Bow Summit

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
2-3h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
6.6 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
313 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead
Bow Summit

Bow Summit is a popular hike, but not as popular as its precursor, Peyto Lake viewpoint. You may feel discouraged when you see the crowds, but as you continue you will leave them behind. This is an excellent way to see glaciers, lakes, rivers and peaks from a height without a full-day excursion. This close-to-the-car trail is a great way for the entire family to stretch their legs along the Icefields Parkway.

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Route Description for Bow Summit

The Peyto Lake viewpoint is extremely populated with tourists during the summer. Keep in mind that this is one of the most recommended stops along the scenic Icefields Parkway. But don’t let the crowds chase you away—there is a reason this trail is so popular! However, choosing to take the route to Bow Summit beyond the main viewpoint will take you further away from the crowds, so don’t worry.

This hike is an excellent way to catch some incredible views of a diverse landscape without setting aside too much time. Bow Summit is an excellent choice if you are looking for a quick and impressive hike along the Icefields Parkway.

From the main parking lot, take the wide path at the back of the lot to the viewpoint to get a good look at Peyto Lake. The map will show a road that leads to the viewpoint for bus parking, but you will want to take the hiking trail.

At the wooden platforms, you will find some benches and interpretive signs with information about Peyto Lake. Take in the views and look for the fox silhouette shaped by the contours of the lakeshore. Continue from here on the well-marked trail, where you will likely leave behind most of the tourists. When reaching Bow Summit, you’ll be able to see the Peyto Glacier and surrounding peaks.

Hiking Route Highlights

Peyto Lake and Glacier

Seeing Peyto Lake and Glacier from the heights of Bow Summit gives hikers new perspectives of these world-renowned landmarks. A quick hike from the car on your road trip will provide you with unforgettable views and photo opportunities.

Since opening to the public in 1941, the Icefields Parkway has been hosting visitors as they stop to admire the collection of famous viewpoints. Bow Summit is a must-do hike along the route for the whole family.

Insider Hints for Bow Summit

  • Avoid the crowds by taking the hiking trail instead of the bus road
  • Gain local knowledge from interpretive signs
  • Be sure to stop at the wooden platforms to view Peyto Lake

Getting to the Bow Summit Trailhead

To get to Bow Summit, you will travel north on the Icefields Parkway from Banff or Lake Louise. After passing the entrance to the 93N from the Trans-Canada junction, you will continue for 42.0 km to the Bow Summit parking lot. If you lose track of distance, it is 4.9 km north of Num-Ti-Jah lodge at Bow Lake. Pull into the Bow Summit parking lot, and your trail begins here.

Route Information

  • When to do

    June-September

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Bow Summit Elevation Graph

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