Bow River
Culinary & Nightlife

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Our most recommended Bow River Culinary & Nightlife

Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

1. 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.

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Banff: Morning Whitewater Rafting Tour in Horseshoe Canyon

2. 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.

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Banff: 2-Day Overnight Backcountry Lodge Trip by Horseback

3. 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.

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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.

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Banff: Horseback Ride with Cowboy Cookout BBQ Lunch

5. 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.

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Banff: Private Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride for Four

6. Banff: Private Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride for Four

Enjoy a 40-minute sleigh ride on your private four-seat sleigh through the mountain meadows, situated close to the town of Banff. Meet at the Warner Stables in Banff to begin your sleigh ride. Admire the stunning views of the majestic Mount Rundle and beautiful Mount Norquay as your guide provides information on the surrounding area.  Cuddle up under a blanket with your family, friends, or loved ones in a private sleigh ride for four. If you are lucky, you may even spot some local wildlife including deer or elk. Finish off the trip by warming up by a crackling fire and roasting some marshmallows from your s'mores kit and snack on some tasty treats.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Bow River

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What people are saying about Bow River

We loved our tour - there was 9 of us for a work trip and went canoeing to see some sights. Some in our group had never been and we all had a great time. Our guide, Ryan, was knowledgeable and funny. He pointed out the mountains in the area and provided lots of information about Banff and the surrounding area. I would definitely recommend the tour.

I went with my partner, 3 kids (youngest 15) and my dad and his wife. My dad is 74! We all had a great time! Our guide, Gabriel was amazing and so great with my dad and his wife. He made the ride so much more enjoyable! I could tell all the staff and guides were an amazing group. High energy and lots of fun! I would do this again in a heartbeat!

Very good family activity. We really enjoyed it. Liam was a great tour guide.

Super friendly and fun staff and an excelent experience overall

Ryan was our tour guide and this experience was AMAZING!!!