Distance: 9 km
Elevation gain: 150 m
After two days of hiking in Banff National Park over the Thanksgiving long weekend we had to return to Edmonton, but decided to take the scenic route along the Icefields Parkway rather than returning via Highways 1 and 2 as we'd done on the way. This was our first time driving this road (or any road as spectacular) and we spent a considerable amount of time stopping for photos. We also wanted to get in a short hike and decided the easy walk to Bow Glacier Falls would be a good excursion.
From the road and parking lot it appeared that Bow Glacier was directly feeding the falls and I was quite excited to see the glacier up close. Unfortunately as we approached the falls it became clear that this was not the case and that the best view of the glacier was from the road, but the falls themselves were still nice, although quite dry given the time of year. Years later I returned to this area and hiked above the falls
, discovering an entire lake between the glacier and the waterfall. Perspective in the mountains is sometimes difficult to discern!
Bow Lake is probably the most photographed lake in Banff National Park after Lake Louise, but the hike to the falls is dead easy and given the long drive along the parkway it's a great way to stretch your legs. Anyone with legs should be able to do this one!