Bow Valley Parkway –
This is an alternate highway to Lake Louise, but you can travel at much slower speeds and you may have a chance of seeing wildlife. If you see other cars stopping, especially tour buses, that usually means there is something out there. Early in the morning you might have a bigger chance to see wildlife. Please don’t get out of your the car if you see animals, or think there may be some close by. It is very dangerous.
Getting to the Bow Valley Parkway!
Leave Banff and head West on Highway (the Trans Canada Highway). You will see Vermillion lakes on your left hand side. Soon you will see the big sign on your right that says Highway 1A and Bow Valley Parkway. Take the turnoff to the right and off you go. You can drive until Castle Mountain junction and get back to Highway 1 or keep driving on the 1A to Lake Louise and the Lake Louise Ski Area.
While open all year round, it is not recommended during the Winter due to the snow conditions and lack of traffic when something happens. During the Winter months Parks Canada asks all the travellers, including cyclists, to refrain from travelling on the Bow Valley Parkway between Johnston Canyon and the Parkway’s East entrance off the highway between during set times in the evenings. This is to create traffic-free periods for wild life.
There are times in the Spring and Fall where the Eastern half is closed to cyclists and hikers. Johnston Canyon can still be accessed by traveling the Trans Canada highway then taking the Castle Mountain exit.
Make sure you have your park pass »
For the most current and up to date details on these openings and closures please visit Parks Canada here »