The Most Beautiful Waterfalls to Visit in Jasper, Canada
Jasper is home to some of the most incredible waterfalls in the world, so you won’t have to look far to find a beautiful spot in this part of the world.
The porous limestone that defines the mountain ranges around Jasper moves water throughout the region, both above and below the ground. Local Medicine Lake famously ‘disappears’ each fall as more than half the basin drains out through a series of faults and the waters emerge throughout the area. Here are some of the dramatic waterfalls to visit in the area, as well as some other more subtle chutes worth discovering.
Roughly 20-minutes south from town on Highway 93, these falls must not be missed at anytime of year. Carved during the last Ice Age, the route of the waterfalls has shifted over time and visitors can now walk down the former path of the water. From the parking lot, the walk to the viewpoint is short, but do plan to visit for at least 30 minutes for the route, ideally taking more time to appreciate the surrounding areas, as Parks Canada immaculately maintains the paths around the falls. Make sure to stay within the viewing areas on your visit, as it has been known for people to fall in while admiring the water.
Situated between the Columbia Icefields and Jasper Town, Sunwapta is one of the few services on the Icefields Parkway. There are two falls to see here, with easy access to the upper falls. The water originates in the Athabasca Glacier and cascades down two steps and 31 feet (18m). This is an easy and worthwhile stop on the route.
Maligne Canyon is full of chutes, bends and waterfalls and the best place to view them is at the top of the canyon by the Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge. There’s a short walk leading around the water and providing excellent views of three parts of the canyon. Walking out on the short bridges is really breathtaking, but watch your step, as thousands of people walk here each year and the path has become very smooth.
Just north of the Icefields, the Tangle Creek Falls are just off the highway with an easy pull-in for viewing. Water cascades over a fairly large area, but these falls are best seen in the winter when they freeze and local guides use the ice to teach climbing. This is a good, sheltered place for experiencing this interesting winter sport, and sessions can be booked through local company, Rockaboo Mountain Adventures.
Located in the high alpine, Poboktan (sometimes spelt Pobokton) Pass is part of the Brazeau Loop and hiking to the pass can take several days. The Poboktan Pass Trail starts at the Poboktan Trailhead Parking Area and is around 15 miles (24km) in total. The falls drain high alpine lakes and there are many waterfalls along Poboktan Creek, the largest at Waterfalls Campground, which is surrounded by an alpine forest. The entire Brazeau Loop is hikable for the adventurous, however it is nearly 50 miles (80km) in total and it is grizzly territory.
Located very close to the Pocahontas campground by the turn off for Miette Hot Springs, Punchbowl Falls are easy to admire and worth the effort when continuing down the scenic road to the hot springs. There are also nice walks in the bottom of the valley.