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HomeRoad TripThe 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

Final up to date on June 29, 2022

Searching for data on the place to hike, camp, and issues to do on a visit to Bow Valley Provincial Park? Look no additional! We’ve compiled all of the pertinent data you have to to discover this wonderful place.

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

Bow Valley Campground

The park generally is a choose-your-own-adventure relying on what you’re feeling up for on the day. The entire park is a mixture of rugged open air and punctiliously curated interpretive help 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 vary from quick interpretive trails round Bow Valley park campgrounds that are perfect for households with babies to longer hikes like Mount Yamnuska, Coronary heart Mountain, Grotto Canyon Path, Bow Valley Bunker, and extra. (Our publish on Canmore hikes will provide you with some nice concepts.)

This is among the largest Alberta parks with a plethora of enjoyable actions to discover…Learn on to search out out extra concerning the Bow Valley.

Land Acknowledgement

Bow Valley Provincial Park is positioned within the conventional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) and the individuals of the Treaty 7 area. We acknowledge all the many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands in Bow Valley Provincial Park, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, and inside and across the Kananaskis space for hundreds of years.

About Bow Valley Provincial Park

Bow Valley Provincial Park is positioned in Kananaskis Nation on the confluence of the Bow River and the Kananaskis River, on the japanese fringe of the Rocky Mountains. It spans almost 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 a part of a notable wildlife hall – a protected route that enables wildlife to maneuver safely between areas of appropriate habitat.

There are two fundamental entrance factors: one is off the Trans-Canada Freeway on the intersection with Freeway 1X and the opposite is on the entrance to the Barrier Dam through Freeway 40. This small however mighty provincial park packs a punch with spectacular views, varied trails to stroll or hike, and glowing waters famend for difficult fishing, it’s a good cease for a day journey in nature.

Mountain view in Bow Valley Provincial Park
Mountain view in Bow Valley Provincial Park – picture offered by Journey Alberta credit score Parks Canada

The Finest Time To Go to

With a year-round customer centre and spectacular mountains that look wonderful naked or snow-capped, Bow Valley Provincial Park is accessible and enjoyable to go to any season of the yr! It’s only a matter of what you need to do whilst you’re there. For the quintessential provincial park summer time expertise stuffed with swimming, mountain climbing the plethora of trails, and horseback using, Could to September is good.

Bow Valley Provincial Park remains to be a worthy vacation spot in winter. The actions will after all be extra geared in the direction of snow actions should you go to between November to February. Suppose cross-country snowboarding and snowshoeing. It’s additionally a good time to come across some wildlife.

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

Bow Valley Provincial Park Landscape
Bow Valley Provincial Park with some snow – picture offered by Journey Alberta credit score Parks Canada

Remember the fact that irrespective of the season, automobiles parked at provincial park and public land websites in Kananaskis Nation and the Bow Valley want a Conservation Move. Purchase your cross on-line and register your license plate or you should buy a cross on the customer centre. Just one cross per car is required and cross purchases are non-transferable to a different car.

Present charges for private automobiles (2022):

  • Day cross – $15 (registers one car)
  • Yearly cross – $90 (registers as much as 2 automobiles)

Attending to Bow Valley Provincial Park

From Calgary to Bow Valley Provincial Park

Head west out of the town on Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W and carry on this highway for just below an hour. Following the indicators, take exit 93 towards Three Sisters Parkway/Bow River Campground for roughly 10 minutes till you attain the parking zone for the park.

Car Driving in Bow Valley Kananaskis
Automotive Driving in Bow Valley – picture offered by Journey Alberta credit score Sean Thonson

From Edmonton to Bow Valley Provincial Park

When leaving Edmonton, take Calgary Path to AB-2 S and comply with this freeway south for simply over 2 hours till reaching the north finish of Calgary. Preserve proper on the fork, comply with indicators for Alberta 201 W/Stoney Tr and merge onto Stoney Path NW/AB-201 W.

Keep on Stoney Path NW for 23 km till you see indicators for Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W after which take the exit towards Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W. Keep on the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 for about an hour till you see the exit for exit 93 towards Three Sisters Parkway/Bow River Campground which can be simply shy of Canmore. Keep on this paved highway for roughly 10 minutes till you attain the parking zone for the park.

Accessibility at Bow Valley Provincial Park

On condition that Bow Valley Provincial Park is within the coronary heart of Kananaskis Nation, it’s a rugged vacation spot. Though there are some interpretive trails and paved roads across the campgrounds, the park is just not notably accessible for these with restricted mobility. Nevertheless, some campsites do supply wheelchair-accessible washrooms.

Hiking in Bow Valley Provincial Park

Tenting in Bow Valley Provincial Park

There’s a number of tenting out there with many wonderful campsites alongside the attractive Bow River or within the forest if you wish to not be on the mercy of sturdy winds. As stays in close by Canmore accommodations in the summertime months will be dear and e-book up extraordinarily fast, tenting is a tremendous approach to simply and affordably entry Canmore and Banff.

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

Camping in Bow Valley

Bow River Campground

The season runs from April till October at this accessible campsite. The majority of the 60+ campsites are serviced with energy and the campground sits subsequent to the Bow River, providing nice views to most fortunate websites. Showers, firewood on the market, firepits, and pit/vault bogs are among the facilities out there throughout the season.

Web site | 403-678-0760

Bow Valley Campground

Giant campground located alongside the Bow River for nice views of the encircling mountains and riverfront containing 170+ websites from unserviced to energy/water websites. Interpretive applications, concession, playground, and showers can be found throughout 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 websites appropriate for RVs and tents. Firepits, a playground, water (pump), pit/vault bogs, and a shelter for teams can be found. The campsite is on the shores of Lac Des Arcs, and there’s additionally a hand launch out there which makes this web site common for windsurfers.

Web site | 403-678-0760

Three Sisters Campground

Three Sisters campground is positioned inside Bow Valley Provincial Park in Lifeless Man’s Flats (simply exterior Canmore on Hwy. 1). There are 36 well-treed websites suited to each RVs and tents (unserviced and out there on a primary come first served foundation). 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 – picture offered by Canmore Kananaskis Tourism

Willow Rock Campground

There are 90 unserviced and 34 energy websites, some open and a few in treed areas in a first come first served foundation from April to October. Facilities embrace a playground, showers and flush bogs, together 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 websites however at a handy staging space for river adventures alongside the Kananaskis River. Bookings are by reservations solely from April to October. Facilities are fundamental with solely pit/vault bogs and firepits onsite.

Web site | 403-479-8017

Bow Valley Provincial Park
Bow Valley Provincial Park panorama – picture offered by Journey Alberta credit score Parks Canada

Backcountry Tenting at Jewell Bay

Backcountry tenting in Bow Valley Provincial Park is offered at a scenic equestrian campground known as Jewell Bay that’s positioned on the northwest shore of Barrier Lake. Entry is from the Barrier Dam Day Use Space and it’s a quick 3.9 km stroll in. It will also be reached by boat in its place.

Tent Camping Bow Valley

There are seven campsites out there right here and fundamental facilities embrace tent pads, hitching rails, corrals, pit/vault bogs, safe meals storage lockers, and firewood. The lake is the one offered water supply.

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

Issues to do at Bow Valley Provincial Park in Summer time


The realm is wealthy with among the greatest trails in Kananaskis – from simple hikes to heart-pumping treks. Plus, being a smaller provincial park, they aren’t as busy as among the different mountain climbing alternatives out there elsewhere. See an entire itemizing of the park’s trails at Alberta Parks – Bow Valley Provincial Park.

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

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

Nature and Wildlife Viewing

The awe-inspiring pure panorama created by the McConnell Thrust, scenic lined bushes in lush forests, lovely lakes to journey on (like Center Lake, Lac De Arcs, and Barrier Lake), and fascinating wildlife to find, with one go to it’s simple to see why this park is a well-liked nature and wildlife viewing cease.

Grizzly Bear in Alberta


Though the campgrounds near campers every winter, space trails are nonetheless accessible for winter mountain climbing and images to seize the encircling mountains and lovely surroundings.


This space is well-known for its wonderful fishing (particularly of the trout selection – it’s among the greatest fishing in Alberta) and is offered in Hole Lake, Bow River, or Grotto Pond (stocked).

Fishing in Kananaskis Country
Fishing in Kananaskis Nation – picture offered by Journey Alberta credit score Andy Finest


Geocaching is a enjoyable family-friendly exercise that could be a common factor to do within the park. There are greater than 8 geocaches discovered primarily within the north a part of the park close to Bow Valley Campground.


Attempt the paved Bow Valley Bike Path (4.2 km one-way) or bike on the highway earlier than the gate closes for the season from Center Lake to Bow Valley Campground from mid-October – April 30. There are quite a few mountain biking alternatives within the space too (examine choices right here).

Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking Bow Valley – picture offered by Journey Alberta credit score AV Wakefield

Canoeing, Rafting & Boating

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

If bringing a ship, it may be trailer launched on both:

  • Barrier Lake on the Barrier Lake Decrease Day Use Space
  • Hole Lake on the Hole Lake Day Use Space

* Earlier than arriving, make sure that to overview boating security necessities for pleasure crafts.

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

Kananaskis Outfitters canoe experience
Kananaskis Outfitters – picture offered by Journey Alberta credit score AV Wakefield

Security at Bow Valley Provincial Park

Bow Valley Provincial Park exists in a notable wildlife hall for the animals residing throughout the space. Many animals you could see within the Canadian Rockies have their houses right here together with grizzly bears, black bears, cougars, wolves, deer, coyotes, mountain goats, and elk.

Wildlife within the area is energetic so it is very important train warning when within the park and apply wildlife security. Be certain to make noise when on any path, pay shut consideration to your environment, and carry bear spray (it’s much more essential to know tips on how to use it).

Mountain Goats in Bow Valley
Mountain goats in Bow Valley Provincial Park – picture offered by Journey Alberta credit score Parks Canada

When you do encounter wildlife whereas driving decelerate and don’t cease on the shoulder to seize {a photograph}. Transfer alongside and let the animals be of their pure habitat.

When happening hikes or different actions, it’s advisable to hike in teams of two or extra individuals, and convey clothes for altering climate circumstances (that is Alberta and snowstorms can occur in summer time months at larger elevations). Most significantly have a plan in case there’s an emergency and guarantee that your cellphone has loads of energy in case it’s essential make a name when in reception areas.



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