Expect sudden extreme changes of weather during the ride. Kamloops is generally hot and dry during July with temperatures sometimes reaching 35-40°C. Mountain weather can be very unpredictable with temperatures as low as 0°C at night, especially at higher elevations. During previous editions of the Rocky Mountain 1200km, riders have experienced severe heat, heavy rain, as well as snow and sleet in the mountains. Winds can be very strong in the mountain passes.
The elevation at Kamloops is 350 metres. From there, the route climbs gradually through rolling hills, following the North Thompson River from Kamloops north through Clearwater and Blue River to Valemount. After leaving Valemont, riders will turn east to enter the Rocky Mountains where the climbs are more significant, starting with Yellowhead Pass at 1146 metres. Along the Icefields Parkway, riders will climb Sunwapta Pass at 2035 metres followed by Bow Summit, which at 2068 metres is the highest point along the route. After Lake Louise, riders will climb the final 2 major passes; Kicking Horse Pass at 1647 meters and Rogers Pass at 1330 metres. The final 300km after the descent from Rogers Pass into Revelstoke are a mix of rolling hills and gently undulating terrain.
Road conditions are variable along the route. There is a ridable shoulder along most busy sections of the route. On quieter roads or where no shoulder exists, cyclists must share the road with vehicle traffic. Please be courteous.
By law, cyclists must ride in single file only. Do not ride 2 or more abreast and use caution when passing a slower cyclist in traffic.
If you plan to ride in a group or pace line, use extreme caution as loose gravel, rocks and debris may obscure the roadway unexpectedly. Leave a safe margin between riders at all times, particularly a night and in low light situations.
By law, cyclists must wear a helmet at all times. Follow this link for Province of British Columbia cycling laws.
A dramatically scenic circle route from Kamloops through the Rockies, riders will be challenged by 5 major climbs and travel through 5 world renowned wilderness parks before returning through the fertile Okanagan to Kamloops.
Leaving Kamloops, the ride begins with peaceful rolling ranchland along the North Thompson River leading to Clearwater, the gateway to Wells Gray Park followed by stunning views of Mt. Robson on the approach to Yellowhead Pass. Entering Jasper National Park, riders are treated to wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities and spectacular vistas of glaciers, alpine lakes and mountain meadows along the world renowned Icefields Parkway as they are challenged by Sunwapta Pass and Bow Summit on their way to gorgeous Lake Louise in Banff National Park. Next is a breath taking descent into Golden through the Kicking Horse Pass and Yoho National Park and over the new Park Bridge, a 400 metre long engineering marvel spanning the Kicking Horse River. Leaving Golden, riders climb to majestic Rogers Pass through beautiful Glacier National Park in the Selkirk Mountains with expansive views of snow capped peaks and lush forests followed by a glorious descent into Revelstoke on the banks of the Columbia River. The next leg takes riders through picturesque Three Valley Gap, past historic Craigellachie, site of the last spike marking the completion of the cross Canada railway in 1885 and on to Sicamous where the route turns south paralleling Mara Lake then continuing on to Armstrong and Salmon Arm. The last leg closes the loop along quiet roads through farms and more rolling ranch land to Falkland and Westwold with an adrenaline rushing descent down to Monte Creek before the final stretch west along the South Thompson to the finish in Kamloops.