There are several lookout spots from which to soak up views of Bow Falls. The Bow River Viewpoint on the west bank offers head-on views of the falls, while the Surprise Corner Viewpoint on the east bank looks out toward the falls and the Banff Springs Hotel.
Many sightseeing tours of Banff National Park make a stop at the falls as well as other scenic beauty spots in the area, including mountain-ringed and turquoise-hued lakes such as Moraine Lake and Lake Louise, and at various scenic stop-offs along the Icefields Parkway. For a more active experience, visit Bow Falls as part of a guided hike or horse-riding tour.
Things to know before you go
*Bring your camera to capture photos of the falls. *While the Bow River Viewpoint is only accessible via a set of steps, the falls can be seen from the parking lot or from the paved riverside path, which is wheelchair-accessible. *The cold glacier-fed waters and strong currents of the Bow River make it unsuitable for swimming.
How to get there
Bow Falls are situated about 0.3 miles (0.5 kilometers) south of the town of Banff. Walking from town takes about 15–20 minutes.
When to get there
The best time to go is in spring, as the falls are most dramatic after snowmelt. Because of their easy-to-reach setting, Bow Falls attracts crowds, especially in summer. It’s generally more peaceful in the early evening.