People are drawn to waterfalls for his or her magnificence and energy – and even perhaps all of the adverse ions floating round. Nothing beats the mist of a waterfall in your face on a scorching summer season day or the quiet fantastic thing about a waterfall frozen in time in winter. Waterfalls are nice locations as day journeys, whether or not by automotive or on foot. Among the Alberta waterfalls described are going to take just a little work to get there, whereas others, like Cameron Falls will be skilled as a drive by.
I’ve listed and described 21 Alberta waterfalls under that I feel are value a go to. The truth is, you might make a summer season of it, street tripping and tenting, checking off all these waterfalls.
However a couple of phrases of recommendation earlier than you go. The realm round waterfalls is normally moist and slick so preserve to the paths and take note of indicators suggesting warning or hazard. Some just like the pool on the base of Crescent Falls – which will look innocuous, have claimed lives. Err on the facet of warning round all waterfalls. And in case you’re after Instagram fame, use some frequent sense. Getting the shot isn’t value an accident or dying.
Should you’re driving to any of the waterfalls in Kananaskis Nation, you will have a Kananaskis Conservation Go. And the identical goes for a nationwide parks go in any of the parks famous under.
Athabasca Falls, Jasper Nationwide Park
One of many prime issues to do in Jasper, it doesn’t matter what the season, is to go to Athabasca Falls. They’re only a quick detour off the Icefields Parkway. The falls are among the strongest within the Canadian Rockies (so train warning), however they’re certainly not the most important falls, regardless that they’re 23 metres excessive by 18 metres vast. Alongside the path, there are many viewpoints with breathtaking views into the beautiful carved canyon. Should you’re taking photographs be sure you take care together with your digital camera due to all of the spray.
Athabasca Falls are normally busy. Go early or late within the day to keep away from the crowds. There’s a paved pathway throughout the bridge that’s each wheelchair and stroller pleasant. It supplies viewpoints from the south facet of the falls. To resolve the falls, you do have to barter steps and an uneven path.
Bighorn Falls close to Sundre
Should you head to Ya Ha Tinda Ranch close to Sundre, you possibly can go to stunning Bighorn Falls. There’s a car parking zone close to the falls – however should hike a simple path to see them. You are able to do a 2.6-kilometre loop – moving into on the decrease path and mountain climbing out of the canyon on an higher path, or an out and again hike on both the higher or decrease path – your alternative. On scorching summer season days, many individuals stroll proper to the bottom of the falls and get their toes moist within the pool.
Blakiston Falls, Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park
It’s a simple 2-kilometre return hike from the Crimson Rock Canyon parking space in Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park to go to Blakiston Falls. I’ve truly solely hiked right here at night time to go star gazing because the skies are inky black, so whereas I may hear the falls, I by no means obtained a terrific view. The falls are 11 metres excessive.
There are a few glorious viewpoints on the falls – and they’re effectively definitely worth the effort to see.
Bow Falls, Banff
Bow Falls is within the city of Banff, a brief 1.7 kilometre stroll away from the downtown. They’re a perennial favorite to go to – as they’re giant, spanning your entire Bow River. The drop is simply 9.1 metres or 30 toes however the quantity is giant, so they’re fairly a sight. A go to to Bow Falls is ideal for anybody who has just a little time on their fingers and needs to see a barely wilder facet of the Banff townsite.
There’s a good-sized parking space on the base of Bow Falls. From there you possibly can stroll a path with viewpoints beside the falls. Permit an hour or two to benefit from the full expertise. It’s a great place to take pleasure in a picnic too.
Bow Glacier Falls, Banff Nationwide Park
The biggest waterfall accessed from the Icefields Parkway is Bow Glacier Falls, falling 120 metres or 410 toes. The falls begin their life as meltwater from the Wapta Icefield, so they’re in reality the headwaters of the Bow River that we take pleasure in in Calgary.
It’s a pleasing half day hike to get to Bow Glacier Falls ranging from the car parking zone at Num-Ti-Jah Lodge in Banff Nationwide Park. Take the lakeshore path beside stunning Bow Lake. At in regards to the 3.4-kilometre mark you’ll attain a slim canyon. Make the quick however steep climb alongside its rim however watch out whether it is moist. The path continues to the crest of a terminal moraine and on to the bottom of the falls. These Alberta waterfalls are at their finest in summer season.
The return hike to Bow Glacier Falls is 9.4 kilometres with a 95-metre elevation acquire.
Cameron Falls, Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park
One of many best Alberta waterfalls to see is 23-metre excessive Cameron Falls in Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park. There’s a car parking zone instantly throughout from them, and they’re straightforward to entry on foot from the Waterton townsite. The primary falls are wheelchair and stroller accessible. There’s a steep path beside the falls the place you will get a view from above. On a heat, windy day benefit from the cooling spray.
Water in Cameron Falls is normally very clear as seen within the photograph under. However as soon as after a really heavy rain, it turned pink likelihood as a result of argillite, a sedimentary rock containing oxidized iron, obtained stirred up in sufficient amount to trigger the short-term change in color.
Crescent Falls in David Thompson Nation
The water from Crescent Falls, a 27-metre excessive two-tiered waterfall flows into the deepest gorge in Alberta on the Bighorn River. You’ll discover the parking space for the falls about 25 km southwest of Nordegg by way of Freeway 11 and about 5 km on a washboard street. In winter anticipate mud and ice on the street. There may be glorious signage pointing to the turnoff alongside the David Thompson Freeway.
From the parking space, descend on a path to a few viewpoints over Crescent Falls. The most effective view of the falls is from under – accessed by way of a path that will get approach too near the falls – so take a zoom lens with you and keep protected. Individuals have misplaced their lives across the falls, as just lately because the summer season of 2020 when a trio of relations drowned. In summer season there’s fairly a pleasant campground close by.
Edworthy Falls – one of many lesser-known Alberta waterfalls
Edworthy Falls isn’t a mainstream vacation spot – however they’re effectively definitely worth the hike, regardless that the hike can solely be carried out between June fifteenth and November thirtieth when Freeway 40 close to Highwood Go in Kananaskis Nation is open. Park on the Elbow Lake Day-Use Space.
It’s a 9.7 km return hike (with simply 175 metres of elevation acquire) and a straightforward one at that. From the car parking zone, it takes 30 to 40 minutes to succeed in Elbow Lake. From there, take the path on the left or west facet of Elbow Lake. Cross over an outlet stream, roughly 600 metres previous the Elbow Lake Campground. Head left up an outdated street (Massive Elbow Path) for an extra 2.4 km. The panorama on this part is extremely stunning. There is no such thing as a signage marking Edworthy Falls however there may be flagging within the bushes and a small cairn in your left, simply after you might have crossed a meadow. It’s a in style outing so that you’ll possible meet individuals who can direct you.
The waterfalls plunge 20 metres right into a turquoise-coloured pool and the setting with a mountain backdrop is spectacular. I might warn you that it’s a steep descent to the pool so train a excessive diploma of warning – and are available November icers are a necessity.
Grotto Canyon Falls close to Canmore
I’ve solely visited the Grotto Canyon Falls in winter by way of the fabulous and enjoyable Grotto Canyon Ice Stroll. The falls aren’t very tall as you possibly can see and at sure instances of the 12 months, they’re extra trickle than waterfall. I’d advocate visiting in winter so you possibly can benefit from the ice stroll as effectively.
Johnston Canyon Falls, Banff Nationwide Park
Tops within the in style issues to do in Banff class, is a go to to the Johnston Canyon Falls. Take pleasure in a wide ranging expertise day-after-day of the 12 months. The mountain climbing path to go to the falls is half the enjoyable as a part of it’s a cantilevered catwalk. In winter it may be very slippery – which relying in your view, will enhance the extent of enjoyable. There are many viewpoints on path to the falls that are nearly as gratifying because the falls themselves.
In complete there are seven units of waterfalls, however essentially the most stunning ones are the Decrease and Higher Falls. It’s a brief and simple 1.2 km a method stroll to the Decrease Falls. It requires extra effort to succeed in the Higher Falls as they’re an extra 1.2 km away and there may be some elevation acquire. In winter benefit from the sight of ice climbers on the Higher Falls.
Johnston Canyon Falls are accessed from the Bow Valley Parkway. Be warned that parking fills rapidly so attempt to go to early or late within the day. Alternatively, you possibly can hire a bicycle in Banff and cycle 25 km to the falls.
Decrease Bertha Falls, Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park
One of many Alberta waterfalls I actually love is Decrease Bertha Falls in Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park. (You’ll go Cameron Falls to get to the trailhead.) It’s not a giant one, somewhat a swish cascading one that’s accessed by way of a 5.2-kilometre round-trip hike. The elevation acquire is a simple 191 metres. The path takes you thru forest that was burnt in the course of the 2017 Kenow fireplace. The upside of the hearth is a few nice views of Higher Waterton Lake and wildflowers together with a great likelihood of seeing wildlife.
The cascading waterfalls are really stunning and a pleasant place to hang around and luxuriate in a picnic in summer season.
Lundbreck Falls, southern Alberta
Lunbreck Falls on the Crowsnest River are generally known as Little Niagara as a result of they break up into two falls. The falls are straightforward to entry from Freeway 3 within the Crowsnest Go space. It’s one of many Alberta waterfalls with a preferred campsite that’s simply steps away.
From the highest of Lundbreck Falls to the swimming pools it’s a 12-metre plunge – which has been tackled in a kayak earlier than although it’s not advisable. Go to these falls at any time of the 12 months. I discover winter notably enchanting across the falls.
Mistaya Canyon Falls, Banff Nationwide Park
The Mistaya Canyon Falls are thrilling to have a look at – and just a little scary on the identical time. It’s a 1.0 km a method hike on an outdated street to get to Mistaya Canyon so rely on a return journey to take upwards of 45 minutes. The falls are probably the most scenic spots within the Rockies. Photographers shall be of their factor.
Whenever you get to the bridge look down and gape on the energy of the Mistaya River. Marvel on the clean limestone, eroded over time. Many guests go all the way down to the rocks – us included – however the space across the canyon isn’t fenced so be SUPER cautious.
Panther Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, Banff Nationwide Park
Bridal Veil Falls are situated on the massive bend of the Icefields Parkway, 36 km north of Saskatchewan River Crossing and a couple of.2 km south of the turnoff to Parker Ridge. The water originates on the Huntington Glacier and ultimately results in the North Saskatchewan River.
Panther Falls will be visited at the side of Bridal Veil Falls by way of a 1-kilometre hike on a sometimes- slippery path, so train warning. The 66-metre-high Panther Falls are much more gorgeous than Bridal Veil Falls although most individuals miss visiting them. You possibly can go to these falls year-round. Panther Falls is a well-liked winter ice-climbing vacation spot.
I’ve but to go to Ram Falls however it’s excessive on the listing subsequent time I’m wherever close to Rocky Mountain Home. The falls are straightforward to entry from the close by Ram Falls campground. A viewing platform provides spectacular views of the Ram River because it drops 20 metres over laborious sandstone It is without doubt one of the most spectacular Alberta waterfalls – and it doesn’t get the crowds that others see.
Ribbon Falls – a protracted hike to one of many spectacular Alberta waterfalls
The Ribbon Falls hike in Kananaskis Nation off Freeway 40 is nearly 21 kilometres lengthy, however with solely 447 metres of elevation acquire, I’d fee it as average. It was a far prettier hike than anticipated because it follows a spectacular valley hemmed in on both facet by Mount Kidd to the southeast and Mount Bogart to the northwest. After we lastly reached Ribbon Falls, a brief distance previous the Ribbon Falls Campground, my jaw dropped at their dimension.
The water for Ribbon Falls originates at Ribbon Lake. The plunge is a formidable 25 metres over a rock face. Should you climb just a little increased, you possibly can see the water flowing over a number of headwalls on path to the rock face. The photograph was taken in late Might initially of the spring soften.
Sheep River Falls, Kananaskis Nation
Sheep River Falls in Sheep River Provincial Park is a good vacation spot – by way of a scenic bike trip or by way of a drive for some household time. It’s 35 kilometres up the street from Turner Valley. Though the falls aren’t giant, they’re scenic and there are plenty of totally different viewpoints to admire them from. It is a excellent place to take pleasure in a picnic lunch and even dinner.
The street to Sheep River Falls is closed yearly from December 1st till Might 14th however bikes can go to and Sheep River Falls is particularly pretty once you get them to your self.
Siffleur Falls, David Thompson Nation
One of many hottest hikes in David Thompson Nation takes you to Siffleur Falls, a set of three separate waterfalls. Attending to the falls requires crossing a suspension bridge over the North Saskatchewan River. It’s 4.0 km one method to the primary set of falls the place you’ll discover a viewpoint over a really giant waterfall. Proceed for two.5 km to succeed in the second set of falls and an extra 1.5 kilometres to succeed in the ultimate waterfall.
We did the hike in March – and icers would turn out to be useful as there are many slippery sections. It’s a terrific hike and the primary waterfall alone is definitely worth the effort. The trailhead for the hike to the waterfall is 27.5 km east of Saskatchewan River Crossing.
Sunwapta Falls, Jasper Nationwide Park
You’ll discover Sunwapta Falls 179 km north of Lake Louise and 56 kilometres southeast of Jasper. The Athabasca Glacier feeds Sunwapta Falls which include an higher and decrease set of waterfalls. The higher falls are very straightforward to entry from the car parking zone and are typically very busy. Their drop-off is eighteen metres – which is particularly spectacular once you’re standing on the bridge wanting over the slim cleft the water is compelled by way of.
Foot site visitors falls off to go to Decrease Sunwapta Falls however it’s effectively definitely worth the 4-kilometre return hike to see them. Take a simple path by way of lodgepole pine forest to succeed in them. The height season to go to the falls is in late spring and early summer season throughout runoff from snow soften.
Tangle Creek Falls, Jasper Nationwide Park
Should you’re driving the Icefields Parkway, make a cease at 35-metre-high Tangle Falls – probably the most photographed waterfalls in Jasper Nationwide Park. Tangle Creek Falls is situated 7 km north of the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre on the east facet of the freeway. Parking is on the alternative facet of the street. The falls are actually proper beside the freeway, however it’s a must to be very cautious crossing it. Permit 10 – 20 minutes to go to or extra in case you select to hike downstream to Decrease Tangle Creek Falls.
Troll Falls, one of many in style Alberta waterfalls in Kananaskis Nation
The hike to Troll Falls is a perennial favorite and probably the most in style Alberta waterfalls to go to – largely as a result of its straightforward and family-friendly and delivers not one however two fairly waterfalls. The falls will be loved year-round although generally the path to Higher Troll Falls will get closed in winter if the path will get too icy.
It’s 3.4 kilometres spherical journey to Troll Falls with solely 60 metres of elevation acquire by way of a effectively marked path. Should you select to proceed to Higher Troll Falls – and I actually advocate that you just do – permit a minimal of 30 – 40 minutes as there are a great deal of scenic stops alongside the way in which and it’s an extra 0.9 km a method. It’s also possible to go behind the higher waterfall – which is at all times a cool expertise. The car parking zone is off the street to the Nakiska Ski Resort.
Location map of the Alberta waterfalls
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