The ULTIMATE Information To Visiting Bow Valley Provincial Park (for 2022)

The ULTIMATE Information To Visiting Bow Valley Provincial Park (for 2022)

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Compiled by the Street Journey Alberta group

Last updated on June 29, 2022

Looking out for information on the place to hike, camp, and points to do on a go to to Bow Valley Provincial Park? Look no extra! We’ve compiled all the pertinent information you’ll have to uncover this excellent place.

Merely over an hour from Calgary, Bow Valley Provincial Park is an superior mountain trip spot stuffed with panoramic mountain views, heart-pumping mountaineering trails, and spectacular Bow River actions like canoeing and fishing.

The park is normally a choose-your-own-adventure counting on what you’re feeling up for on the day. Your entire park is a combination of rugged outdoors and completely curated interpretive assist with groomed trails, benches alongside some trails for snack breaks, designated picnic areas, and washrooms at a majority of the parking tons.

Hikes in Bow Valley Provincial Park fluctuate from transient interpretive trails spherical Bow Valley park campgrounds which might be excellent for households with infants to longer hikes like Mount Yamnuska, Coronary coronary heart Mountain, Grotto Canyon Path, Bow Valley Bunker, and further. (Our put up on Canmore hikes will give you some good ideas.)

That is probably one of many largest Alberta parks with a plethora of fulfilling actions to find…Be taught on to hunt out out further regarding the Bow Valley.

Land Acknowledgement

Bow Valley Provincial Park is located inside the standard territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) and the people of the Treaty 7 space. We acknowledge all the various First Nations, Métis, and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands in Bow Valley Provincial Park, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, and inside and throughout the Kananaskis house for a whole bunch of years.

About Bow Valley Provincial Park

Bow Valley Provincial Park is located in Kananaskis Nation on the confluence of the Bow River and the Kananaskis River, on {the japanese} fringe of the Rocky Mountains. It spans nearly 33 sq. kilometres and is surrounded by Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park to the north and southwest, and Elbow Sheep Wildland Provincial Park to the southeast. It’s part of a notable wildlife corridor – a protected route that permits wildlife to maneuver safely between areas of applicable habitat.

There are two elementary entrance components: one is off the Trans-Canada Freeway on the intersection with Freeway 1X and the other is on the doorway to the Barrier Dam via Freeway 40. This small nonetheless mighty provincial park packs a punch with spectacular views, diverse trails to walk or hike, and glowing waters renowned for tough fishing, it’s a wonderful stop for a day journey in nature.

Mountain view in Bow Valley Provincial Park
Mountain view in Bow Valley Provincial Park – image equipped by Journey Alberta credit score rating Parks Canada

The Biggest Time To Go to

With a year-round customer centre and spectacular mountains that look fantastic bare or snow-capped, Bow Valley Provincial Park is accessible and fulfilling to go to any season of the yr! It’s solely a matter of what you want to do whenever you’re there. For the quintessential provincial park summer season season experience stuffed with swimming, mountaineering the plethora of trails, and horseback utilizing, May to September is nice.

Bow Valley Provincial Park continues to be a worthy trip spot in winter. The actions will in reality be further geared in course of snow actions should you occur to go to between November to February. Suppose cross-country snowboarding and snowshoeing. It’s moreover a very good time to come back throughout some wildlife.

Heads up that there’s an annual avenue closure on Bow Valley Park Road west of Heart Lake from mid-October – April 30.

Bow Valley Provincial Park Landscape
Bow Valley Provincial Park with some snow – image equipped by Journey Alberta credit score rating Parks Canada

Perceive that regardless of the season, autos parked at provincial park and public land web sites in Kananaskis Nation and the Bow Valley desire a Conservation Go. Purchase your cross on-line and register your license plate or you can purchase a cross on the client centre. Only one cross per vehicle is required and cross purchases are non-transferable to a special vehicle.

Current fees for personal autos (2022):

  • Day cross – $15 (registers one vehicle)
  • Yearly cross – $90 (registers as a lot as 2 autos)

Attending to Bow Valley Provincial Park

From Calgary to Bow Valley Provincial Park

Head west out of the city on Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W and stick with it this avenue for slightly below an hour. Following the symptoms, take exit 93 in direction of Three Sisters Parkway/Bow River Campground for roughly 10 minutes until you attain the automobile parking space for the park.

Car Driving in Bow Valley Kananaskis
Car Driving in Bow Valley – image equipped by Journey Alberta credit score rating Sean Thonson

From Edmonton to Bow Valley Provincial Park

When leaving Edmonton, take Calgary Path to AB-2 S and adjust to this freeway south for merely over 2 hours until reaching the north end of Calgary. Preserve correct on the fork, adjust to indicators for Alberta 201 W/Stoney Tr and merge onto Stoney Path NW/AB-201 W.

Carry on Stoney Path NW for 23 km until you see indicators for Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W after which take the exit in direction of Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Carry on the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 for about an hour until you see the exit for exit 93 in direction of Three Sisters Parkway/Bow River Campground which could be merely shy of Canmore. Carry on this paved avenue for roughly 10 minutes until you attain the automobile parking space for the park.

Accessibility at Bow Valley Provincial Park

Supplied that Bow Valley Provincial Park is inside the coronary coronary heart of Kananaskis Nation, it’s a rugged trip spot. Although there are some interpretive trails and paved roads throughout the campgrounds, the park shouldn’t be considerably accessible for these with restricted mobility. Nonetheless, some campsites do provide wheelchair-accessible washrooms.

Hiking in Bow Valley Provincial Park

Tenting in Bow Valley Provincial Park

There’s a number of tenting on the market with many superb campsites alongside the enticing Bow River or inside the forest should you want to not be on the mercy of sturdy winds. As stays in shut by Canmore resorts within the summertime months will probably be pricey and e e book up terribly quick, tenting is an amazing strategy to easily and affordably entry Canmore and Banff.

From any Bow Valley campground, it’s between 25-40 minutes to get to each Canmore or Banff townsite respectively. Listed under are the campgrounds contained in the Provincial Park:

Camping in Bow Valley

Bow River Campground

The season runs from April until October at this accessible campsite. The majority of the 60+ campsites are serviced with power and the campground sits subsequent to the Bow River, offering good views to most lucky web sites. Showers, firewood available on the market, firepits, and pit/vault bogs are among the many amenities on the market in the midst of the season.

Web site | 403-678-0760

Bow Valley Campground

Large campground positioned alongside the Bow River for good views of the encircling mountains and riverfront containing 170+ web sites from unserviced to power/water web sites. Interpretive packages, concession, playground, and showers could be discovered in the midst of the season (April to October).

Web site | 403-678-0760

Bow Valley Provincial Park Reflection

Lac Des Arcs Campground

There are about 30 open unserviced web sites applicable for RVs and tents. Firepits, a playground, water (pump), pit/vault bogs, and a shelter for groups could be discovered. The campsite is on the shores of Lac Des Arcs, and there’s moreover a hand launch on the market which makes this website in fashion for windsurfers.

Web site | 403-678-0760

Three Sisters Campground

Three Sisters campground is located inside Bow Valley Provincial Park in Ineffective Man’s Flats (merely exterior Canmore on Hwy. 1). There are 36 well-treed web sites suited to every RVs and tents (unserviced and on the market on a main come first served basis). The campground is beside the Bow River and has a hand launch for small non-motorized boats.

Web site | 403-678-0760

Clouds roll by the Three Sisters mountains in Canmore
Three Sisters Mountains – image equipped by Canmore Kananaskis Tourism

Willow Rock Campground

There are 90 unserviced and 34 power web sites, some open and some in treed areas in a first come first served basis from April to October. Services embrace a playground, showers and flush bogs, along with sewage disposal and a picnic shelter for group use.

Web site | 403-678-0760

Canoe Meadows Campground

A small and humble campground that solely has 10 walk-in tenting web sites nonetheless at a helpful staging house for river adventures alongside the Kananaskis River. Bookings are by reservations solely from April to October. Services are main with solely pit/vault bogs and firepits onsite.

Web site | 403-479-8017

Bow Valley Provincial Park
Bow Valley Provincial Park panorama – image equipped by Journey Alberta credit score rating Parks Canada

Backcountry Tenting at Jewell Bay

Backcountry tenting in Bow Valley Provincial Park is obtainable at a scenic equestrian campground often called Jewell Bay that’s located on the northwest shore of Barrier Lake. Entry is from the Barrier Dam Day Use House and it’s a short 3.9 km stroll in. It may be reached by boat as a substitute.

Tent Camping Bow Valley

There are seven campsites on the market proper right here and first amenities embrace tent pads, hitching rails, corrals, pit/vault bogs, secure meals storage lockers, and firewood. The lake is the one equipped water provide.

Phrase: Jewell Bay is closed yearly from April 14-June 16 for spring elk movement.

Points to do at Bow Valley Provincial Park in Summer season


The world is rich with among the many most interesting trails in Kananaskis – from easy hikes to heart-pumping treks. Plus, being a smaller provincial park, they aren’t as busy as among the many totally different mountaineering alternate options on the market elsewhere. See a complete itemizing of the park’s trails at Alberta Parks – Bow Valley Provincial Park.

Bonus: It’s solely a short jaunt to Canmore for rather more hikes like Ha Ling Peak (closed for 2022), Girl Macdonald Teahouse, and Grotto Mountain amongst others.

Hiking Trail in Bow Valley Provincial Park
Mountaineering Path in Bow Valley Provincial Park

Nature and Wildlife Viewing

The awe-inspiring pure panorama created by the McConnell Thrust, scenic coated bushes in lush forests, beautiful lakes to journey on (like Heart Lake, Lac De Arcs, and Barrier Lake), and engaging pure world to seek out, with one go to it’s easy to see why this park is a popular nature and wildlife viewing stop.

Grizzly Bear in Alberta


Although the campgrounds close to campers each winter, house trails are nonetheless accessible for winter mountaineering and pictures to grab the encircling mountains and wonderful environment.


This house is well-known for its fantastic fishing (significantly of the trout choice – it’s among the many most interesting fishing in Alberta) and is obtainable in Gap Lake, Bow River, or Grotto Pond (stocked).

Fishing in Kananaskis Country
Fishing in Kananaskis Nation – image equipped by Journey Alberta credit score rating Andy Biggest


Geocaching is a fulfilling family-friendly train that may very well be a in fashion issue to do inside the park. There are higher than 8 geocaches found primarily inside the north part of the park near Bow Valley Campground.


Try the paved Bow Valley Bike Path (4.2 km one-way) or bike on the road sooner than the gate closes for the season from Heart Lake to Bow Valley Campground from mid-October – April 30. There are fairly a couple of mountain biking alternate options inside the house too (check decisions right here).

Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking Bow Valley – image equipped by Journey Alberta credit score rating AV Wakefield

Canoeing, Rafting & Boating

Many native operators provide family-friendly journeys down the Kananaskis River by way of Bow Valley Provincial Park.

If bringing a ship, it might be trailer launched on each:

  • Barrier Lake on the Barrier Lake Lower Day Use House
  • Gap Lake on the Gap Lake Day Use House

* Sooner than arriving, make certain that to analysis boating security necessities for pleasure crafts.

Alternatively, there are paddle alternate options (paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing) at Barrier Lake (put in at Barrier Dam, Barrier Lake, or Widow Maker), Canoe Meadows (river paddling & shopping), Gap Lake, or Lac Des Arc.

Kananaskis Outfitters canoe experience
Kananaskis Outfitters – image equipped by Journey Alberta credit score rating AV Wakefield

Safety at Bow Valley Provincial Park

Bow Valley Provincial Park exists in a notable wildlife corridor for the animals residing contained in the house. Many animals that you’d have the ability to see inside the Canadian Rockies have their homes proper right here along with grizzly bears, black bears, cougars, wolves, deer, coyotes, mountain goats, and elk.

Wildlife inside the space is energetic so you have to to coach warning when inside the park and observe wildlife safety. Make certain to make noise when on any path, pay shut consideration to your atmosphere, and carry bear spray (it’s rather more essential to know use it).

Mountain Goats in Bow Valley
Mountain goats in Bow Valley Provincial Park – image equipped by Journey Alberta credit score rating Parks Canada

For those who occur to do encounter wildlife whereas driving decelerate and don’t stop on the shoulder to grab {{a photograph}}. Switch alongside and let the animals be of their pure habitat.

When taking place hikes or totally different actions, it’s advisable to hike in groups of two or further people, and convey garments for altering local weather circumstances (that’s Alberta and snowstorms can happen in summer season season months at higher elevations). Most importantly have a plan in case there’s an emergency and make it potential in your cellphone has a great deal of power in case it’s good to make a reputation when in reception areas.

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