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Bow Glacier Falls
   Alberta, Canada

This waterfall has been surveyed, mapped and measured in person by the World Waterfall Database.
Photo of Bow Glacier Falls The Bow River, perhaps one of the best examples of a glacially colored stream in the Rockies, starts off its scenic journey to Hudson Bay in this impressive waterfall. In 1898 when the Bow Glacier was discovered, most of the headwall where the falls occur was under ice. Since then, the glacier has retreated far enough that not only has the cliff band forming this 505 foot tall waterfall been exposed, but a large lake has formed at the foot of the glacier, which itself is fed by a smaller waterfall from the glacier above.

With the top of the falls situated at an elevation of over 7000 feet above sea level, Bow Glacier Falls exhibits seasonal fluctuations because of the extremely low temperatures during the winter months. The falls may remain frozen solid for 4-5 months on end during the shortest months of the year and may not fully spring back to life until the middle of spring, despite the otherwise significant volume of water which flows from the melting glacier.


  • Bow Glacier Falls is the Official name of this waterfall

Our thoughts

While it may not look it from the Icefields Parkway, Bow Glacier Falls is the largest (in terms of height and volume) waterfall encountered along the Icefields Parkway. The views from near the lodge are certainly scenic, but one really doesn't get a feel for how immense this waterfall is without hiking to its base. The distance may scare off some more casual hikers, but if you're looking for waterfalls, this is one hike that is well worth your time.

Location and directions

Bow Glacier Falls is quite easily visible from the Icefields Parkway near the Num-Ti-Jah Lodge and along the shores of Bow Lake, but an easy 4 ½ km trail leads from the lodge to the base of the falls for up-close views.

Bow Glacier Falls is shown in the center. Additional nearby waterfalls (if any) can be found in the list below.

Additional Nearby Waterfalls

Name of Waterfall Distance
Crowfoot Glacier Falls 2.67 mi / 4.27 km
Caldron Falls 3.58 mi / 5.72 km
Upper Caldron Falls 4.24 mi / 6.78 km
Diablaret Falls 4.83 mi / 7.73 km


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