Bow Falls

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 1
Bow Falls
Bow Falls was a wide river waterfall situated in the backside of the town of Banff. Given how relatively easy it was to visit this waterfall, it was the first one we saw during our September 2010 Canadian Rockies trip as we were getting oriented. We also saw tour buses routinely stop and drop off its load of tourists at the large car park as a result of its accessibility.

We were able to see this waterfall along a well-established walkway that gave us views from above the falls as well as the rapids and cascades further upstream. Whenever we looked downstream from the falls, we got to see the lovely river twisting its way before tall mountains including the oddly sloped Mt Rundle. From this established walkway, there didn't seem to be an obvious way to see the falls from the other side of the river. Speaking of the other side, Julie and I almost wasted time there when we took a different road as suggested by our confused GPS. We ended up at a car park where it led to a trailhead labeled the Bow Falls and Hoodoos Trail. However, from looking at the trajectory of the trail, it didn't seem like something we should be doing late in the day for the purpose of just seeing the waterfall, especially given that it was 3.1 miles return and Julie was pregnant.

While this trail might have been a worthwhile experience under different circumstances, we were content with the contextual views of the Banff Springs Hotel near the falls before turning back and driving to the car park with the easier access (see below).

Directions: From Banff Ave (which cuts right through the heart of Banff Town), we headed south crossing over the Bow River. Right on the other side of the bridge, we turned left onto Glen Ave before forking to the right onto Mountain Ave. Shortly thereafter, we turned left onto Spray Ave, following this street until we turned left onto Rundle Ave (there should be signposts for Bow Falls by this point).

Rundle Ave eventually merges into Bow River Ave, which ultimately leads to the large car park for the falls.

The mistake that we made earlier (to get to the other side of the river) was that we followed the GPS and ended up taking Buffalo St (prior to crossing over the bridge over Bow River). Driving this route would only make sense if you're wishing to combine seeing the hoodoos with a different perspective of the falls.




[Back to top]
PHOTO JOURNAL
This is the view of Mt Rundle from the main highway (Hwy 1) on the morning after a clearing storm
Bow Falls is essentially in the scenic town of Banff
At first, we took Buffalo Street and went to the Hoodoos Trail which yielded this view of the Bow River and the Banff Springs HotelAt first, we took Buffalo Street and went to the Hoodoos Trail which yielded this view of the Bow River and the Banff Springs Hotel

Looking downstream from the car park and viewing area for Bow FallsLooking downstream from the car park and viewing area for the falls

This was probably the most direct view of Bow Falls that we could get from this side of the riverThis was probably the most direct view of the falls that we could get from this side of the river

At a closer viewpoint next to some interesting cliffsAt a closer viewpoint next to some interesting cliffs

Top down angled look at Bow FallsTop down angled look at the falls

The well-established walkway leading up above the top of Bow FallsThe well-established walkway leading up above the top of the falls

Looking down at one of the upper cascades well upstream of the main Bow FallsLooking down at one of the upper cascades well upstream of the main falls

Looking down over the top of Bow Falls along the walkway towards Mt Rundle and another neighboring mountainLooking down over the top of the falls along the walkway towards Mt Rundle and another neighboring mountain


[Back to top]

VIDEOS OF THE FALLS

Left to right sweep looking down at the falls and following its flow towards Mt Rundle


Left to right sweep following the uppermost rapids and cascades towards the top of the main waterfall and Mt Rundle


[Back to top]

MAP OF THE FALLS

View Larger Map




[Back to top]

TRIP REPORTS
For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




[Back to top]

TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES



[Back to top]

NEARBY WATERFALLS


Have You Been To This Waterfall?

Share your experience!

Click here to see visitor comments for this waterfall

Click here to see visitor comments for other waterfalls that we've visited in this region

Click here to go to the Comments Main Page

Enter Your Title



[Back to top]

[Go to the Alberta Waterfalls Page]

[Go to the Canada Page]


[Return from Bow Falls to the World of Waterfalls Home Page]





FOLLOW US ON:   Facebook   Twitter

Quick Navigation:


If you like this page,
you might also like...

Alberta Waterfalls
Alberta Waterfalls

Featured Visitor Stories
or Comments


Rearguard Falls, August 2010
I was at Rearguard Falls as a tourist in August 2010. I stumbled into rafters who told me I could not go down the path they were on, to the base of the falls...[more]