In Jasper National Park!

Sunwapta Falls is only 48 km south of Becker’s Chalets (approximately 55 km south of the Jasper town-site) on highway 93. With such breathtaking views, it is unquestionably among the most popular tourist stops within Jasper National Park. These falls, similarly to the Athabasca Falls, are extremely powerful as a significant amount of water is being squeezed through a rather small gorge, creating a waterfall with an immense force. Although some people believe the Athabasca Falls are more impressive in comparison, these falls are definitely more photogenic.

Originating from the Sunwapta Lake and glacial melt from the Athabasca Glacier, the Sunwapta Falls consists of two falls: an upper waterfall, which is most common and has the easiest access, and a lower waterfall, which is fairly unknown by many and a short walk away (approximately a 15 minute walk – 1km distance downstream).

The upper falls are most common and well known worldwide. It currently fosters an 18.5 meter drop (approximately 60 feet), with an approximate width of 9 meters – classified as a class 6 waterfall. These waters are known for being extremely turbulent (Assiniboine in the Native Language). Due to the significant glacial melt in late spring, this is the ideal time to visit the falls as much more water accesses the tight gorge, creating an even more powerful and spectacular waterfall.

The lower falls are an added bonus to your Sunwapta Falls visit. With fewer tourists around, mainly due to a lack of knowledge that these lower falls even exist, it shines a new light on these magnificent falls as a whole.  These falls are roughly half the size of the upper falls, 9 meters (30 feet) and are also beautiful to see. Although these lower falls will require an additional amount of effort to view them (as they are approximately 1km downstream (and downhill) from the upper falls), they are definitely well worth your while.

As this is a major tourist attraction, it is fairly busy with people coming and going. To avoid some of the rush, it is advised to visit this attraction either early in the morning or later in the evening (after dinner), which will give you an added bonus of seeing more animals (as this is generally the time they come out of the bush to graze on grass and berries). Having said that, all sorts of wildlife (with black bears and grizzly bears being the most common) roam the area at all times of the day, so have your camera ready!