Driving up the Icefields Parkway, you’ll pass an unusual-looking log cabin with a bright red roof at Bow Lake (Num-Ti-Jah Lodge). It’s a really nice place just to stop and take photographs at the lake in the early morning, with some excellent reflections of the surrounding mountains in Bow Lake. But if you have some time to spare, the hike to Bow Glacier Falls is really worth it.
The trail follows the north side of the lake, and you’ll cross over a couple of small creeks along the way to the lake from Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. There’s also a couple of cabins belonging to the lodge too, it would be amazing to be able to live there!
You follow the trail right along the lake shore to the back of the lake, and then cross over an alluvial fan, before you climb beside a canyon for the final reach to the falls. Partway up the canyon there’s a fork in the trail that you’ll pass, the other route head up to the Alpine Club of Canada’s Bow Hut. To get to the ACC hut would involve crossing the canyon via a large boulder stuck between the canyon walls.
After this section you’ll cross over some lose rocky material, which I think is moraine left from the receding Bow Glacier. When I hiked here in late September (2014) there was quite a lot of running water on the trail so it was a bit slippery in places.
The falls are pretty impressive, and you can get quite close to them. Even though it was a very bright and sunny day it did get colder near to the falls as they were in the shade.
The hike back returns on the same lake shore route, it was nice to stop and dip our feet in the lake on the way back to cool them off after the hike!
In total the return distance for the hike is approximately 9.2 kilometres (5.7 miles) and 155 metres elevation gain (510 feet).
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