About Sunwapta Falls, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
Sunwapta falls was caused by the abrupt change of course by Sunwapta river. Over time the falling river has carved a gorge in the limestone rocks and now the falls has a height of ~75ft. After the first water fall or the upper falls, the river flows through narow canyon and to form a series of three water falls, called lower falls. Sunwapta means ‘turbulent river’ in Stoney Indian language. The might of the water fall is more in early summer because of glacial melt, which is the source of Sunwapta river.
You may also like Banff National Park Attractions
What to do at Sunwapta falls?
Things to do at Sunwapta Falls
Enjoy the falls and the tiny island of trees just before the falls.
Walk across the foot bridge for a better view of the falls and appreciate the might of the flowing water as it eats away the limestone rocks.
Hike along the trail till the lower falls,enjoying the scenery and see the river losing its turbulence as flowing out into a wide valley.
Sunwapta Falls in Winter
Marvel at the ice formations made by the water fall as it freezes in winter.
Snowshoe on the trail till the lower falls.
Ice climb at the falls.
Sunwapta Falls Hike
To see the upper falls, follow the paved trail from the parking lot along the fenced ridge of Sunwapta Canyon to the falls. ~ 800 m round trip.
To view the lower falls, walk along the canyon to the trail sign and turn right.Follow the trail through the forest along the gorge for ~ 1.2 km till you reach the lower falls. Climb down the steep section to better view the series of three falls that form the lower falls. The elevation loss is ~87m as you walk down to the falls.
The trail to lower falls is frequented (especially in the evenings) by wild animals like bears,wolves and moose.
The trail across the bridge leads to Fortress Lake in Hamber Provincial Park , which is 24km away.
How much to see Sunwapta falls?
Included in National Park admission.
How to get to Sunwapta falls?
Sunwapta Falls Location & Directions
Located on Icefields Parkway in Jasper National Park, Sunwapta falls is located ~174km from Trans Canada/Icefield Parkway junction and ~ 55 km from Jasper town. For directions click on the Sunwapta falls map on the side bar.
The falls parking lot is ~ 500 m from the Icefields parkway turnout (on the left when traveling north)
Sunwapta Falls road is closed in winter. To reach the falls, snow shoe, walk till the Falls.
How much time is required to visit Sunwapta Falls?
Half an hour to 2.5 hours.
When to see Sunwapta falls?
For more about travel to Sunwapta falls in winter, see the article on Icefields parkway.
More To Do in Canadian Rockies:
What about Sunwapta falls amenities, accessibilty and parking?
Parking available. Picnic tables.
The trail is paved, but steep. The trail is reasonably accessible with assistance.
Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge is located here. There is a restaurant & Deli at the lodge.
Operating Season:Early May to Early October.