Bow Valley Parkway Road Trip: Best Stops From Banff To Lake Louise

Although it’s just 51 kilometers long, the Bow Valley Parkway makes for a spectacular road trip, and you’ll constantly be pulling over to take photographs or just to gaze in awe at the surroundings.

This is the heart of Banff National Park, and outdoor lovers will be in their element.

To inspire your next adventure, here are the best stops on the drive from Banff to Lake Louise.

Banff is a small town, but there’s a lot to do here, and it’s the perfect place to spend a few days before heading off onto the Bow Valley Parkway to Lake Louise.

Banff Town


One of the first stops out of Banff is an area known as the Sawback. In Banff, the rangers will often cut down, or saw back, large swathes of forest and enact controlled burns.

Johnston Canyon

Explore Johnston Canyon with a guide leading the way, marvel at shimmering frozen waterfalls and hike along a suspended catwalk.

Castle Mountain Lookout

A trail leads for 7.4 kilometers upwards from the Bow Valley Parkway, and it’s a steep, tough walk that will take at least 3 hours there and back, possibly longer.

Rockbound Lake

The trail starts just off the Bow Valley Parkway, and it will take you through the backcountry and to two beautifully scenic lakes.

Baker Creek Mountain Resort

From the parking lot you can access the Baker Creek, where you’ll find chairs to relax and enjoy the scenery. You may even spot a bear during your visit.

Silverton Falls

This beautiful waterfall is found less than a kilometer off the Bow Valley Parkway, and you’ll be there and back in well under one hour.

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