The Bow Falls are located on the Bow River in Alberta's Banff National Park, within walking distance of the Banff Springs Hotel. The short, wide, cascading falls make for a popular sightseeing stop, likely because of how accessible the natural destination is—the falls can be easily enjoyed by people of all abilities and all ages. Trails for pedestrians and cyclists wind along the south shore of the Bow River and its rapids, with the walking trail climbing up to the clifftop where the falls begin (bicycles aren’t allowed at the top).
The viewing areas at Bow Falls offer vistas of the river and the falls themselves, while a cement promenade located at the base of the cascade has a few benches to sit on, though most people sit on the ledge of the promenade and enjoy the views from there. At the far end of the promenade is a small, sandy beach where rafting and kayak tours often begin.
To get to the trails that lead to the falls by car from Banff, drive to Main Street (Banff Avenue) and then cross over the Bow River Bridge. Turn left at the lights and look for parking. The trail sign for the Bow Falls Trail will be on the left. To drive all the way to the falls, turn left onto Glen Avenue after the bridge then continue on Bow Falls Drive and turn left into the parking lot. The clifftop section at the top of the falls is closed during the winter months.