Sunwapta Falls Trail – Best Canadian Rockies Day Hikes

#34 – Canadian Rockies Day Hikes: Sunwapta Falls Trail

Sunwapta Falls Trail
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  • Location: Jasper National Park
  • Trailhead: Sunwapta Falls
  • Type: Out-n-Back
  • Rating: Easy
  • Total Distance: 1.9-miles
  • Trailhead Elevation: 4,607′
  • Total Elevation Gain: 239′
  • Recommended Time: 1 hour
  • Recommended Season: Early June to Late September

Upper Sunwapta Falls

Sunwapta Falls
Upper Sunwapta Falls is one of the most iconic scenes found in the Canadian Rockies.

The Upper Sunwapta Falls in Jasper National Park is an iconic scene of the Canadian Rockies. Flowing around a small island and then over the 59′ tall Upper Sunwapta Falls is the Sunwapta River. A bridge allows for easy viewing of this amazingly beautiful waterfall and the island beyond. In the summer months, the Upper Falls becomes very crowded because of its ease of access and world-renowned beauty. However, the crowds quickly melt away once you head towards the Lower Sunwapta Falls on the Sunwapta Falls Trail.

Lower Sunwapta Falls

Athabasca River Sunwapta Flow
The Sunwapta River flows under the bridge just below the Upper Sunwapta Falls. Past the bridge, the river takes a hard 90° turn as it runs into a wall of stone and continues its flow towards the Lower Sunwapta Falls.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the Sunwapta Falls Trail is the Upper Falls. Even so, the journey to the Lower Sunwapta Falls is very nice, especially with fewer people in this section of wilderness. It is a relatively easy stroll through a dense forest. The lower falls are actually several cascading waterfalls so make sure to continue the descent following the flow until the river widens out below the gorge. All the small waterfalls along this trail are beautiful, making this one of the best hikes in the Canadian Rockies.

Lower Sunwapta Falls
The often overlooked Lower Sunwapta Falls is a beautiful waterfall.

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