Things to do in
Bow River

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: Family Friendly Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride

2. 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 with a hot drink back at the stables.

Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

3. 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: Wildlife on the Bow River Big Canoe Tour

4. 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: Morning Whitewater Rafting Tour in Horseshoe Canyon

5. 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. During the 4 hour experience, you will spend 1.5 - 2 hours on the river, exploring the pristine waterways of the Kananaskis River. 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. Get 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.

Banff: Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater Rafting Tour

6. Banff: Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater Rafting Tour

The Bow River Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater Tour is not for the faint of heart. With a river rating of Class 2-4, the Horseshoe Canyon offers big waves, hard hits, and a whole lot of excitement. From the steep shale walls to the surging glacial waters, with big hits and optional cliff jumps (8ft & 30ft) the Horseshoe Canyon will satisfy the itch for adventure you were looking for. We meet at our River Base, or hop on our complimentary shuttle from Canmore, where you'll be greeted and checked-in with one of our awesome team members. We then gear up in the provided wetsuit, helmet, booties, splash jacket and life vest, gather around our demo raft to go over a safety briefing and load the buses for a 15 mins drive to the put in. At the put in you'll meet your fun and trusty guide. Pay close attention as they go over paddling commands and general instructions for your time on the river. Now hop in the raft and let's go rafting! After your fun filled adventure you'll be reunited with our buses for a quick 15 min ride back to our River Base to change and grab a refreshing non alcoholic beverage. You'll also be provided the "how to" on where to view and purchase the photos from your tour. Your adventure has now come to an end, if you took our transport from Canmore we are ready to bring you back, if you met us at the River Base you are free to enjoy the rest of your time in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Don't be sad, we will be here whenever you are ready for more fun!

Banff: Wagon Ride with Cowboy Cookout BBQ

7. Banff: Wagon Ride with Cowboy Cookout BBQ

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 that will be pulling your wagon.  Embark on a 1-hour ride along the Bow River and past the historic Cave and Basin hot springs towards the BBQ 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 roasted potato, cowboy baked beans, coleslaw, 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 BBQ, 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 the wagon and say goodbye to your horse with some farewell pats. Please note, our establishment is located in a remote backcountry area. Due to our unique location, our kitchen operates with limited resources. We are unable to accommodate requests beyond our set menus.

Calgary: 3-hour City Highlights and Bow River Bike Tour

8. Calgary: 3-hour City Highlights and Bow River Bike Tour

Together we will ride like the locals do and discover all that Calgary has to offer. This bike tour will take you through the bike-friendly streets of Calgary, and into the amazing trails that spread throughout, most notably beside the crown jewel of city: the Bow River. With its widespread points of interest, the cycling tour is the transportation mode of choice! Your Bike Tour of Calgary starts and ends at Calgary's Sandman Signature Downtown Hotel. You may ask, can’t I just rent bikes and go for a cruise on my own? Absolutely (we provide that too), although there is nothing like connecting with what you’re riding by and sightseeing than with an expert local guide. We will share the stories and nuances of the city at large. Toonie Tours Calgary is excited to lead the way and connect you the past, present and future of Calgary. Don’t Limit Calgary to the Downtown Core There is so much more to see outside of the downtown core in Calgary. Come experience places like Fort Calgary, Inglewood, Prince’s Island Park, the Bow River, and so much more. Your local Toonie Tour guide will captivate your imagination with stories of Cowtown’s humble beginnings as a trading post, to its current status as “The Energy Capital.” While our most popular tour is the Free Walking Tour, the bike tour of Calgary is for those looking for that extra escape. A Fun, Active and Exciting Way to See the Sights The bike tour of Calgary is one of the most fun and exciting things you can do in Calgary. We will escape the busy city streets of Calgary’s downtown core and wind our way down the lazy Bow River. This tour is at a fun, comfortable pace, although it should be noted that previous biking experience is required. We’ll get into some beautiful parks that surround Calgary, allowing us great photo opportunities and that uplifting breathe of fresh air.

Banff: Bow River E-Bike Tour and Sundance Canyon Hike

9. Banff: Bow River E-Bike Tour and Sundance Canyon Hike

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Banff National Park, accessible only via hiking or biking. This leisurely e-bike ride begins in central Banff along the Bow River pathway system before travelling along a wooded pathway to reach Cave & Basin National Historic Site, birthplace of Canada's National Park system. Continue along the Bow River via the paved bike path to reach Sundance Canyon Trailhead. From here we lead you on a 2km easy hiking route through lush alpine forest, crossing several small wooden bridges while taking in the rushing waters of Sundance Canyon. Take in commanding views of the Bow Valley, Mt. Norquay, Mt. Edith and Mt. Cory, before continuing the forest hike back to your ebikes for the return ride to Banff. Level of Activity: Easy Distance: Approx. 12 km biking 2km hiking Tour Length: 3 hour round trip Note: Bookings require minimum 24 hours notice. Bookings made with less than 24 hours notice will need to be manually confirmed by contacting our office by phone.

Banff National Park: Self-Guided Scenic Driving Tour

10. Banff National Park: Self-Guided Scenic Driving Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Note: This 22+mile-long tour covers the essentials of Banff Townsite in 2-3 hours. Once downloaded, your tour begins in the heart of the Banff Townsite. From there, you'll meander along the Bow River towards the mighty Bow Falls, a natural spectacle you won’t want to miss. Next, you'll head towards the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, also known as the "Castle in the Rockies." Learn about its rich history, spanning over a century, and how it became a symbol of Banff National Park. From there, take a leisurely drive against the stunning backdrop of Cascade Mountain before reaching the shores of Lake Minnewanka. Here, you’ll uncover legends of this lake both ancient and contemporary. Next, pass the abandoned mining site of Bankhead while you make your way toward Mount Norquay. Finally, you’ll drive up a gorgeous mountain road to the Mount Norquay Lookout, where hiking trails and dining options await you. Your tour concludes here.

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Bow River: Our most recommended tours and activities

Banff National Park: 1-Hour Bow River Horseback Ride

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: Family Friendly Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride

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 with a hot drink back at the stables.

Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

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: Wildlife on the Bow River Big Canoe Tour

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: Morning Whitewater Rafting Tour in Horseshoe Canyon

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. During the 4 hour experience, you will spend 1.5 - 2 hours on the river, exploring the pristine waterways of the Kananaskis River. 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. Get 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.

Banff: Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater Rafting Tour

Banff: Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater Rafting Tour

The Bow River Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater Tour is not for the faint of heart. With a river rating of Class 2-4, the Horseshoe Canyon offers big waves, hard hits, and a whole lot of excitement. From the steep shale walls to the surging glacial waters, with big hits and optional cliff jumps (8ft & 30ft) the Horseshoe Canyon will satisfy the itch for adventure you were looking for. We meet at our River Base, or hop on our complimentary shuttle from Canmore, where you'll be greeted and checked-in with one of our awesome team members. We then gear up in the provided wetsuit, helmet, booties, splash jacket and life vest, gather around our demo raft to go over a safety briefing and load the buses for a 15 mins drive to the put in. At the put in you'll meet your fun and trusty guide. Pay close attention as they go over paddling commands and general instructions for your time on the river. Now hop in the raft and let's go rafting! After your fun filled adventure you'll be reunited with our buses for a quick 15 min ride back to our River Base to change and grab a refreshing non alcoholic beverage. You'll also be provided the "how to" on where to view and purchase the photos from your tour. Your adventure has now come to an end, if you took our transport from Canmore we are ready to bring you back, if you met us at the River Base you are free to enjoy the rest of your time in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Don't be sad, we will be here whenever you are ready for more fun!

Banff: Wagon Ride with Cowboy Cookout BBQ

Banff: Wagon Ride with Cowboy Cookout BBQ

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 that will be pulling your wagon.  Embark on a 1-hour ride along the Bow River and past the historic Cave and Basin hot springs towards the BBQ 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 roasted potato, cowboy baked beans, coleslaw, 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 BBQ, 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 the wagon and say goodbye to your horse with some farewell pats. Please note, our establishment is located in a remote backcountry area. Due to our unique location, our kitchen operates with limited resources. We are unable to accommodate requests beyond our set menus.

Calgary: 3-hour City Highlights and Bow River Bike Tour

Calgary: 3-hour City Highlights and Bow River Bike Tour

Together we will ride like the locals do and discover all that Calgary has to offer. This bike tour will take you through the bike-friendly streets of Calgary, and into the amazing trails that spread throughout, most notably beside the crown jewel of city: the Bow River. With its widespread points of interest, the cycling tour is the transportation mode of choice! Your Bike Tour of Calgary starts and ends at Calgary's Sandman Signature Downtown Hotel. You may ask, can’t I just rent bikes and go for a cruise on my own? Absolutely (we provide that too), although there is nothing like connecting with what you’re riding by and sightseeing than with an expert local guide. We will share the stories and nuances of the city at large. Toonie Tours Calgary is excited to lead the way and connect you the past, present and future of Calgary. Don’t Limit Calgary to the Downtown Core There is so much more to see outside of the downtown core in Calgary. Come experience places like Fort Calgary, Inglewood, Prince’s Island Park, the Bow River, and so much more. Your local Toonie Tour guide will captivate your imagination with stories of Cowtown’s humble beginnings as a trading post, to its current status as “The Energy Capital.” While our most popular tour is the Free Walking Tour, the bike tour of Calgary is for those looking for that extra escape. A Fun, Active and Exciting Way to See the Sights The bike tour of Calgary is one of the most fun and exciting things you can do in Calgary. We will escape the busy city streets of Calgary’s downtown core and wind our way down the lazy Bow River. This tour is at a fun, comfortable pace, although it should be noted that previous biking experience is required. We’ll get into some beautiful parks that surround Calgary, allowing us great photo opportunities and that uplifting breathe of fresh air.

Banff: Bow River E-Bike Tour and Sundance Canyon Hike

Banff: Bow River E-Bike Tour and Sundance Canyon Hike

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Banff National Park, accessible only via hiking or biking. This leisurely e-bike ride begins in central Banff along the Bow River pathway system before travelling along a wooded pathway to reach Cave & Basin National Historic Site, birthplace of Canada's National Park system. Continue along the Bow River via the paved bike path to reach Sundance Canyon Trailhead. From here we lead you on a 2km easy hiking route through lush alpine forest, crossing several small wooden bridges while taking in the rushing waters of Sundance Canyon. Take in commanding views of the Bow Valley, Mt. Norquay, Mt. Edith and Mt. Cory, before continuing the forest hike back to your ebikes for the return ride to Banff. Level of Activity: Easy Distance: Approx. 12 km biking 2km hiking Tour Length: 3 hour round trip Note: Bookings require minimum 24 hours notice. Bookings made with less than 24 hours notice will need to be manually confirmed by contacting our office by phone.

Banff National Park: Self-Guided Scenic Driving Tour

Banff National Park: Self-Guided Scenic Driving Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Note: This 22+mile-long tour covers the essentials of Banff Townsite in 2-3 hours. Once downloaded, your tour begins in the heart of the Banff Townsite. From there, you'll meander along the Bow River towards the mighty Bow Falls, a natural spectacle you won’t want to miss. Next, you'll head towards the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, also known as the "Castle in the Rockies." Learn about its rich history, spanning over a century, and how it became a symbol of Banff National Park. From there, take a leisurely drive against the stunning backdrop of Cascade Mountain before reaching the shores of Lake Minnewanka. Here, you’ll uncover legends of this lake both ancient and contemporary. Next, pass the abandoned mining site of Bankhead while you make your way toward Mount Norquay. Finally, you’ll drive up a gorgeous mountain road to the Mount Norquay Lookout, where hiking trails and dining options await you. Your tour concludes here.

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What people are saying about Bow River

Overall rating

4.5
(407 reviews)

Fabulous time. Weird how they sat out whole family of ten on one side of the wagon rather than across from each other so we could be together for the ride. Fabulous guide driver. Fabulous footman. Loved the way they cared for the horses.

Excellent very informative any questions just ask smooth ride friendly lots of time aswell to do your own thing good timing estimation loved it will definitely go again should opportunity present itself

Great way to spend Christmas Eve evening, the staff were really friendly and the overall experience was great.

The whole family enjoyed every aspect of it and we were there as a group. 17 in total. Thank you

Absolutely beautiful views, lovely warm barn, and fire area.