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“Simply Beautiful!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bow Valley Parkway

Bow Valley Parkway
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US$161.40*
and up
Helicopter Tour over the Canadian Rockies
Eaton, Colorado
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Simply Beautiful!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 October 2013

During mid September was when we were up in Banff. The drive was breathtaking with much to see.....wildlife, glaciers, lakes and hiking trails galour (doesnt matter if you want a beginner level or advance or time wise... a five minute walk or 5 hr to whatever hike, there is something for everyone on this road. We hiked the Johnston Canyon trail to the upper falls, it was raining but it was quite serene, hardly anybody on the trail due to the weather.

Visited September 2013
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Thank 161KarenF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Take the drive!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2013

We never visit Banff and take Hwy 1 to and from other places when we can travel the Bow Valley Parkway. Your chances of seeing wildlife is greater here than the highway above because they are fenced in there and on the BVP they can be right on the road or just alongside for perfect photography. I've seen the most popular grizzly bear in Banff many times just by travelling the slow and quiet parkway, along with everyone else who does the same thing, searching for wildlife.

Visited July 2013
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3 Thank Schoolmarm86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Priddis, Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“The Road Less Travelled”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2013

It is definitely worth it to take your time and wander down this lovely, quiet road with spectacular scenery and, usually, animal sightings. I have driven this route many times and seen elk, bears, sheep, coyotes and even a wolf! We, again, veered off the TransCanada on our way to Jasper last week to experience the leisurely drive with the fall colors and hopefully the odd animal. Alas, the animals weren't out that day, but the trip was relaxing with lots of fantastic photo ops of the magnificent scenery.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Lynn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kontich, Belgium
Level Contributor
177 reviews
108 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“A prelude to the Icefields Parkway”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2013

When driving from Banff to Lake Louise, make sure to use Bow Valley Parkway instead of TC-1. Very scenic route, and high chances to view wildlife along the road. Possibilities to walk some trails along the route (e.g. Johnston Canyon) and to stop at several locations for some splendid views (e.g. Castle Mountain). Take your time for this drive, and enjoy nature all around.

Visited September 2013
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1 Thank Georges B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
41 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Johnston Canyon is well worth it. Rest of the Parkway, not much.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2013

We started our drive from the south early in the morning on a August day. We immediately saw a large Elk but the rest of the morning, saw no other large animals. We also drove the Parkway coming from the North two days later, no animals.
On the day we drove from the south, we arrived at Johnston Canyon parking lot by 9AM. There were only a handful of cars in the parking area and felt we had beat the crowds. Then we crossed the foot bridge over to the lodge and trailhead only to see 3 buses parked and already unloaded. The good thing was most of folks were returning to the bus. So once we got to the lower falls and continued to the upper falls, there were no crowds. By the time we were returning, the path started getting crowded. Once back at the parking area, the empty morning parking lot was now packed. BUT we loved the hike but it uniqueness makes it a crowded stop! Go early to beat the crowds and hope no bus loads!
We did one other hike which was to the falls on the way to Rockbound Lake. Please note, somebody's version of a short walk in the brochure was far from it.
The Castle Cliffs is a magnificent site. We ate lunch at Baker Creek Bistro on the north end that was very enjoyable.
The drive is heavily treed so not much scenery could be seen from the road. It is pretty. More animals would have made that worth it but that is hit or miss. Maybe more hikes, like to Castle Cliffs, would make the drive all the more worth while.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank smungallNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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