Summer comes and goes pretty quick here in the Canadian Rockies. One minute, you’re putting away your snowshoes and hunting around for the sunscreen, the next you’re wondering where the heck you put your ski goggles, as you’re look for a place to stash your backpack.
One thing you’ll definitely want to check out before the days get short and cold, are the Canadian Rockies’ waterfalls. The interesting thing about them, is that they are beautiful all year around, whether they’re gushing in the summer or frozen in to Dali-esque shapes in winter.
But the experience is distinct either time of year, and I recommend seeing the Canadian Rockies fantastic waterfalls in both summer and winter. Here are a couple of my favorite falls in Jasper National Park and Yoho National Park.
In Jasper National Park, near the Columbia Icefield, you’ll find Sunwapta Falls, some of the spectacular in the Rockies. There are two waterfalls here. With the larger falls crashing down a whopping 18 meters! It’s a great display of the forces of nature that shaped this fine park.
Climb up a little from the main falls, and you’ll find a trail from the large falls that heads upward. Follow that trail, and you’ll find the second waterfall. Though not not as large, it’s still beautiful, and you won’t find nearly as many people up there.
You can get to Sunwapta Falls by an access road off the highway that connects Jasper and Banff National Park, Icefields Highway.
From Sunwapta, you may want to take a drive over to Yoho National Park on your water fall tour, where you’ll find the amazing Takakkaw Falls.
The Takakkaw Falls are some of Canada’s tallest waterfalls. Despite this, you can still get close enough to the fall’s base to let water mist gently over you. It’s pretty nice on a hot day. These falls start from meltwater from a glacier so far above you that you can’t even see it.
To get to the Takakkaw Falls, you get on the road from Lake Louise to Yoho. It’s by far the best way to get to the falls, and on the way you’ll get to see several smaller waterfalls on the cliffs next to you. They’re great for building some excitement on teh way to Takakkaw.
Did I say waterfalls are as good in the winter as the summer? I still stand by that, but I’d be guessing on this one, because the road isn’t plowed here in the winter, so you’ll want to see it before the big snows hit in October.
Last but not least, are the Athabasca Falls. These are close to the town of Jasper. They’re created by the huge Athabasca River being forced through a narrow gorge, blasting out the other side for quite a show. These ones are great any time of year, even in the winter, when they look like some sort of enormous abstract ice sculpture.