Bow Glacier Falls Trail
Bow Glacier Falls Trail
4.5

Top ways to experience Bow Glacier Falls Trail and nearby attractions

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles219 reviews
Excellent
153
Very good
60
Average
6
Poor
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Levy835
Plymouth, UK99 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 β€’ Couples
Pleasant walk approx 1 1/2 hours each way, takes you to the base for of the waterfall. Most the route around the lake is flat, but then it is a challenging steep path up. Underfoot is a little loose and challenging if not stable footed. Well worth the walk for the view. In the mornings there is less wind. Free parking and pit toilets at the beginning.
Written September 12, 2022
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Richard B
London150 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2017 β€’ Family
My wife & I (70) did this trek last September. The trek divides into 3 parts , - the first, a fantastic scenic 2K walk along the lake shore, occasionally through forest, on the level, along a standard treking path surface, with a few very minor ups & downs. Superb views can be seen, lake colours and reflections, interesting shore life, and the start of the sound of the 2 waterfalls. Then up '70' difficult stairs to the general level of the bottom of the main glacier waterfall in the distance - about a 30m gain. At the side of the stairs the (lower) 2nd waterfall outflow to the lake crashes through a gorge spectacularly. Then it is a 1k gentle uphill walk to the toe of the 1st glacial waterfall, falling into a 'glacial shaped corrie' valley. You cannot see the glacier at this point as it is immediately above the back wall of this valley.

Part 1 of the walk can be done by anyone, unless seriously impaired and is a great, easy trek/walk in its own right, which we found a very welcome change to the usual (hard?) uphill treks in the area! It's far more interesting than the Lake Louise 2K lake walk. (The Lake Moraine lake walk is much better than this too - a far moor natural environment). Part 2 is for the more able, but Part 3 disappointing in our view - all you gain is a closer view of the 1st waterfall! So if you have 1-2 hours to spare, do part 1 at least.
Written March 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Johan G
Johannesburg, South Africa106 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 β€’ Friends
Initially had my reservations about my ability to do this hike, but, Boy oh Boy, was I glad I did!! An easy walk (although I had to use my walking stick!) of several kilometers, but worth every step!!!Beautiful and stunning views of the lake, the mountains, the glaciers and the hotel!!!
Written January 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MS07869
Randolph, NJ267 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 β€’ Couples
This trail follows along Bow Lake which is spectacular. It is filled with glacial water and has the different wonderful shades of blue, green and gray. To navigate to this, search for the lodge Num-ti-Jah Lodge since the trail goes directly behind it. If you are at Bow Lake, look for the Num-ti-jah Red colored lodge slightly past Bow Lake on 93 North.

The trail is about 6 miles round trip and is mostly flat and easy to walk though you should wear hikers or sneakers with some traction and not flip flops. Be sure to follow the lake at all times and not go into the forest. Best parts of the hike are towards the end when you get to the summit and can see the glaciers and waterfall. Parts of the trail go over a wide dry bed of rocks. About 15 minutes to the end of the trail, you get to the hardest part of the trail which are some steep steps.

My favorite thing about this trail was the varied terrain going from bordering the lake, to some rivers created from glacial flow to the waterfalls, and the rock beds. Most of the trail is very scenic.

Try to go in the morning rather than late afternoon since it always seems to rain in the early evening.

Enjoy the spectacular lake views. Whole trail takes about 3 hours back and forth.
Written August 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

photoguywisconsin
Oshkosh, WI953 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 β€’ Couples
I actually enjoyed the first part of the hike better then the second half. During the first half you are hiking along the beautiful shores of Bow lake looking up at the mountain. The second part of the hike involves a bit of up hill hiking. At the end of the hike you reach Bow Glacier Falls . I was a bit underwhelmed by the falls. I thought that we would also see the glacier. Apparently, you if want to see the glacier also, it a much more involved hike on a different trail. I would still highly recommend this hike, but if your pressed for time maybe just do first part of the hike.
Written October 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Banff_Bear31
Banff, Alberta, Canada165 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 β€’ Couples
First off this hike is not in Lake Louise as stated above. It along the Hwy 93 North heading towards Jasper.

Park at the Back of the Lodge as no one every parks over there. Even if the first lot looks full the back will be empty and it close to the trail head.

The hike is very simple to start as you head around Bow Lake but parts have been washed out a bit so you will need to scramble around or over them. As you get closer to the falls their is a canyon or gorge with huge steps to walk up one side. This area is difficult but short and can be broken down by heading off the trail to take pictures of the canyon. Best place for this is the rock bridge that must be crossed to head to Bow Hut. This area provide a beautiful view back into the valley and the waterfall.

Shortly after hike up the stairs it flatten back out before coming into an old Glacier bed, which is very rocky and parts of the trail are again washed out by the multiple waterfalls in the area. By now you can clearly see the Bow waterfall and need to decide if you are going to walk right up to it or stop and head back. Either way it is a rewarding site.

We had lunch at the bottom of the waterfall and as someone else mentioned only two other small groups in sight of us.

Not much shade so bring a lot of water and sunscreen if on a hot day like we did yesterday since we are now burned on the back of the legs and neck.

Very Easy rewarding hike in Banff National Park and must do!!
Written July 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

michelle s
Wellington, New Zealand38 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 β€’ Couples
We did this walk on one of our last days in the Rockies. We didn't have the time to drive the entire Icefields parkway, so we decided that we stop here and save the rest for another trip. Totally amazed because this was a stunning walk and we loved it! Bypass the crowds at the carpark and hike along to the falls - it's a must! The trail goes right along the lake's edge with beautiful vistas until point where you hike inland and up and over a fairly steep pass. From there the trail is flat again with some rocky parts just towards the end by the waterfall. Nice place to reward yourself with lunch. The return hike was equally as enjoyable with lovely views of the bright red lodge against the impossibly blue lake. Just wonderful!!
Written October 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

phines00
Indianapolis, IN83 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 β€’ Family
We started and ended at the Num-Ti-Jah lodge. The overall distance to the base of the falls and back was about 6 miles.

The trail is one of our favorites because of the variety of things you get to see. The first part of the trail is absolutely flat and you follow the north/northwest shoreline of Bow Lake. Absolutely gorgeous views of the lake and surrounding terrain. After a short excursion through the woods (less than 50 yards) you cross what is the first of two moraines with runoff from the glacier and falls further up the trial. At the end of this you ascend the "stairs". This is by far the hardest part of the trail, but it is actually very short, maybe 100-200 yards at most. A total of around 70 "stairs" which are actually separated by short walks. To your left is the "lower falls" as the glacial runoff from above has carved a narrow canyon between two hills. Halfway up there is a trail that goes to the left and over a boulder to the Alpine Hut. Proceeding on you arrive at a bluff with direct views to the much larger upper falls. While these are visible from the road at the Num Ti Jah lodge, you are now much closer and get a view of the "bowl" at the base of the falls. This last part of the hike is into and across the bowl. It is a little tricky in that you are walking on small rocks at times through very shallow snow melt runoff. But in about 1/2 mile you arrive at the foot of the upper falls and the sound and view experience is worth the stumbling through the rocks. Overall, a long but not steep hike in which you are exposed to several different kinds of scenery.

One important note: we hiked in July, but I would not forget to have plenty of mosquito repellent. While we experienced mosquitos on all of our hikes, for some reason this one was particularly bad, and moreso after you were past the initial bow lake.

I would recommend this hike. Along with Moraine Lake, Peyto Lake, and Parkers Ridge these are the must do hikes in the area.
Written July 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TWMC2010
Bewdley, UK240 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 β€’ Friends
The trail is excellent for a half day hike up to the falls that emerge from beneath the glacier. The lodge at the beginning of the hike is also a good spot for a meal when you get back.
Written April 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jan M
750 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 β€’ Friends
Like with many other attractions in beautiful Canada, do not be discouraged by packed parking lot. The crowds will scatter as soon as you get a bit further away and Bow Glacier Falls Trail is not an exception.

For most of the time, the trail is easy and flat since you walk along the shore of the gorgeous Bow Lake. The final section gets steep and you do need some quality footwear.

At the end of the trail you will be rewarded with the view of the waterfall. Have a snack and head back to the busy parking lot. The whole hike can be done in about two, three hours but you could easily spend the whole afternoon there, admiring nature.
Written May 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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