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22 photos

Distance: ~10 km
Elevation gain: ~300 m
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This is a hike I've been wanting to do since seeing pictures (and later taking some myself) from the top of Cirque Peak, which gives you an aerial view of the lake, glacier, and the Wapta icefield. From the base of the falls it seems near impossible for the average hiker to get to the top, but after seeing reports of a hiker who carried a kayak to the lake, I figured it was certainly a hike - sans kayak - that I could probably do as well.

The route there is simple enough and is described in the photos that follow. There is no technical scrambling involved and only one point where acrophobes might cringe - a spot on the cliff ledge a few feet wide that drops off 50 m - but the ground is solid and traction is excellent.

The lake itself is easily one of the most beautiful lakes I've seen, but the entire surroundings are gorgeous as well and give no hint of the herds of people below. From the top of the falls you can look down to the tourists below, but when I did this I unintentionally lured up a couple who were terribly unprepared and unaware of where they were going, so perhaps it's not a good idea.

Easily one of the best (and relatively easy) hikes I've done!

As always, the photos are far more spectacular full-screen. Use the mouse-over function "dim-the-lights" or use the slideshow button.

Categories & Keywords
Category:Lifestyle and Recreation
Subcategory Detail:Hiking
Keywords:Banff, Bow Lake, Bow glacier, Iceberg Lake, hiking, scrambling