Sunwapta Falls is a popular photo stop on tours following the Icefields Parkway, a scenic roadway connecting Jasper to Lake Louise. Many multi-day coach tours of the Canadian Rockies stop at Sunwapta Falls, and at nearby attractions such as the glass-bottomed Glacier Skywalk, the green-hued Peyto Lake, and the Weeping Wall of Cirrus Mountain, where thin waterfalls stream down like teardrops.
Sightseers at the falls can follow trails to the upper and lower falls. For more hardcore hikers, the falls serve as the starting point for a 29-mile (46-kilometer) out-and-back trail to Fortress Lake in Hamber Provincial Park.
Things to know before you go
- Find picnic tables, restrooms, and garbage facilities at Sunwapta Falls.
- Mist from the falls makes the surrounding rocks slippery, so stay behind barriers for your own safety.
- If the upper falls are crowded, make the 1.5-mile (2.5-kilometer) round-trip hike to the lower falls, which are typically quieter.
- Bears are frequently spotted in the vicinity of Sunwapta Falls; be sure to practice bear safety when out on the trails.
How to get there
From Jasper, drive south on the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) for about 34 miles (55 kilometers) and turn right at the Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge. Sunwapta Falls Road is closed to vehicles from October to May but can be accessed via snowshoe trails during the winter months.
When to get there
To see the falls at their most dramatic, come in early summer when the glacial meltwater is at its strongest. July and August are peak season and the falls are typically busy during this time. In the winter months, Sunwapta Falls offers snowshoeing and ice climbing opportunities.
Just a 20-minute drive north of Sunwapta Falls lies another of Jasper National Park’s most well-known watery wonders: Athabasca Falls. This powerful torrent cascades down from a height of about 75 feet (23 meters), creating a thunderous roar.