Bow Pass
2069 m
6787 ft

Province Park Map Latitude Longitude UTM Grid Ref
51; 43; 15
116; 29; 30
Headwaters N or E Headwaters S or W Adjacnt Mtn N or W Adjacnt Mtn S or E
Mistaya River
Bow River
Mount Jimmy Simpson
Observation Peak

Named by Named for Other Names Year Named

Location: The pass takes its name from the Bow River whose headwaters flow to southeast from the pass.
Bow Summit

Other Information
Photo: Looking south from the summit of Bow Pass


Highway #93 travels over this pass, the highest road in Canada’s national parks. Its northern slopes are made up of a gently sloping wedge of meadow with clumps of low bushes and trees.

Upon reaching this important divide it is still well worth the time to pull over and enjoy the distant peaks, including Sunwapta Peak, that can be seen beyond the headwaters of the Saskatchewan River to the north. The Mistaya River Valley follows a very straight line, paralleling the general northwest-southeast trend of the mountain ranges and this enables us to see mountains beyond the next pass to the north, Sunwapta at the Columbia Icefields.

Walter Wilcox travelled over Bow Pass in 1896. In his book, "The Canadian Rockies," he describes the pass as follows: "Open, treeless moors, abounding in irregular mounds and depressions, covered with a scant growth of grass, stunted willows, and a dwarfed underbrush, extended in a gradually rising valley to a pass about three miles north-west of the lake (Bow Lake). The view on the other side of the pass is one of the most inspiring in the mountains. The slope drops suddenly a thousand feet and discloses the entire length of Bear (Mistaya) Creek Valley, or the Little Fork of the Saskatchewan."

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