Scenery from the Bow Glacier Falls hike on Icefields Parkway, the Canadian Rockies

Bow Glacier Falls hike

Along Icefields Parkway
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Looking at Bow Lake on the Bow Glacier Falls Hike from the Icefields Parkway near Banff National ParkWalking past Num-Ti-Jah Lodge on the Bow Glacier Falls Hike from the Icefields Parkway near Banff National ParkCrowfoot Mountain on the Bow Glacier Falls Hike from the Icefields Parkway near Banff National ParkTrail of the Bow Glacier Falls Hike from the Icefields Parkway near Banff National ParkThe stairs to the falls on the Bow Glacier Falls Hike from the Icefields Parkway near Banff National ParkViews on the path of the Bow Glacier Falls Hike from the Icefields Parkway near Banff National ParkBow Lake views on the Bow Glacier Falls Hike from the Icefields Parkway near Banff National Park

Bow Glacier Falls hike

Distance: 8.4km
Elevation: 155m
Time: 2-3.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.5 Overall Rating
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The hike to Bow Glacier Falls is exquisite. We love the hike along Bow Lake, however hiking up to Bow Glacier Falls provides enormous and wonderful views.

Bow Glacier Falls hike Map

Getting there

Drive on Highway 93 north towards Jasper for roughly 35.0km and park in the Bow Lake lot and Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. There is also campground and HI Hostel nearby.

I’ve done this 30 people have done this
I want to do this 64 want to do this route

About

When to do

June through October

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

Trailhead

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Bow Glacier Falls
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Bow Glacier Falls

Start in the Bow Lake parking lot, and quickly head to the right of Bow Lake. You will soon pass the historic Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. Continue on a path hugging the lake, and you have wonderful views in all directions. Depending on water levels you may be able to scamper across the rocks at the far end of the lake, saving a bit of time.

When coming to a river, continue following on the right-hand side of the water. There will then be a set of stairs, at which point you can go left to Bow Hut or up the stairs to Bow Glacier Falls. If you are tired, you can also turn around, however tackling these stairs yields a large reward with some incredible scenery – including an alpine wonderland and glaciers that are truly magnificent.

At the top of the stairs, the falls will be straight ahead, with a path leading off to the right. Follow this trail and continue to stay to the right of the stream the entire time. The path is clear and the views are delightful, though as you start your final ascent you may find the path difficult to find. Lots of water has created a litany of small streams that take over the trail and make route finding hard. Look for Cairns and continue in the direction of the water. You can get close enough to the falls to feel the spray!

Descend the way you came up. The views heading back on Bow Lake are sublime.

Insider Hints

  • Weather can sweep in fast so make sure you bring extra layers and rain gear.

  • Snacks are available at Num-Ti-Jah Trading Post.

Comments

DesireeD. 2 months ago

Wherever I look in this hike, there's always something beautiful to see.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
3h 00m Time Taken
kristinoutdoors 2 months ago

Absolutely stunning lake hike! I'd say it's easy as it's mostly flat as you walk next to the lake until you reach a quick steep section near the end to reach the falls. I recommend a polar dip in the lake on a hot day! Crowd levels will be higher here because it's easy to access and there's a lodge nearby.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
3h 00m Time Taken
RobCruz 2 months ago

The trail was easy to follow, and there are plenty of wonderful views to enjoy.

10.0 Overall Rating
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3h 00m Time Taken
PeterHopkins 2 months ago

Rained poured for couple of hours before we reached Bow Glacier.

10.0 Overall Rating
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4h 00m Time Taken
MartiniC 2 months ago

Bow Glacier Falls is a must-visit! Be ready to get wet as well.

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4h 00m Time Taken
Hiking-eh 3 months ago

Great views, very secluded. A fun hike.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Jeffrey Reagan 6 months ago

Stunning views all around! You don't have to go on difficult hikes just to see such magnificent views!

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Nina F Bailey 1 year ago

aAe there lots of bears there on the trail? Should we hike with others at Bow?

    Richard Campbell 1 year ago

    Hi Nina. There can be bears anywhere in the mountains. I usually check out the weekly bear report (https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/mtn/ours-bears/miseajour-update/miseajour-update-byk). I also carry bear spray and hike in a group. Ideally you should always hike in a group, not just for bears but also in case of injury. For the Bow Glacier Falls hike, there are typically lots of others on the walk along Bow Lake, and a lot of people continue on to Bow Glacier Falls, so there should be others. Hope this helps.

Tomorti 1 year ago

Amazing views at the top! Really worth it.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
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13 Comments Show all

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