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Where does the Bow river start?

The Bow River provides clean water, scenic views, and plenty of outdoor activities for locals and visitors alike. This precious resource even helps regulate waste from the many cities and towns found along its bank. The scenic getaways that the Bow River provides also help to increase tourism and trade. 

But did you know that this amazing river originates from an actual glacier? Learn more about the origins of the Bow River and how you can honor and enjoy this natural resource.

Bow River Rafting

About the Bow River

The start of the Bow River is found at the epic Bow Glacier. At the base of the glacier is Bow Lake, a clear and picturesque body of water located in Banff National Park. The Bow River then flows out of Bow Lake, through the park, and onwards towards Calgary. The clear river water is filtered through the Bearspaw Reservoir and is one of the main sources of drinking water for Calgary residents.

There are a few snowmelt tributaries that flow into the Bow River, adding to it’s natural and clear waters. Eleven dams are also scattered along the river before reaching Calgary. After Calgary, the Bow River extends down towards Bow Island before merging into the Oldman River. The merger of these two rivers creates the South Saskatchewan River.

Bow River Activities

Many people enjoy fishing and hiking along the banks of the river. Bow River rafting is also a popular excursion for both locals and visitors. Along with scenic sightseeing, the Bow River features whitewater rapids and flatwater areas. To get the most out of whitewater and flatwater rafting, choose between self-guided or guided river tours.

Self-guided Bow River rafting: The flatwater sections around Calgary are easy to navigate on one’s own. You can enjoy a new perspective of the city while casually floating down the river. When rafting outside the city, you can take in all the breathtaking sights from the comfort of your raft. You can even stop along the banks for a scenic picnic or to watch the sun set. Self-guided excursions can last all day, so bring plenty of sunscreen, water, and snacks!

Guided Bow River rafting: If you’re new to the river or unsure of yourself on the rapids, a guided tour is a great option. Your river guide is also a knowledgeable informant when it comes to local wildlife, history, and rafting tips. Flatwater tours are also available for those looking to relax while enjoying the natural or urban sights. Whatever your preference, a guided river rafting tour is a great way to experience all the Bow River has to offer.

Where to Rent Your Raft

If you’re ready to explore the Bow River, rafting is the best way to do it. It allows you to peacefully take in the sights of the city or wonder at the picturesque Canadian wilds. Lazy Day Raft Rentals can help you find the best river rafting excursion of the Bow River. Choose between rafts, BowYaks, BowTubes, and more to float along the Bow in comfort and style.