Bow Falls is an easily accessible natural attraction located in the community of Banff, Alberta, Canada in the Banff National Park. The cascading falls are a popular sightseeing destination located on the Bow River enjoyed by people of all ages and all abilities.
From the Bow River Bridge in Banff village there is a 1.2 kilometre forested walking path following the banks of the Bow River to Bow Falls. Most of the path follows a well maintained gravel and dirt path with interpretive signs, picnic tables and viewing benches. Closer to the falls there are more steps and boardwalk sections. It takes about 45 minutes to walk to the falls from Banff village.
For those who would rather drive to Bow Falls, Alberta, Canada there is a small parking lot located at the falls. However, on all our visits the parking lot was very congested and traffic was moving slow.
The viewing area at Bow Falls provides great sightseeing opportunities of the river and the falls. The Bow Falls, in Banff National Park, viewing area is located at the base of the cascading falls in the shape of a large cement-rock promenade walkway. There are some viewing benches - not many though - most people sit on the ledge of the promenade and enjoy the views of the falls.
At the end of the promenade there are some cement steps which lead up to some more view points before connecting to the Bow Falls Trail. There are some with sitting benches and many with information signs.
At the far end of the promenade, after the falls and before the bend in the Bow River, is a small sandy beach and a gathering of tour operators. The tours and guides launch rafting tours and kayak sightseeing tours from the beach.
Across from the promenade on the Bow River are some cliffs with views looking down on the falls. Most people access the natural viewpoints from the Bow River Trail located on the opposite bank, across from Bow Falls. The Bow River Trail connects to the Surprise Corner parking lot. Surprise Corner is the trailhead for the Bow River-Hoodoo Trail.
Plan for big crowds at Bow Falls.
From Banff, Alberta, Canada travel to Main Street (Banff Avenue). Cross over the Bow River Bridge and take a left at the lights. Immediately look for some parking. The trail sign for the Bow Falls Trail will be on your left.
If driving to the falls turn left onto Glen Avenue after the bridge. Continue until Bow Falls Drive where you take another left and continue to the parking lot.