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21 Incredible Alberta Waterfalls to Visit

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People are drawn to waterfalls for his or her magnificence and energy – and even perhaps all of the destructive ions floating round. Nothing beats the mist of a waterfall in your face on a scorching summer season day or the quiet great thing about a waterfall frozen in time in winter. Waterfalls are nice locations as day journeys, whether or not by automotive or on foot. A few of the Alberta waterfalls described are going to take just a little work to get there, whereas others, like Cameron Falls may be skilled as a drive by. 

I’ve listed and described 21 Alberta waterfalls under that I feel are value a go to. In actual fact, you can make a summer season of it, street tripping and tenting, checking off all these waterfalls.

However just a few 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 – that 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 will not be value an accident or loss of life.

When you’re driving to any of the waterfalls in Kananaskis Nation, you will want a Kananaskis Conservation Cross. And the identical goes for a nationwide parks move 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 brief detour off the Icefields Parkway. The falls are among the strongest within the Canadian Rockies (so train warning), however they’re on no account the biggest falls, regardless that they’re 23 metres excessive by 18 metres extensive. Alongside the path, there are many viewpoints with breathtaking views into the beautiful carved canyon. When you’re taking pictures make sure you take care along with your digicam 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 gives viewpoints from the south facet of the falls. To unravel the falls, you do have to barter steps and an uneven path.  

The highest of Athabasca Falls – some of the fashionable of the Alberta waterfalls
Athabasca Falls is always an impressive sight
Athabasca Falls is all the time a powerful sight

Bighorn Falls close to Sundre

When you head to Ya Ha Tinda Ranch close to Sundre, you’ll be able to go to lovely Bighorn Falls. There’s a parking zone close to the falls – however must hike a straightforward path to see them. You are able to do a 2.6-kilometre loop – stepping into on the decrease path and mountaineering out of the canyon on an higher path, or an out and again hike on both the higher or decrease path – your selection. On scorching summer season days, many individuals stroll proper to the bottom of the falls and get their toes moist within the pool.

Big Horn Falls on Ya Ha Tinda Ranch
Bighorn Falls on Ya Ha Tinda Ranch

Blakiston Falls, Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park

It’s a straightforward 2-kilometre return hike from the Purple Rock Canyon parking space in Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park to go to Blakiston Falls. I’ve truly solely hiked right here at evening to go star gazing because the skies are inky black, so whereas I may hear the falls, I by no means acquired an important view. The falls are 11 metres excessive.

There are a few glorious viewpoints on the falls – and they’re effectively well worth the effort to see.

Blakiston Falls - Photo credit: Al on Flickr Creative Commons
Blakiston Falls – Picture credit score: Al on Flickr Artistic Commons

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 the whole 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 arms and desires 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’ll be able to stroll a path with viewpoints beside the falls. Permit an hour or two to benefit from the full expertise. It’s a superb place to get pleasure from a picnic too.

Bow Falls in Banff are very accessible
Bow Falls in Banff are very accessible

Bow Glacier Falls, Banff Nationwide Park

The most important 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 the truth is the headwaters of the Bow River that we get pleasure from in Calgary.

It’s a nice half day hike to get to Bow Glacier Falls ranging from the parking zone at Num-Ti-Jah Lodge in Banff Nationwide Park. Take the lakeshore path beside lovely Bow Lake. At concerning the 3.4-kilometre mark you’ll attain a slender canyon. Make the brief 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 greatest in summer season. 

The return hike to Bow Glacier Falls is 9.4 kilometres with a 95-metre elevation acquire.

Bow Glacier Falls
Bow Glacier Falls

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 parking zone straight 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, acquired stirred up in sufficient amount to trigger the short-term change in color.

Cameron Falls is very accessible so it's a popular place
Cameron Falls could be very accessible so it’s a well-liked place
Cameron Falls in all its frozen glory
Cameron Falls in all its frozen glory

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’s 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. One of the best 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 lately because the summer season of 2020 when a trio of relations drowned. In summer season there’s fairly a pleasant campground close by.

Crescent Falls in March
Crescent Falls in March
The big picture around Crescent Falls
The massive image round Crescent Falls

Edworthy Falls – one of many lesser-known Alberta waterfalls

Edworthy Falls will not be a mainstream vacation spot – however they’re effectively well worth the hike, regardless that the hike can solely be performed between June fifteenth and November thirtieth when Freeway 40 close to Highwood Cross 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 simple one at that. From the 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 previous street (Large Elbow Path) for an additional 2.4 km. The panorama on this part is extremely lovely. There isn’t any signage marking Edworthy Falls however there may be flagging within the bushes and a small cairn in your left, simply after you could have crossed a meadow. It’s a fashionable 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’d 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.

It's worth the hike to visit Edworthy Falls
It’s well worth the hike to go to Edworthy Falls
Edworthy Falls in late November
Edworthy Falls in late November

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’ll be able to see and at sure instances of the yr, they’re extra trickle than waterfall. I’d advocate visiting in winter so you’ll be able to benefit from the ice stroll as effectively.

Grotto Canyon Falls in winter
Grotto Canyon Falls in winter

Johnston Canyon Falls, Banff Nationwide Park

Tops within the fashionable issues to do in Banff class, is a go to to the Johnston Canyon Falls. Take pleasure in a panoramic expertise each day of the yr. The mountaineering 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 improve the extent of enjoyable. There are many viewpoints on path to the falls that are nearly as pleasing because the falls themselves.

In complete there are seven units of waterfalls, however probably the most lovely ones are the Decrease and Higher Falls. It’s a brief and straightforward 1.2 km a technique stroll to the Decrease Falls. It requires extra effort to succeed in the Higher Falls as they’re an additional 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 shortly so attempt to go to early or late within the day. Alternatively, you’ll be able to lease a bicycle in Banff and cycle 25 km to the falls.

Upper Johnston Canyon Falls in winter
Higher Johnston Canyon Falls in winter

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 move Cameron Falls to get to the trailhead.)  It’s not a giant one, relatively a swish cascading one that’s accessed by way of a 5.2-kilometre round-trip hike. The elevation acquire is a straightforward 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 superb likelihood of seeing wildlife. 

The cascading waterfalls are actually lovely and a pleasant place to hang around and luxuriate in a picnic in summer season.

Lower Bertha Falls in Waterton Lakes National Park
Decrease Bertha Falls in Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park

Lundbreck Falls, southern Alberta

Lunbreck Falls on the Crowsnest River are typically referred to 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 Cross space. It’s one of many Alberta waterfalls with a well-liked 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 really useful. Go to these falls at any time of the yr. I discover winter notably enchanting across the falls. 

Alberta waterfalls worth a visit - Lundbreck Falls
Alberta waterfalls value a go to – Lundbreck Falls
I think Lundbreck Falls is more spectacular in winter
I feel Lundbreck Falls is extra spectacular in winter

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 technique hike on an previous street to get to Mistaya Canyon so rely on a return journey to take upwards of 45 minutes. The falls are some of the scenic spots within the Rockies. Photographers might be of their aspect.

Once 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. 

Looking down to the swirling waters in Mistaya Canyon
Wanting all the way down to the swirling waters in Mistaya Canyon
Quite the view of Mistaya Canyon
Fairly the view of Mistaya Canyon

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 pair 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 may be visited along side 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 beautiful than Bridal Veil Falls although most individuals miss visiting them. You’ll be able to go to these falls year-round. Panther Falls is a well-liked winter ice-climbing vacation spot.

Panther Falls - Credit - WherezJeff on Flickr Creative Commons
Panther Falls – Credit score – WherezJeff on Flickr Artistic Commons

Ram Falls

I’ve but to go to Ram Falls nevertheless it’s excessive on the listing subsequent time I’m anyplace 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 arduous sandstone It is without doubt one of the most spectacular Alberta waterfalls – and it doesn’t get the crowds that others see.

Ram Falls - Credit: Richard Bukowski on Flickr Creative Commons
Ram Falls – Credit score: Richard Bukowski on Flickr Artistic Commons

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 charge 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. Once 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 powerful 25 metres over a rock face. When you climb just a little greater, you’ll be able to see the water flowing over a number of headwalls on path to the rock face. The photograph was taken in late Could at the beginning of the spring soften.

John heading for a better view of Ribbon Falls with Rosie the Bernese and Mila from Mexico
John heading for a greater view of Ribbon Falls with Rosie the Bernese and Mila from Mexico

Sheep River Falls, Kananaskis Nation

Sheep River Falls in Sheep River Provincial Park is a good vacation spot – by way of a scenic bike journey 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 good spot to get pleasure from a picnic lunch and even dinner. 

The street to Sheep River Falls is closed yearly from December 1st till Could 14th however bikes can go to and Sheep River Falls is very beautiful if you get them to your self.

Close-up view of Sheep River Falls
Shut-up view of Sheep River Falls
One of the Alberta waterfalls that is worth visiting in the fall
One of many Alberta waterfalls that’s value visiting within the fall

 

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 additional 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 an important hike and the primary waterfall alone is well worth the effort. The trailhead for the hike to the waterfall is 27.5 km east of Saskatchewan River Crossing.

Siffleur Falls descends through a pretty canyon
Siffleur Falls descends via a fairly canyon
Siffleur Falls starting to run in late March
Siffleur Falls beginning to run in late March

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 encompass an higher and decrease set of waterfalls. The higher falls are very straightforward to entry from the parking zone and are usually very busy. Their drop-off is eighteen metres – which is very spectacular if you’re standing on the bridge trying over the slender cleft the water is compelled via.

Foot site visitors falls off to go to Decrease Sunwapta Falls nevertheless it’s effectively well worth the 4-kilometre return hike to see them. Take a straightforward path via 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.

The start of Sunwapta Falls
The beginning of Sunwapta Falls
The bridge over Sunwapta Falls
The bridge over Sunwapta Falls

Tangle Creek Falls, Jasper Nationwide Park

When you’re driving the Icefields Parkway, make a cease at 35-metre-high Tangle Falls – some of the 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 other 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.

Tangle Falls in Jasper National Park - Credit: JD Hascup on Flickr Creative Commons
Tangle Creek Falls in Jasper Nationwide Park – Credit score: JD Hascup on Flickr Artistic Commons

Troll Falls, one of many fashionable Alberta waterfalls in Kananaskis Nation

The hike to Troll Falls is a perennial favorite and some of the fashionable 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 may be loved year-round although typically 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. When you select to proceed to Higher Troll Falls – and I actually advocate that you simply do – permit a minimal of 30 – 40 minutes as there are a great deal of scenic stops alongside the best way and it’s an additional 0.9 km a technique. It’s also possible to go behind the higher waterfall – which is all the time a cool expertise. The parking zone is off the street to the Nakiska Ski Resort. 

Upper Troll Falls is a fantastic place to visit especially late in the afternoon when the crowds have gone home
Higher Troll Falls is a incredible place to go to particularly late within the afternoon when the crowds have gone residence
Troll Falls in winter
Troll Falls in winter

Location map of the Alberta waterfalls

                                                 

Click on on the photograph to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

21 incredible Alberta waterfalls to visit

 

 

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