• A motorcycle tour through Jasper

    A motorcycle tour through Jasper. (Photo: Jasper Motorcycle Run)

ONE OF CANADA’S MOST BEAUTIFUL stretches of road will be roaring with Harleys and Ducatis once again this summer as the Jasper Motorcycle Run returns. The annual “poker run,” held in late August (the 23rd in 2014), follows Alberta’s scenic Icefields Parkway. From the event’s headquarters at a local pub, bikers make a leisurely ride to five points in the Rocky Mountain park and, at the end, compete in a poker tournament for prizes. At each waterfall or mountain vista stop, a playing card is drawn to make up the competitor’s hand. This map highlights the route and the main attractions along the way.

Bighorn sheep on the roadway in the Rockies. (Photo: Jessica Burtnick)

Other Alberta motorcycle tours

Three routes for exploring the West

By Michela Rosano

While the Jasper Motorcycle Run along the famous Icefields Parkway is a popular ride, the entire province of Alberta, with its varied landscapes and cultural gems, is a motorcyclist’s dream. Here are three more routes to explore the West.

Wide Open Roads of the North Ride
Travel the landscape carved by the Peace River, from Grand Prairie near the B.C. border to High Level in northern Alberta and through parts of Wood Buffalo National Park. There are many cultural activities, wildlife sighting opportunities and spectacular views to be had on this tour of northeastern Alberta. For more information, including a route map and accommodation information, visit ridenorth.ca. And to watch a video on motorcycling in the area, visit the Travel Alberta website.

Cowboy Trail
Journey through the heartland of western Canada from Mayerthorpe, Alta., just west of Edmonton, south along Highway 22 to Cardston and Bar-U-Ranch National Historic Site, a series of buildings commemorating Alberta’s ranching heritage. The route covers about 735 kilometres and takes riders through high ranch country along the eastern slopes of the Rockies into the rolling foothills of Alberta’s deep south. For more information and a route map, visit thecowboytrail.com.

Ghost Town Ride
Cruise through Alberta’s badlands, an area famous for dinosaur discoveries, and explore some of the province’s turn-of-the-century boom and bust towns. The route starts in Drumheller, about 135 kilometres northeast of Calgary, and is famous for the Royal Tyrrell Museum of paleontology. South on Highway 10, riders will hit numerous ghost towns including Wayne, the once thriving coal town, and Dorothy. For more information, see Don Mustard’s story in Motorcycle Mojo magazine and visit the Travel Alberta website