Discover the Serene Beauty of Bow Lake in Banff National Park

Bow Lake is a beautiful glacial lake located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. The lake is fed by the Bow Glacier and is one of the largest lakes in the park. It is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, and fishing.


Bow Lake was named by James Hector, a member of the Palliser Expedition, who explored the area in 1858. The lake was named after John Bow, a fur trader and explorer who worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company in the early 19th century.

Hike to Bow Lake

The easiest way to reach Bow Lake is by car. The lake is located on the Icefields Parkway, approximately 32 kilometers (20 miles) north of Lake Louise. The Icefields Parkway is one of the most scenic drives in the world, with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains and the surrounding glaciers.

Once at Bow Lake, there are several hiking trails to explore. The most popular trail is the Bow Glacier Falls trail, which begins at the parking lot and follows the shoreline of the lake before ascending through the forest to the Bow Glacier. The trail is 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) round trip and is rated as moderate to difficult.

For more experienced hikers, there are also several longer trails that begin at Bow Lake. The Dolomite Pass trail offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys, while the Helen Lake trail leads to a high alpine meadow with stunning views of the Columbia Icefield.


Bow Lake is a popular destination for fishing, with rainbow trout and brook trout being the most commonly caught species. Fishing is allowed in the lake from June 16 to October 31, with a valid fishing license. Anglers are advised to check the fishing regulations for Banff National Park before fishing.


There are several campgrounds near Bow Lake, including the Num-Ti-Jah Lodge Campground and the Rampart Creek Campground. These campgrounds offer basic amenities, such as pit toilets and fire pits, and are a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area.

Bow Lake is a stunning destination that offers visitors a chance to experience the beauty and majesty of the Canadian Rockies. Whether you are interested in hiking, fishing, or camping, Bow Lake is a destination that you will never forget. So why not plan a visit to this stunning glacial lake and experience its magic for yourself?

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