Panorama of the Bow River trail hike in Canmore, the Canadian Rockies
Panorama of the Bow River trail hike in Canmore, the Canadian Rockies

Bow River Trail

Canmore
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Beautiful surroundings on the Bow River Trail Hike in Canmore, AlbertaRiver Island on the Bow River Trail Hike in Canmore, AlbertaWalking along the river on the Bow River Trail Hike in Canmore, AlbertaBeautiful trail on the Bow River Trail Hike in Canmore, AlbertaForest on the Bow River Trail Hike in Canmore, AlbertaBeautiful views along the river on the Bow River Trail Hike in Canmore, Alberta

Bow River Trail

Distance: 7.3mi
Elevation: 197ft
Time: 1 - 4h

Difficulty Rating:

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9 Overall Rating
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Walking along the Bow River is one of the best family-friendly trails in Canmore, and a great way to explore the Bow Valley and Bow River. Start in Downtown Canmore and wander up or down river, with great views and a fine path. Great hike for those with strollers.

Bow River Trail hike Map

Getting there

Park downtown or in Three Sisters. Wander along the pathway as long as your legs will take you.

I’ve done this 21 people have done this
I want to do this 124 want to do this route

About

When to do

All Year

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

Downtown Canmore

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Bow River Trail
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Bow River Trail

This is a favorite hike with families, as the path is mostly paved and easy to navigate with a stroller. The pathway system stretches along the Bow River from Three Sisters all the way up to Larch Island in the North.

The distance we show is an out-and back route, though you can do less if that’s too far.  Some families do this as a one-way hike, parking a car at either end.

We prefer to park in Three Sisters on Drygas Gate. The Three Sisters pathway initially cuts between houses on the right and a pretty forest on the left. Cross Fitzgerald Rise after 984ft and then continue down to the crossing of the Three Sisters Parkway (0.7mi). From here you can take the easy path to the left or descend to the river and enter the forest for a wonderful walk along the water. Follow this route and eventually come to a stream before rejoining the main trail (1.6mi). Continue along the path, eventually climbing a rise in a series of switchbacks and coming into more open country.

Come down the hill and you’ll notice a milky white lake on your right. Depending on the wind, you may smell it before you see it. You’ll continue on an open meadow path and then come back close to the river (2.6mi) in one of our favorite locations for a portrait in Canmore, with the Bow flowing to the north flanked by mountains on either side of the valley.

The path is evident, though with some branching’s running off. Continue ahead and eventually you come to a large open field with a playground at the far end. Cross this field then walk through a gate down a path and rejoin the Bow River. From here you can see the bridge you will cross to get into downtown Canmore. On the other side of the river, cross the road and walk down River Road.

Turn right on 8th Street and you are on Main Street Canmore.

Looking for more amazing hikes near Canmore? Check out the Grassi Lakes hike, Grotto Canyon hike or the Ha Ling Peak hike.

Insider Hints

  • Bring your snacks back to the picnic tables on the park you just passed and enjoy a wonderful view!

Comments

RobCruz 10 months ago

Me and my kids would race this trail. Of course they'd win! love it!

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1h 00m Time Taken
wenzelhd 11 months ago

This is an enjoyable shot and easy hike! The trails are fantastic! The milky white lake was impressive. It's not something that you often see.

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Grant Ko. 11 months ago

Pretty easy and great. The campground areas have playgrounds, plus many benches along the way to stop, relax or snack.

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Kristian Valtierie 11 months ago

This is along the river and a very flat, easy walk. Great scenery for taking pictures with mountains, bridges, and the water. We've seen interesting birds in this area as well.

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Mandy H. 12 months ago

It was short and easy plus you'll get to explore and discover wonderful surroundings.

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Jacob AM 1 year ago

It's a nice place to stroll around, there are lots of interesting views to enjoy.

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Jackson C. 1 year ago

This place is a very romantic place, glad there's no big crowds!

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Theodore R. 1 year ago

Another great trip! We visit every couple of years and I look forward to our next visit!!!

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SebClyde 1 year ago

Fantastic trip with amazing landscapes and lots of animals.

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Donald J. 2 years ago

Perfect hike for all ages.

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20 Comments Show all

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