guide

bow valley parkway

bow valley parkway

This self-drive route, also known as the 1A Hwy, begins 6 km west of Banff off of  the TransCanada HWY 1.  An arched log entrance begins the journey which gently meanders through montane forests affording many scenic pull-offs, picnic sites, and perhaps the best opportunity to spot wildlife in Banff National Park.  The speed limit is intentionally slow at 60 km to add safety for the wildlife and the cyclists – please note large animals can appear at any time of day /night in the spring and summer months, so drive diligently.    

The springtime is a time for many of the animals to give birth to young and for the bears, a chance to forage and regain weight lost after the winter hibernation. Park gates are time sensitive and will close this section at either end of the restricted area. After 8 pm or before 8 am, Johnston Canyon is still accessible by going to Castle Junction and connecting onto the Parkway at that end.

The first 15 km of the Parkway from the east entrance near Banff has a seasonal nightly travel restriction from March 1 through to June 25.   The Parkway is closed every evening from 8 pm to 8 am to allow additional tranquility for the wildlife.