Waterfall Valley in Autumn - Calgary - Hiking Alberta

 

Waterfall Valley is an easy hike along the Bow River in Bowmont Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

 

Trail-head parking is near the junction of the south end of Silver Springs Blvd NW with 54 Avenue NW.  Consult a map for access in Silver Springs.  From the Bowmont Park sign, take the paved path to Bow River Pathway and jog right to the clearly-signed trail entrance into Waterfall Valley at the bottom of the dip.  Canada Olympic Park is prominent on the far side of the Bow River valley.

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Park,Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The entrance at Bowmont Natural Environment Park

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada A long lens view of Calgary Olympic Park from trail-head parking for Waterfall Valley in Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada The Waterfall Valley trail-head on the Bow River Pathway in Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Wooden stairs lead into Waterfall Valley from the top and both sides of the coulee.  Major portions of this short hike, with minimal and gradual elevation, are on boardwalk.  There are small ledges which can cause a stumble so, like any trail, it is important to watch where feet are landing. 

As the valley narrows, foliage becomes more dense and a spring-fed, babbling brook provides soothing sound to enhance the experience.  The color of surrounding Autumn leaves eliminates all visible evidence of city sprawl.  Large tufa rock formations on the left provide advance notice of imminent arrival at the waterfalls.

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Descending the wooden stairs into Waterfall Valley at Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada A colorful tunnel over the boardwalk into Waterfall Valley at Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Dense shrubbery blocks urban presence in Waterfall Valley at Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Large tufa rock formations on the approach to waterfalls in Waterfall Valley at Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Near the Bow River a short set of stairs lead to a viewing platform just beyond the small but pretty waterfalls.

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada The first spring-fed waterfall in Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada The larger spring-fed waterfall in Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

The steep trail above the viewing platform provides outstanding views over the Bow River and beyond.

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada The view above the viewing platform at Bow River in Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada View from the viewpoint trail above Bow River past Bowness to Canada Olympic Park from Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada View past the railroad bridges to Bowness and Baker Parks and the Stoney Trail bridge from the trail above Waterfall Valley in Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada View across Waterfall Valley from the trail above the viewing platform in Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada The Bow River east from the trail above the viewing platform in Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Descending the steep trail affords excellent views into Waterfall Valley.  When the ground is wet, this section of trail can be very slippery so appropriate footwear is important.  The wooden viewing platform becomes visible at the bottom of Waterfall Valley adjacent to the Bow River.

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Hiking the steep descent back to the viewing platform on the Bow River in Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Fall color approaching the tufa waterfalls in Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Back at the viewing platform stairs in Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Tufa waterfalls in Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Near the viewing platform, there is a small, easy scramble descent to the outlet of the stream at the shore of the Bow River.  From this location there is an opportunity to photograph the small stream tumbling over rocks.

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Outflow from spring-fed tufa waterfalls near the Bow River in Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada The small stream from Waterfall Valley into the Bow River at Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada The small waterfalls in Waterfall Valley at Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada The view downstream from the waterfalls to the Bow River in Waterfall Valley at Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Return can be accomplished by steeper hiking routes which climb out of the valley, in a variety of more difficult ways, but most people use the obvious return via the boardwalk.  There are many examples of bright fall color along the retreat.

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Fall color along the boardwalk on the return hike from Waterfall Valley in Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Fall color along the boardwalk on the return hike from Waterfall Valley in Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Fall color along the boardwalk on the return hike from Waterfall Valley in Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The purple leaves are turning red.

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Fall color along the boardwalk on the return hike from Waterfall Valley in Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Fall color along the boardwalk on the return hike from Waterfall Valley in Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Birdhouses punctuate the top of Waterfall Valley and sweeping views over the valley are available with a short walk west along the paved Bow River Pathway.

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Waterfall Valley, Bowmont Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Waterfall Valley is an ideal place for a short, easy, urban hike in the outdoors within Calgary when there is insufficient time or resource to head to the mountains.  This hike is ideal for young families and the trail can be navigated with a large-wheeled stroller.  It is an opportunity to introduce little people to nature.  Interpretive plaques provide some history and fascinating fact about the formation and characteristics of the valley.

 

Pictures for this Autumn hike into Waterfall Valley are taken on September 22, 2014.

 

Waterfall Valley is a short, easy, urban hike in Bowmont Natural Environment Park on the north side of the Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Thank you for your comment, Helen. I hope one day to spend a bit of time in Queensland, Australia. After a winter here, the tropics would look quite good. The fall colors near Calgary have their moments but tend to be on the anemic side compared to the lower elevations of the more temperate East Coast. Calgary, the foothills and mountains experience a different autumn season. The reality of often frequent and rapidly shifting weather, higher elevation and the different variety of vegetation creates a unique experience. There is a knowledge base which equalizes the impact of the experience but the photographs cannot tell the whole story. To stand at the top of Sentinel Pass within Banff National Park on a sunny day with the glow of Larch Valley on one side and Paradise Valley on the other, all surrounded by rugged towering mountains is a unique and indelibly memorable experience which I hope you will have the opportunity to enjoy one year. I am very certain <a href="http://banfftrailtrash.blogspot.ca/" title="Running in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Leslie</a> will back me up on this.

Living in tropical Queensland we never experience the change of seasons. I was so disappointed that we weren't in New England and Canada at this time. Your photos of the colour are awesome. Thank you.

I want to say thanks for all the effort you put into your website and hikes. I appreciate the time you take to explore and document the beautiful areas around Calgary. I'm nine hours East of the Rockies on the Prairie, so your pictures keep me connected with the mountains. Take care.

Two years on we did this today-very sad to see the length of decimation of COP tree-scape for the new roads. Very different perspective from here vs driving by it. Will go again this week and take some photos.

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