May 31, 2021 in

7 Waterfall Wonders of Jasper

Sabrina Doyle
2 minute read
Written by Sabrina Doyle
Main image by Ryan Bray

It takes a special landform to pull focus next to the dramatic beauty of a mountain. After all, the Rockies are kind of attention hogs. But a tumbling waterfall always seems to grab attention, even when surrounded by the pointiest of geological wonders.

It thus seems almost greedy that Jasper National Park has plenty of both. And although there’s many gems waiting to be discovered in the backcountry, most of the waterfalls on this list are only a short walk from a parking lot, making them accessible sightseeing spots for young and old alike.

1 Athabasca Falls

Possibly Jasper’s most famous waterfall, this beauty is steps from the Icefields Parkway and has a boast-worthy backdrop of Mount Kerkeslin. But those visitors who fail to venture beyond the main lookout at the top are missing out; further down the path you can get unique views of winding rocky staircases and see the water rushing through steep canyon walls on its way to the wider section of the Athabasca River.

2 Sunwapta Falls

Located 15 minutes down the road from its more popular cousin, Sunwapta Falls is a wonder in its own right. Similarly accessible, there are two main viewpoints (one from a bridge looking down at the falls, and one that puts you right at the waterline). What sets Sunwapta Falls apart is the small island that sits right above the falls. If you’re able, follow the path down the canyon to reach Lower Sunwapta Falls.

3 Tangle Falls

Blink and you might miss this waterfall. It appears startlingly quick as you drive down the Icefields Parkway, and is startlingly close to the road. There’s a small parking lot to stop at, but be careful crossing the road to get a closer look. In the winter, this waterfall freezes and becomes a popular ice climbing spot!

4 Maligne Canyon Waterfalls

It’s impossible to pick one favourite waterfall from this panoply of choices. Over many years, water created this deepest canyon in the Rockies, and it continues to show its power today – leaping and bounding over ledges and plunging around 50 metres down in some spots. Multiple bridges give you great views and the full walk to the bottom of the canyon can be done in about a half hour.

5 Stanley Falls

There are eight lovely waterfalls along the 1.5 kilometer Beauty Creek trail. Stanley is the final one and feels like a hidden gem. It's at this spot that the creek narrows and plunges into a magical pool before making its way further down the canyon. The trail is located on the Icefields Parkway.

6 Punchbowl Falls

Down the road from the Miette Hot Springs, this often-overlooked waterfall is worth a stop. A very short walk takes you to a bridge where you can spy a mountain creek falling over some crags and cliffs into a series of pools below.

7 Geraldine Waterfalls

The Geraldine Lakes Trail is a family-friendly path that passes through fir forest to a beautiful blue-green lake. Follow the trail along the west shore to the other side of the lake, where a waterfall can be seen in the distance. There’s more waterfalls on the way to the second Geraldine Lake but the path gets more technical, steep and bouldery. Take care on the way!