Edith Cavell Road
Jasper, Alta., claims some of Canada’s best road riding. But, it wasn’t until 2015, and then again in 2017, when the Tour of Alberta featured it on its queen stages that Jasper was placed clearly on the national radar. Each 162-km stage included a three-lap circuit along the Icefields Parkway and 93A roads before turning up the gruelling 12.9 km Marmot Basin Hill Climb.
Surprisingly enough, locals are quick to say that it’s the nearby Edith Cavell Road rather than the Marmot Basin road that is Jasper’s best road ride.
“The Edith Cavell Road was my first true road ride,” says Laura Dzikowski of Jasper, “and it made me fall in love with the sport. It’s a magical climb that winds uphill from the Athabasca Valley to stunning views of Mount Edith Cavell and the Angel Glacier.”
The complete climb begins as cyclists turn off the Icefields Parkway onto Highway 93A and head south. Ignoring the turnoff to Marmot Basin (2.4 km), cyclists gain 165 m over 5.2 km before turning onto the Edith Cavell Road, where the beauty of this climb begins.
“Since it is recently repaved, it’s the best road surface in Jasper,” Dzikowski says, “and it’s closed to vehicle traffic until June 15, so cyclists have it to themselves. The return trip, flying down the road following the yellow line around twists and turns without fear of oncoming traffic, is what makes me return to the road each spring.”