The Bow River is a river in the Canadian province of Alberta. It is a tributary of the South Saskatchewan River, and is considered the headwater of the Nelson River.
The name "Bow" refers to the reeds that grew along its banks and which were used by the local First Nations peoples to make bows; the Peigan name for the river is "Makhabn", meaning "river where bow reeds grow".
The river's source is from the Bow Glacier, which is part of the Wapta Icefield. The outflow from this source flows into Bow Lake in the Canadian Rockies. It flows south to the village of Lake Louise then turns east and flows through the town of Banff then through Canmore. The Ghost Lake reservoir is formed upstream from the town of Cochrane. The Bow then flows eastward to the city of Calgary; it continues on to form the South Saskatchewan River when the Bow joins with the Oldman River near Grassy Lake in southern Alberta. Its waters are further shed in the Hudson Bay through the Saskatchewan River, Lake Winnipeg and Nelson River.
The Bow River has a total length of 587 km and a drainage area of 26,200 km2.
Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bow_River - 07.03.2012
and high mountains.