Bow Hut

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: $30 members, $40 others

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
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.

Hut Bookings

  • Reservations arerequired at all ACC huts.
  • ACC membership is not required to book huts. ACC members can book 12 months in advance. Non-members can book 30 days in advance
  • Call 403-678-3200 ext 0 to make a booking. We are open 8:30 am to 9:30 pm daily.
  • Please read our cancellation policies and consider cancellation insurance for your trip.


Per Night Adult Member $30
Per Night Adult Non-Member $40
Per Night Child Member $15
Per Night Child Non-Member $20

About rates


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.

Video tour of the Bow Hut