Bow River

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Bow River: Tours & Tickets


Bow River: Our most recommended tours and activities

Banff National Park: 1-Hour Bow River Horseback Ride

1. Banff National Park: 1-Hour Bow River Horseback Ride

Start the tour in Banff where you will meet a member of the riding office, who will check you in and provide you a helmet for your ride. From here, walk back outside into the sunshine and meet your trusty horse. Using a step, climb onto your horse under the direction of your guide, and learn some basic horseback riding techniques. Follow your guide along the tranquil Bow River and past the historic Cave and Basin Hot springs - the original birthplace of Banff National Park. This area is home to wildlife in amongst the thick marshes and grassy meadows. Enjoy unspoiled views of the magnificent Rocky Mountains along the way. After 1 hour of scenic horseback riding, return to the stables, where you'll disembark and say goodbye to your horse with some farewell pats.

Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

2. Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

Enjoy the serenity of the Bow River on a family-friendly canoe tour. Get ready to be amazed by extraordinary views of Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies around you. This sightseeing tour is perfect for the whole family and doesn't require any previous experience. Meet at the Banff Canoe Club, just a 5-minute walk from downtown Banff. As you journey upstream, your expert guide will entertain you with stories of the past, history of canoeing, and interesting local facts. Admire the scenery around you, while learning how to paddle as a team. After 1 and a half hours of fun, enjoy a complimentary, refreshing lemonade on the shore.

Banff: Morning Whitewater Rafting Tour in Horseshoe Canyon

3. Banff: Morning Whitewater Rafting Tour in Horseshoe Canyon

Embark on an exciting rafting trip through class 3-4 rapids and with big waves meaning you will get soaked and have lots of fun. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife sightings and enjoy the stunning outdoor beauty of the Horseshoe Canyon section of the Bow River. Start your rafting adventure with an optional pick-up in Banff or Canmore and enjoy the short scenic ride as it winds its way through the Canadian countryside. Once you're fitted with your wetsuits and other safety equipment, be transported in a comfortable bus a short distance to the starting point on the Bow River. Here, your guides will go through safety instructions and paddle techniques ready for your time on the river. Then it's time to jump aboard to start your journey. Admire the views during calm parts of the river and learn from your guide as they lead the group through different paddling techniques. Make sure to watch for the area’s local wildlife, including eagles soaring above and deer strolling along the river banks. Then, the river comes to life, kicking up a series of frothy rapids that will get your heart pumping. Hang tight and listen for your guide's instructions as he helps you navigate the whitewater through the shale cliffs. At the midway point, stop for an optional cliff jump into the glacier-fed waters of the Bow River. Depending on your adventure level you can choose from a medium or a big cliff jump, or simply enjoy watching the others take the plunge. After the thrill of cliff jumping, continue rafting until you reach the endpoint. Return to the river base for high fives, snacks, and optional return transport. This tour operates from mid May to early September, with transport available from late May onwards on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Banff: Horseback Ride with Cowboy Cookout BBQ Lunch

4. Banff: Horseback Ride with Cowboy Cookout BBQ Lunch

Meet your guide at the stables in Banff, where your adventure will begin. After check in at the office, walk back outside into the sunshine and meet your trusty horse. Climb onto your horse under the direction of your guide, and learn some basic horseback riding techniques.  Embark on a 1-hour ride along the Bow River and past the historic Cave and Basin hot springs towards the lunch spot at 3 Mile Cabin. Upon arrival, let the cook know how you would like your steak cooked or first try a round of lassoing or horseshoes. Tuck into your cooked-to-order steak along with a baked potato, cowboy baked beans, Caesar salad, buns, and dessert. This sheltered lunch spot has comfortable picnic benches and there's plenty of time to relax by the fire or try some western style games after lunch if you prefer. After your tasty lunch, take a 1-hour ride back along the Sulphur Mountain Trail and up and around the Windy Knoll, where you can see dazzling views of the surrounding mountains. Back at the stables, disembark and say goodbye to your horse with some farewell pats.

Banff: Wildlife on the Bow River Big Canoe Tour

5. Banff: Wildlife on the Bow River Big Canoe Tour

Discover life on the Bow River in a 12-seat Canoe. Start the tour in the evening and learn fun facts about animal habitats, behaviors, and conservation in the region. Escape the bustling Banff streets and get back to nature. Enjoy paddling up the scenic Bow while keeping your eyes peeled for some of the locals like bald eagles, elk, muskrats, and maybe even “Barry” the resident beaver. Let our informative guides share the best practices for wildlife encounters and discover the challenges they face with increasing human interaction.

Banff: Family Friendly Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride

6. Banff: Family Friendly Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride

Start your tour in Banff, where you will meet a member of the riding office, who will check you in for your sleigh ride. Now it's time to climb into the sleigh and get cozy with your loved ones under a cozy wool blanket. Hear the tinkling of sleigh bells, as the horses lead you on a journey through Banff's mountain meadows. Along the way, listen to stories from your guide and soak in the spectacular views of the valley and surrounding mountains, while keeping your eyes peeled for local wildlife, such as elk and deer. Finish your memorable excursion with a fireside warm-up stop after the ride, where you can toast a marshmallow and enjoy a warm drink back at the stables.

Banff: 2-Day Overnight Backcountry Lodge Trip by Horseback

7. Banff: 2-Day Overnight Backcountry Lodge Trip by Horseback

On this backcountry adventure, your guide will take you along a route that the early explorers of the Canadian Rockies blazed nearly a century ago. It’s the ideal way to dip your toe into horseback trekking in Banff. On the first day, start the trip at the stables in Banff, where you will meet your trusty horse, specifically picked for you. Even if you have no experience, you'll be matched with a mild-mannered horse and be taught everything you need to know. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you gain confidence in the saddle. All the horses are steady, responsive, and can be counted on to cross any terrain, from forest paths to boulder-strewn creeks. On the ten mile journey to your lodge, follow the trail alongside the rushing glacier-fed waters of the Bow River, Healy Creek, and Brewster Creek. Along the way, stop for a simple, hearty cowboy-style hot lunch on the banks of the river. You’ll arrive at Sundance Lodge late afternoon, This is an ideal place for those who want to marvel at the beauty of the Banff backcountry, while still being swaddled in comfort. Settle into your room and freshen up from your day on the trail, then gather around the table for a gourmet meal and an evening of conversation. Arise on the second day to enjoy a delicious breakfast, and some free time to enjoy your morning and the surrounding countryside. You will begin the ride back to Banff in the late morning, bringing along handmade sandwiches for the journey, as well as fresh-baked goodies and fruit. Return to Banff at approximately 4:30 PM, with plenty of stories to tell about your adventure in the backcountry.

Banff: Private Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

8. Banff: Private Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

Embark on a ride on a horse-drawn carriage to explore the main sights of Banff in a fun, romantic, and authentic way. Each carriage can hold up to 6 passengers. Choose from 3 regular tours from downtown Banff. The Downtown Banff carriage ride is a 15-minute ride that takes you through the town and along the Bow River. Pass by many of the original homesteads of Banff, each having a story to tell. From the Bow River, pass by Banff’s Central Park and back onto Banff Avenue for your return to downtown. The Bow River carriage ride is a 30-minute ride that takes you over the Bow River and past the Indian Trading Post onto one of Banff’s prestigious residential streets. Follow the Bow River and loop back to downtown, crossing the Bow River again before returning to downtown Banff. The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel ride is a 1-hour carriage ride along the Bow River and past Central Park. Continue over the Bow River, past the Luxton Museum, and past the world-famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

Calgary: Bow River Self-Guided Rafting Trip

9. Calgary: Bow River Self-Guided Rafting Trip

Choose the perfect raft for your group and find it ready for you at the meeting point. Float down the class I section of the Bow River, a relatively flat and calm part of the river. Use the current and flow of the river to guide you, and paddle at your leisure. The beautiful clear water of the Bow River originates from the Rocky Mountains glaciers. Take advantage of the clean water with a cooling swim in the river if you so desire. The easy rapids of the river mean you and your group can take over the “guide’s paddle”. Guide yourselves, call commands, and steer the raft as a team. The river will give you feedback on how you’re paddling, and it’s a chance to finish the day in exhilarating fashion. Once you reach the end of the rafting trip, simply hand over the equipment to the crew at the finishing point at St Patrick’s Island.

Tunnel Mountain Trail: Nature Tour with Audio Guide

10. Tunnel Mountain Trail: Nature Tour with Audio Guide

Experience the marvelous beauty of Tunnel Mountain Trail on a self-guided audio tour. You will receive the downloading instructions on your voucher after booking. Explore the trail at your own pace with your audio trail guide. Ascend over 266 meters and experience incredible scenic views of the Town of Banff, the valley, and the Sulphur Mountain Viewpoint. Marvel at the awe-inspiring turquoise Bow River as it meanders past the daunting peaks of the Rocky Mountains. See the beautiful scenery while hearing about Mount Rundle, thousands of wildflowers, uniquely shaped trees, and the Rocky Mountain wildlife. Hear the history of the area’s first settlers, the naming of Tunnel Mountain, the Banff town, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banff National Park. Enjoy an incredible 360-degree view when you get to the summit of Tunnel Mountain. Reach the top of the peak and soak in beautiful views of the Banff townsite, Vermillion lakes, and the Mountains of Banff National Park.

Other Sightseeing Options in Bow River

Want to discover all there is to do in Bow River? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Bow River

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 177 reviews

I loved it. My issue was that there was no info about the local company process or app to be able to down load and access the tour. I had to call. Wasted almost an hour as I as driving alone and had to stop multiple times

We had a great time. Our guide was very knowledgeable and kind. We are looking foreword to do it again in the summer. Thank you for a wonderful ride.

It was awesome. We enjoyed the tour and appreciated the knowledge of the tour guide. Thank you.

Well done! Good registration process. As guests we were made to feel comfortable and welcome.

Our tour guide was awesome. The horses were beautiful. And the views were amazing.