Bow Lake
Bow Lake

Bow Lake

Alberta Highway 93, Banff National Park, Alberta

The basics

It’s easy to assume all glacial lakes are the same, but the differences become clear as you go from Lake Louise to Bow Lake to Peyto Lake. The glacial till that gives the water its vibrant color shifts from lake to lake—from turquoise to milky blue to clear green, and most tours include stops at multiple lakes so you can discover your favorite.

At Bow Lake, several hiking trails of differing lengths offer choices for everyone, while in the winter, it becomes a wonderland perfect for snowshoeing. The Bow Glacier Falls trail is especially popular, with views of mountains and waterfalls and an easy 5.5-mile (8.8-kilometer) length.

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Things to know before you go

  • If you visit in the winter, check conditions, and dress appropriately—most winter trails are only accessible with snowshoes or crampons.

  • Be aware of avalanches in winter, and don’t attempt to climb off-trail slopes.

  • It’s a gorgeous lunch spot, so pack a picnic.

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How to get there

From Banff, it’s an hour's drive along the Icefields Parkway highway, which offers staggering views of the surrounding mountains, glaciers, and other lakes. Plenty of tours operating out of Banff include Bow Lake as a stop on the route and typically also visit Lake Louise and the Columbia Icefield.

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When to get there

Between June and September, the lake and its surroundings are in full bloom. The water level is high due to the melted snow, and the land begins to blossom with colorful wildflowers. In the summer and early fall, all the hikes will be accessible, and temperatures will be warm enough that the icy lake water will start to look appealing!

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Fantastic floating

This calm mountain lake is the perfect place to explore via canoe or stand-up paddleboard—rent a craft from an outdoor outfitter in Banff, or opt for a tour. With its clean turquoise water and stunning surroundings, you’ll want to spend all day lounging on the lake. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

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Häufig gestellte Fragen (FAQs)
Die unten aufgeführten Antworten basieren auf Antworten, die der Touranbieter kürzlich auf Fragen von Kunden gegeben hat.
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