4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
Hiking on the Icefields Parkway is always a magical experience.
This is the perfect place to avoid the crowds and take in the exceptional scenery.
I've done many hikes around here and this is one of my favourites.
There's some incredible views all along the trail that will keep you distracted on the long approach to the summit. The trail starts at the Bow Lake parking lot and follows the Bow falls trail.
This is a very popular trail, however; you will soon leave the crowds behind as you turn off the main trail to head up Jimmy Simpson.
The trail here isn't very well defined and can be a little hard to follow, so make sure you have the map downloaded to keep yourself on track. The route through the treeline is steep and loose, there is also some exposure on the upper sections as you traverse across cliff bands.
You may have to do a little bit of scrambling here.
Above the treeline, you can enjoy some of the marvellous views you find on this trail.
Looking back towards Bow Falls, you will now be able to see the stunning Iceberg Lake and the Bow Glacier.
The ascent up to the col is the crux of this route.
It's a steep climb on a mix of loose scree and rocks.
Choosing a good line here will save you a significant amount of time.
There are a few rock ledges to climbers left of centre, I found the easiest way up was to zig-zag through here, avoiding the worst of the scree.
From the col, it's a straightforward hike to a magnificent view from the summit.
This is a breath-taking summit panorama - you can see an abundance of spectacular lakes and glaciers from here.
The biggest challenge with this trail is the route-finding and exposure.
It's really for experienced hikers who don't have a fear of heights and are comfortable with simple scrambling and loose scree.