Bow Hut

The ACC operates the largest network of backcountry huts in North America. The Bow Hut is fantastically scenic, perfectly situated and is an excellent base for exploring further onto the Wapta Icefields in winter or summer. See all of our huts here

Winter or Summer, the Heart of the Wapta

The Bow Hut is fantastically scenic, perfectly situated and is an excellent base for exploring further onto the Wapta Icefields in winter or summer. It is the easiest and most natural route onto the Wapta and gives access to the Peyto Hut to the north, and the Balfour and Scott Duncan huts to the south. In winter, a trip to the Bow Hut is a common first ski-mountaineering experience, being a reasonable days ski from the highway and providing access to fantastic powder skiing and great ski-mountaineering objectives like Mt. Olive and St. Nicholas Peak. The peaks of the Wapta are an attraction for summer mountaineering as well and many climbers have learned or honed their glacier travel and crevasse rescue skills within sight of the hut. The hut itself is bright, spacious and fantastically scenic. It is the largest, best equipped and most accessible of the four huts on the Wapta.

At A Glance

General: On the east side of the Wapta Icefield, above Bow Lake in Banff National Park
Map and Grid Reference: 
Hut Elevation: 2,350 m (7,700 ft)
Lat / Long:
Open: Open all year
Rates: See below
Quick Description: From Bow Lake, a 4-6 hour hike (summer) or ski (winter) to the benches below St. Nicholas Peak.
Elevation Gain to Hut: 400 m (1,300 ft)
Approach Time: 4 to 6 hours
Approach Description: Printable PDF
Trail Conditions: Parks Canada
How To Book

Check Availability

Other Huts in the Area

The Wapta Icefield is home to four ACC huts. See Whyte (Peyto), R.J. Ritchie (Balfour) and Scott Duncan huts.

Bow Hut fact: The original Bow Hut was built in 1968. It was replaced with the current hut in 1989.


All hut pricing is subject to change without notice.

Summer (May 1 to October 30)

  ACC Member Non-Member
Price per night $40 $50


  • There are no pre-set booking schedule for these dorm-style huts. Guests may book and stay for any period.
  • Overnight rates are inclusive of all fees and charges, including Parks Canada fees. Beginning summer 2022, Parks Canada Wilderness Pass fees will not be added to your booking.


Check Hut Availability


Sleeps 30
Mattress pads provided, bring your own sleeping bag
Propane stovetops (propane supplied)
Propane lighting – propane is supplied
Wood stove – firewood is provided
Snow melt

Recreational Opportunities

  • Mountaineering
  • Ski Touring
  • Ski Mountaineering


Bow Lake approach: Bow Hut is reached in a day from the highway via a 4-6 hour hike (summer) or ski (winter). From the trailhead at Num-ti-jah Lodge the route follows the lake, canyon and trails to the bench overlooking Bow Lake. From the north (Peyto Hut): In good conditions this is an easy glacier crossing but navigation can be difficult with poor visibility. From the south (Balfour Hut): From the Balfour Hut, the route ascends the Vulture Glacier and descends around the west side of St. Nicholas Peak to the Bow Hut. Printable detailed approach description.

Printable detailed approach description

References and Links

The Hut Experience

Staying in a backcountry hut is a shared, rustic experience. Sleeping, kitchen and living areas are communal, and foam mattresses, cooking and eating utensils are provided. Guests area expected to bring their own sleeping bags, food and personal items.

All of our huts are user-maintained, meaning that the custodial work of keeping the hut clean, chopping firewood and shovelling snow is done by the guests. The ACC provides major service and renovations to all of our huts each year to ensure they are in good repair.

There are no transition days between bookings. Guests are responsible to sanitize before and after use of the huts.

Download our hut cleaning and sanitation guidelines here.

Video tour of the Bow Hut