Easy (but lengthy) undulating walk from the junction north of the Glenbow Store to the western park boundary. This transitions to a very steep climb (14-30%) west of the kiosk.
Trail Composition: 2.6 km Paved; 2 km Granular
Average Walking Time (one way – no stopping): 60 minutes
Seasonality: Open Year-Round (take note that ice may be present in fall through spring months)
Highest Elevation: ~1229 m
Lowest Elevation: ~1121 m
Bowbend Trail is part of the Park’s main east-west arterial pathway.
Starting at the base of the hill below the Park Office, Bowbend Trail passes through a variety of landscapes before climbing out of the Bow River Valley towards Cochrane.
The paved trail between Bowbend Junction and Waverley Chimney is a series of gradual climbs and descents, paralleling the CPR mainline and River to the south. To the north, the hillsides are in some places reminiscent of Alberta’s Badlands, in others, like northern English countryside.
West of Waverley Chimney, the trail climbs gently to the west washroom, where it transitions from paved to granular surface. Just over a kilometre west of the washroom, the trail dips steeply down into a sheltered coulee, following alongside a stream for a while, only to push upwards on a steep graveled trail to the Park’s western boundary.
There are some good valley and river views, and the route is partly sheltered from the wind. Beautiful views of the Bow River are discovered as the trail breaks free of the trees and heads west.