Offering 350 riders an unforgettable experience through the Canadian Rockies, TransRockies Gravel Royale is a signature event in the Transrockies Race Series. In four days, riders will travel 407km (252 miles) and climb 7500m (25,000 feet) on a course that is 84% gravel roads. Strambecco also rates the event as one of the best gravel cycling events in the Rockies and one of the Best Cycling Events in Canada. Unfortunately, the 2023 event was canceled due to the wildfires in the Canadian Rockies.
Event & Course Info
In four days, riders will travel 407km (252 miles) and climb 7500m (25,000 feet) on a course that is 84% gravel roads. Each day, or race stage, has expertly marked courses with course crews and checkpoints to help participants when needed. The two checkpoints per stage are stocked with hydration and food to fuel your ride. Each stage starts at 8 am and must be completed in 8 hours. The checkpoints will keep you posted on your progress. Every day of TransRockies Gravel Royale has incredible views over high mountain passes and the chance to meet the local wildlife. See the site’s important note about protection including carrying bear spray and a folding saw. Here is a breakdown of each course:
Day One – Stage 1 – Tegart Pass rides from Panorama to Nipika. This covers 81km (50 miles) and climbs 2,100m (6,900 feet). There is often snow on Tegart Pass from October to June, so it should be clear for this August adventure, with only logs and rocks possible. The climbing is double-track, and there may be a few sections of the uphill trail that riders will have to walk. There are also single-track sections downhill which may be too steep to ride for some. Prepare to be cautious and know your abilities. It is only Stage 1!
Day Two – Stage 2 – Miller Pass is a ride that stays in Nipika. The course covers 83km (51 miles) and climbs 1,500m (4,900 feet). The route is known to have some challenges at North Boundary and limited sight lines and stream crossings between Miller Pass and Albert River FSR. Riders may need to dismount, so plan to get your feet wet. Stage 2 includes a short section of rough downhill double-track that may require slower speeds.
Day Three – Stage 3 – Little Elk Pass travels from Nipika to Canal Flats. The distance is slightly longer than the first two stages covering 108km (67 miles) and 1,500m (4,900 feet) of climbing. There will be logging truck traffic on this route, so riders will need to be aware. Also, be aware that one of the downhills includes drainage ditches that could be dangerous at high speeds.
Day Four – Stage 4 – Hartley Pass is from Canal Flats to Fernie. This stage is the most challenging, with the longest distance at 135km (84 miles) and most climbing at 2,400m (7,900 feet). This course also has high stream crossings, and riders must exercise caution when crossing bridges. On the final descent, riders must watch for potholes and uphill vehicle traffic.
TransRockies Gravel Royale is only available for 350 riders in 3 race formats: 2-Day, 3-Day, and 4-Day Royal Flush. Registration opens annually in September, and 50% of early bird spots are reserved for female riders. Registration includes breakfast and dinner for the days you entered, tent camps for the nights registered, luggage transport, hot showers, race timing, and results. All participants and supporters will enjoy a final banquet in Fergie to celebrate the racers and best times in every category. Registrants also receive TransRockies Gravel Royale Starter Jersey, belt buckle, and Finisher Shirt. There are also add-ons available at extra cost for participants; Mechanical Package, Massage Package, Solo Tent Upgrade, and transport options for the various stage locations.
Area Accommodations & Things to Do
The Canadian Rocky Mountains, with their unparalleled beauty and challenging terrains, have been the pride of Canada for decades. The TransRockies Gravel Royale celebrates this legacy by introducing gravel racers to four unique communities that are emblematic of Canadian culture, hospitality, and the spirit of adventure. A global magnet for winter and summer athletes alike, Panorama Mountain Resort boasts an intimate village at the mountain base, making it a perfect hub for thrill-seekers. Sustainability meets adventure at Nipika Mountain Resort. From the scenic vistas of the Kootenay and Cross River valleys to its 100-kilometre trail network, Nipika is a paradise for those who love cross country skiing, mountain biking, and more. Canal Flats is a village that’s as historic as it is futuristic. Nestled between the mighty Columbia and wild Kootenay rivers, Canal Flats, with its emerging tech hubs, is a testament to growth while honoring its explorative roots. Finally, Fernie is a blast from the TransRockies’ past and a beacon for mountain bikers across the globe. Surrounded by the majestic Canadian Rockies, Fernie’s extensive trail system and year-round biking opportunities make it a two-wheeler’s dream destination. Be sure to check out the official host accommodations for each stage.
Beyond the race, what truly sets TransRockies Gravel Royale apart is its camp life. After a long day on the saddle, the camp offers more than just a resting spot—it becomes a haven of camaraderie, comfort, and relaxation. Tents are ready, meals are cooked, and a designated bike wash station ensures both rider and ride are rejuvenated for the day ahead. Registered Massage Therapists are available to knead away the day’s toil and top-notch products from Gu Energy Labs and a variety of fresh fruits and snacks ensure racers are well-fueled. Every evening, as stories from the trail begin to unfold, the camp transforms into ‘Chillville’. Drinks, snacks, music, and a campfire set the stage for tales of the day’s conquests, laughter, and building bonds that often last a lifetime.
The hallmark of any great race is the support system, and the TransRockies team leaves no stone unturned. From greeting racers at the finish line with refreshments to ensuring they have their luggage waiting for them, every detail is meticulously taken care of. The TransRockies Mechanic Team is always on standby. The shower truck, albeit with a modest request to conserve water, is ready. From medical assistance available round the clock to meals that cater to every palate, the support system is comprehensive, ensuring that racers only focus on the ride.
For a gravel cycling enthusiast, the TransRockies Gravel Royale is an invitation to experience the Canadian Rockies like never before, to immerse oneself in the hospitality of its communities, and to create memories that echo with the thrill of the ride and the warmth of newfound friendships.
The Transrockies Race Series is a unique multi-sport event series spanning Road cycling, MTB, and Trail events throughout North America. Many of their events are multi-day and take place in spectacular destinations. Strambecco covers several of their events, including the Moab Gran Fondo, Moab Rocks, and the TranSelkirks Run some of the Best Road Cycling, Mountain Biking and Trail Running Events in the Rockies.
Canada has no shortage of top shelf gravel events including Belgian Waffle Ride BC produced by Monuments of Cycling and part of the Quadrupel Crown of Gravel Series, a best in class event in the Pacific Northwest. Kettle Mettle Dirty Fondo is also worth checking out as a Gran Fondo World Tour – Gravel Series event, and is part of the Triple Crown Gravel Series.