Banff - Bow River

Day 1: Calgary to Banff

Flair Airlines

Waterloo airport is almost around the corner from our place, so we decided to take advantage and found a direct flight from Waterloo to Calgary with Flair Airlines. The picture is taken about 45 minutes from destination (Calgary), - you can see the Canadian Rockies chain at the horizon.


Rent a car in Calgary airport and drive to Banff

 

A few scenic lookouts on the way.

About half hour before Banff there is a toll booth on the highway at the National Park entrance, where we simply showed our Discovery pass, and after 2 hours drive from Calgary International Airport we were finally in Banff. We bought Discovery pass online a few days before the trip, and the price was exactly as if we would overall pay daily, but the pass is valid for the entire year and for all Canadian National parks, so it makes sense to get it if you plan to visit more than one. Do it way in advance because it comes in mail, and I am not sure that Canada Post works at all during pandemic. But you can print a temp pass right away, and apparently it's as good as the nice green permanent one.

Mount Norquay

Check-in in Bow View Lodge was "after 3PM", so we had some time and made a short stop at Mount Norquay, which is literally next to the highway and apparently has a very nice and free view point of the entire Banff. You can see Vermillion Lakes on the right and the Bow River.

You have to be careful on the road everywhere in Banff because these guys don't care much about Highway Act (I mean the ones with legs, not wheels):

Bow View Lodge

Bow View Lodge surprised us with it's very convenient location. Public bus stop, Railway station, IGA Banff (groceries) are in 5-8 min walk, Liquor Depot is even closer, Petro Canada across the street, but what is more important - the Bow River Trail begins just under the balcony.

Bow River and Bow Falls Trails

After the long flight and drive all time we had left on the 1st day was afternoon, and after we chilled in the room for about 30 minutes, changed and took a shower, we decided that a nice walk by the river was exactly what we needed. And it worth it.

If you cross the river through the Pedestrian Bridge

and turn left on another side, you get to the Bow Falls Trail which leads you (you would never guess!) to the Bow Falls, which are pretty cool (literally, because the temperature in the Bow River is always around 4C).

Nice view from the Pedestrian Bridge on the way back to the hotel, and we call it a day:

More Bow River pictures here.

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