Athabasca Falls is a waterfall in Jasper National Park on the upper Athabasca River, approximately 30 kilometres south of the townsite of Jasper, Alberta, Canada, and just west of the Icefields Parkway.
One of the must-do side trips along the Icefields Parkway, in my opinion, Athabasca Falls is an impressive sight to see. The falls drops about 25 m (80 feet). Though the height is not particularly remarkable, the amount of water that gets funneled over the falls and into the narrow gorge below is! The falls and narrow gorge below has been created here because the river changes layers from quartzite to a much softer (and more erodable) limestone.
With easy access and a short walk, this is a very scenic and family-friendly place to visit.
There’s no denying that Jasper National Park is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. With mountainous landscapes, crystal clear lakes and an abundance of wildlife you’ll be hard pressed to find a reason not to love things here. What makes the park even more special however are the seemingly endless cascade of waterfalls falling away from the Athabasca River with, in our opinion, the best one being the Athabasca Falls.
From the car park you can’t see the waterfall but you can certainly hear the water crashing over the edge in the distance and smell the damp in the air.
As you walk down to the falls the first thing that strikes you is the sheer power and speed of the water flow. It’s an incredible sight.
So how big are the Athabasca Falls? Well based on my photo below it should give you a good idea – take a look on the left side and see if you can spot the other tourists standing near the edge. They look pretty tiny stood alongside the torrent of water.
The falls offer you 3 different viewpoints. The first one which is directly in front of you from the car park the first one in this post. It gives you a great close-up view of the waterfall but is teaming with tourists so you’ll need to jostle for position a little to get that perfect shot!
The second viewpoint is shown immediately above which is from the bridge that crosses the canyon. This gives you great views both upstream and downstream.
Finally there is a third viewpoint which is on the far side of the falls. You can walk across the bridge and make your way around easily with this side being so close to the falls you can nearly touch it.