Search a subject!banff bear bicycle bike canada chateau christmas event fairmont festival food grizzly hike hiking hotel jeff mitchell lake lake louise louise minnewanka mountain mountains national national park nature park photography resort rockies rocky scenery ski skiing snow snowboard sports sunshine village tour tourism trail travel trip vacation wildlife winter
Exploring the Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park
October 19, 2012
The Bow Valley Parkway, aka Highway 1A, was the original highway connecting Banff and Lake Louise, long before the Trans Canada Highway joined Canada’s highest town and hamlet. It is a 51 km section of winding road, and could be one of the most beautiful drives in the country.
The Bow Valley Parkway is also a popular road biking route. Photo-Craig Douce
Beginning just a few kilometres west of Banff, this drive is teeming with beautiful scenery and wildlife. Along the way there are numerous Parks Canada interpretive displays, amazing hikes, and some beautiful places to stay overnight in the park. In the video we show an autumn look at the Bow Valley Parkway, but it is a year-round experience. In the winter it is also a great place for snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or just relaxing at one of the cozy winter lodges.
We spotted this seemingly smiling grizzly on the BVP in September. Photo-J. Mitchell
In the video (top), Nathalie Delbecq from Parks Canada takes me on an interpretive tour of the Parkway-showing me that even after 20 years of driving this route there is still much to learn about it. Stay tuned to the end of the video for a time lapse look at the whole drive!
We also ask any visitors driving the Parkway to follow the speed limit (60 km/hour), and to be responsible when viewing wildlife on the road. Pull well out of traffic, give the animals their space, and most importantly-stay in your vehicle when taking photographs. Here are some tips from Parks Canada on protecting people and wildlife on the road.
And if you want something different than staying in Banff or Lake Louise, try staying somewhere in between, especially if you would like your own chalet! Baker Creek Chalets, Castle Mountain Chalets, and Johnston Canyon are truly some amazing resorts and well worth a look if you are planning a trip here. There is also a hostel along the route that may pique your interest.
Here is some more information on the Bow Valley Parkway:
Parks Canada Interpretive Display Locations
Video Look at Ice Walking Johnston Canyon With Discover Banff Tours
Video Look At Fondue With A View up Castle Mountain