Bow Falls in April near Banff Springs Hotel, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.
Bow Falls is an iconic and popular attraction adjacent to the Banff Springs Hotel in the Town of Banff, Alberta, Canada. As waterfalls go, Bow Falls will never be classified as extraordinary but the white frothing water. easy access and energy from negative ionization attract like a magnet.
The area hosts a matrix of trail combinations and elaborate rock steps complemented with a wooden beam railing climb along and over the elaborate rapids to wide, well-traveled trail leading along the Bow River into the Town of Banff.
Water levels are very low and uninspiring water flow on the shallow falls is channeled through rows of rock. The 'bay' at the river turn, bracketed between Tunnel Mountain and Mount Rundle, and normally used for launching raft trips, is uncharacteristically dry and people are walking on the dry bay bottom and a maverick snow patch which is stubbornly resisting unseasonably mild temperatures.
Normally, Bow Falls is a more substantially robust roaring torrent of white water generating clouds of mist that coat canyon walls and occasionally the rock steps and pathway. This day presents the serene and civilized version.
Once over and past the rise, wide, flat and well-traveled trail leads along the shoreline of anemic water flow in the Bow River. Occasional patches of snow resist the heat along the shady side of the river but trail is dry with the occasional damp patch.
The river-side trail leads to a new footbridge over the Bow River and into a dramatic view of Cascade Mountain which leads to pathway along the other side of the Bow River and a path directly to the shopping district area along Banff Avenue. Upstream a short distance the historic concrete bridge brackets taller, snow capped mountains to the west in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.
Lunch at Tony Roma's in the Town of Banff is excellent in a town which hosts tourists from around the world year round and offers a full range of eating establishments from fast food and family to gourmet fine dining.
The walk back via the same route offers excellent views of Mount Rundle past the uncharacteristically and nearly dry river beds of the Bow River. For anyone who has aspirations to try hiking, this short, easy jaunt along the Bow River is an ideal place to begin. There are hundreds of kilometers of civilized trail in the immediate vicinity which provide the ability to choose the time and distance.
The Banff Hot Springs are near the trail-head for Sulphur Mountain. For the 2016 season the Sulphur Mountain Trail is closed to hiking until the beginning of May while construction on the gondola and restaurant facility proceeds in preparation for the 150th anniversary of the founding of the National Park system in Canada which began here at Banff National Park in 1885. The partial opening date for the new and improved Banff Gondola is May 1 with graduated increments to the Grand Opening Ceremony scheduled for August 1, 2016.
There is time left in the day to hike the short, flat Fenland Trail near Vermilion Lakes at the west end of the Town of Banff before returning to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
This days visit to Banff is motivated by the opportunity to meet popular Calgary artist, Linda Wilder who, this week, is resident artist at Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont in the Banff Springs Hotel.
Photographs for this post were taken at Bow Falls in the Town of Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada on April 17, 2016.