Time: 4 - 6 hours (However I'd recommend staying overnight in the hut)
Distance: 15.5 Km Return
Elevation Gain: 550 Metres
Access: You'll find Bow Lake, Bow Falls and the Bow Hut trail on the Icefields Parkway just over an hours drive from the town of Banff. You can park at Simpson's Num-Ti-Jah Lodge and then the trail starts on the right hand side of the lake.
Bow Hut is an Alpine Club of Canada hut, these huts are a great base for ski touring, climbers, mountaineers and general explorers. They offer a comfortable bed, cooking facilities and a warm fire. A lot of these huts are set in stunning mountain landscapes surrounded by glaciers and rock faces.
The hike in to Bow Hut is relatively straight forward with a few steeper sections. At first you'll find yourself following the shoreline of Bow Lake along a flat trail, eventually you'll head into the woods where the track starts to ascend.
Around a third of the way in to the trail it will split, the right hand side will take you to bow falls and the left to Bow Hut, the falls are a worthy stop off but will add quite a bit of time to your day. From this point the trail is relatively straight forward however it does include several river crossings where you'll need to hop across trying not to get your feet too wet as well as uneven ground.
Cairns lead the way when the path isn't as obvious but you will need to keep a close eye out to know where you're going. Once you clear the trees you will be able to see the hut sitting on the ridge line, it's very hard to spot but it is there! From this point there's just a little bit of rock hopping and small river crossings followed by one final steep ascent until you'll be able to put your bag down, start a fire and have a drink!
The Bow Lake Hut is a great overnighter, with the short distance it isn't unrealistic to pack your back full of wine, cheese and treats for your arrival. Even though it isn't the most scenic of huts it's a worthwhile trip, if you are on the look out for something prettier be sure to check out the Conrad Kain Hut.