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8 Canadian Rockies Waterfalls to Whet Your Appetite

August 1, 2016

8 CANADIAN ROCKIES WATERFALLS
TO WHET YOUR APPETITE

Words by Billie Norman
Photos by Paul Zizka

Mountains may show us the scope of nature, but waterfalls show us her power. The continuous flow of raging water running across rugged rocks and cascading over the edge is a force to be reckoned with. Yet, there is something particularly peaceful, relaxing and mesmerizing about waterfalls. It is this combination that makes them a majestic sight to see. Whether you’re after a quick roadside stop or a lengthy hike, we’ve created a list of some of our favourite waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies.


 
Seven Veils Falls. Photo by Paul Zizka

Seven Veils Falls. Photo by Paul Zizka

1/ Seven Veils Falls

Location: Yoho National Park
Return: 2.8km

Situated up in the beautiful Lake O’Hara alpine area along the Shoreline Trail stands Seven Veils Falls. The easy trail loops around the magnificent Lake O’Hara and at about halfway around, you’ll see water tumbling over a wide rock face, increasing in width as it descends. The falls get their name due to this veil-like formation it creates an impressive seven times. / Yoho National Park | #sevenveilsfalls

Cameron Falls. Photo by Paul Zizka

Cameron Falls. Photo by Paul Zizka

2/ Cameron Falls

Location: Waterton Lakes National Park
Roadside or 18km one-way

Located almost right in the middle of town (or at the beginning/end of the moderately tough 18km one-way Carthew-Alderson trail), this is a popular roadside stop for anyone visiting Waterton. Underneath the crisscrossing flowing water of this 23-metre-high falls lies Precambrian bedrock dating back to 1.5 billion years, making it the oldest exposed rock in all of the Canadian Rockies. / Waterton Lakes National Park  | #cameronfalls

Wapta Falls. Photo by Paul Zizka

Wapta Falls. Photo by Paul Zizka

3/ Wapta Falls

Location: Yoho National Park
Return: 4.6km

At 30 metres high, Wapta Falls is deemed the largest waterfall in the Kicking Horse River (based on volume), and is impressive, to say the least. The trailhead begins near the west end gate of Yoho National Park. An easy 1.9km walk to the top provides an excellent bird’s eye view of the falls and the lower turquoise pools. Carry on walking another 400 metres and you’ll reach the bottom of the falls. Relax, sit back, and take in the width of this waterfall. During the summer months, you can often get close enough to feel the mist sprays – the perfect way to cool down. / Yoho National Park | #waptafalls

4/ Crescent Falls

Location: Bighorn Backcountry
Roadside

Located just a 3-km drive off of Highway 11, you’ll find not just one but two waterfalls along the Bighorn River. Getting its name due to its shape, the 27-metre-high Crescent Falls is impressive from near and afar. And with a variety of viewpoints to admire the flowing duo, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Follow the trail down to the upper pool or scramble down to the lower pool for the best views. / Bighorn Backcountry | #crescentfalls

A man in front of a waterfall, Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada

A man in front of a waterfall, Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada

5/ Emperor Falls

Location: Mount Robson Provincial Park
Return: 30km

Situated along the world-renowned backcountry Berg Lake Trail, Emperor Falls is a moderate 15-km hike to get to. Besides its height (46 metres) and immense power, Emperor Falls is a little bit different to the rest. It has a rooster-tail, which means as the water descends it strikes a rock ledge kicks out and creates a heck of a lot of spray. Perfect for that morning shower. Choose from a number of campsites in this area if you want to split the hiking into a few days. / Mount Robson Provincial Park | #emperorfalls

6/ Snake Indian Falls

Location: Jasper National Park
Return: 60km

Just off of Highway 16, follow the Celestine Lake Road until you reach the parking area where the Snake Indian Falls trailhead begins. Whether hiking or mountain biking, this is a long one, so be prepared to stay overnight at one of the various campsites en route. The energetic and thundering falls are well worth it. / Jasper National Park | #snakeindianfalls

Panther Falls alt

7/ Panther Falls

Location: Banff National Park
Return: 1km

Tucked away along the Icefields Parkway lies Panther Falls (66 metres high). With a roadside stop at Bridal Veils Falls, the short hike to Panther Falls is often forgotten about, but it shouldn’t be. Take the short trail beginning at Bridal Veils Falls car park before heading into the forest and down some switchbacks (it requires a bit of scrambling depending on how close you want to get). Panther Falls is particularly remarkable because of the immense force of the water flowing through it. / Banff National Park | #pantherfalls

8/ Troll Falls

Location: Kananaskis Country
Return: 3km

With the trail beginning at the Stoney Trailhead Sign (en route to Nakiska Ski Resort), this waterfall is easy to get to with little elevation gain making it ideal for those with little ones. The falls are popular during the winter with cross-country skiers, snowshoers and ice climbers. But the cool thing about this waterfall is that in the summer you can actually stand behind it, offering a completely different perspective. / Kananaskis Country | #trollfalls


Billie Norman fell in love with Canada at the age of seven and writing at the age of 21. After studying History & Politics at Loughborough University and enjoying a couple of winter seasons in the Rockies, it felt right to merge her two passions together. She started a travel guide website called Voyage Collective to inspire others to get out there and explore.

Paul Zizka is an award-winning mountain landscape and adventure photographer based in Banff, and the Photo Editor of the Canadian Rockies Annual.

 

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