Distance is 6 km return, Elev gain is 230 m (750 ft).
This trail would be an extension of the Bow Summit Trail in Banff National Park. Even though this stop on the Icefields Parkway can be an exaspirating experience (crowds), if you go a little further than the usual paved interpretive trail, you will be rewarded with exceptional views of the Bow Valley that most tourists could only dream about.
From the parking lot, follow the hordes up to the Peyto Lake viewing area, take the obligatory photos, then turn left and head up the hill on the paved trail. At a 3 way junction, take the middle path. As the trail levels off you will pass a signpost (birds, I believe). Straight ahead a gravel road leads off the paved trail. This is your escape route.
Follow this old fire lookout road as it switchbacks up the mountain with ever increasing panoramas of the valley below. There are several trails leading off the road to various impromptu viewpoints, but the best is saved for the old lookout spot, at which point your views are south to Bow Lake and beyond, and north past Peyto to the Waterfowl Lakes and beyond.
Photos by Shelley Coffey
In winter please check the local avalanche conditions and bulletins.
41 km north of Lake Louise junction on Icefields Parkway at Bow Summit. Parking area is on the west side of the highway, just 5 minutes north of Num-Ti-Jah Lodge .
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Posted By: veggie.therrien
- Mon Oct 03 16:50:36 UTC 2011
Upsidebeautiful glacier view DownsideLots of tourists at the first lookout. CommentI did more than the lookout. To the right of the original path just by the talking description thing (you turn a knob to get it to speak) is a path that leads right down to the glacier and i recommend that much more that the lookout. The path is obvious and you get to drink some of that great glacier water.
Posted By: Engor
- Wed Jul 07 00:28:51 UTC 2010
UpsideGood trail if you have 2-3 hours to spare in Bow Lake area. Beautiful view of Bow Lake, Bow Peak and Crowfoot Mountain (see my photo posted above).
Posted By: bfcoffey
- Mon Jul 28 18:09:59 UTC 2008
CommentEditor's note - The description above is about the best I can do. We found it very easily.
Posted By: Eck
- Sun Jul 27 13:02:29 UTC 2008
QuestionI understand from Parks Canada that there is not a marked trail to Bow Summit Lookout. How easy (or difficult) is it to find the way up to the lookout? ANSWERS are in this forum: Bow Summit Lookout