is not a noob. There is one minor water crossing where a bridge is out from previous flood damage, that has yet to be repaired. The road is as a result very sparsely traveled. Castle Falls is a great little campground and when the water is low (fall) good swimming, but deadly if the water is high!


South of Blairmore.

Bridge still out after flood damage in 2013 so not much traffic.

Little water crossing, Lynx Creek.

Castle Falls early season, no swimming when it looks like this!
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File Type: gpx Castle Falls to Calgary-modified.gpx (44.5 KB, 16 views)
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Old 12-28-2014, 04:18 PM   #30
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South Calgary Morning Warm-Up

From Shawnessy in the south of Calgary back to Dewinton. Nice mix of less traveled back roads and can be done in a few hours easy.







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File Type: gpx Morning Loop-modified.gpx (21.6 KB, 14 views)
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