A wide open road is waiting! Spend your summer exploring the back roads of the Cochrane area with dual sport motorcycle touring. Designed for off-road riding, dual sport motorbikes (also known as enduro bikes) help you cruise gravel roads with ease, so you can focus on taking in the awe-inspiring surroundings.
Before you zip off on one of southern Alberta’s best adventure touring motorcycle rides, keep in mind that there’s no cell phone service in the backcountry, and there are no amenities. It’s a wise move to invest in a satellite communicator like the InReach from Garmin or let someone know your route, and always pack enough water and snacks for your outing. Once you’re prepared, hop on your enduro motorcycle and explore our 3 best adventure touring motorcycle routes that begin and end in charming Cochrane, Alberta.
1. Highway 40 north to Ghost River Loop
Take a cruise out on Highway 40 north to Ghost River. Reaching to the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies, the rugged Ghost River Wilderness Area is fully protected to preserve conservation efforts. The upper reaches are known for ample opportunities to hike, scramble and climb, with the North Ghost living up to its reputation as one of the best rock climbing locations in Canada.
Check out the Ghost Public Land Use designated trail system and get familiar with the motorcycle-friendly options. Look for the dark blue trails on the map, like those around Fallen Timber South Provincial Recreation Area, to get the most out of your ride and avoid getting into trouble.
After your adventures, head back to Cochrane and cool off on Blacksmith Pub’s patio with a handcrafted cocktail and a succulent burger.
2. Cochrane to Horse Creek Loop
The Grand Valley area is a notable adventure motorcycle favourite for its twisting roads and beautiful scenery, including stunning countryside and the wide open sky. Keep your eye out for critters as you near the Harold Creek Sanctuary, a popular spot for wildlife sightings and bird watching.
The stretch of Stud Creek Road, which runs along the northeast side of the Ghost Public Land Use Zone, is the perfect place to pull over, take a deep breath of country air and enjoy the tranquility. For more solitude, you can cast a line for walleye at Horse Creek, but be sure to check the Avenza Maps App for maps, activities and regulations in the Ghost PLUZ. Download the app before you go, as there isn’t cell phone coverage in this area.
After a big day on the road, relax on the patio at Cabeza Grande in Cochrane with a margarita in one hand and a taco in the other.
3. Cochrane to Powderface to Sibbald Creek Loop
Don’t hit the highway hungry—get caffeinated at Mezzo Caffe and savour one of their many fresh pastries, or pick up a ready-made meal for later. Trust us, you’ll want to pack enough to munch on before you set out!
The picturesque and winding Powderface Trail is an exciting journey. Situated at the front ranges of Kananaskis Country, you’ll find the ride includes everything that makes the heart of Alberta a stunning sight for adventure motorcycle tours.
Pro tip: download an offline map to help you keep your bearings in the backcountry. From the Google Maps App on your phone, click on your account in the top right corner. Select the sixth item, Offline Maps. Choose where your adventure will take you, then download and name your map by selecting the three dots on the right and click Rename. When you’re off exploring a trail, you can use these maps to stay on course and avoid getting lost.
Cruise along valleys next to gurgling creeks, feel the cool shade of dense forests, and experience thrilling uphill climbs. While the road is well maintained, some stretches of gravel are loose, bumpy and dusty, and strong winds may blow. You may also need to share the road with livestock who tend to amble across.
Shift into gear with us
The best adventure touring motorcycle routes await! Plan your next day of enduro riding with us and see why the Cochrane area is so great for cruising!