At 75 feet (23 meters) tall, Athabasca Falls may not be the highest waterfall in the Canadian Rockies, but it is one of the most powerful. Originating in the Columbia Icefield, the Athabasca River narrows dramatically before it thunders over the falls and creates a natural wonder.
Athabasca Falls is one of the easiest waterfalls to access in Jasper National Park. Thanks to a dramatic mountain backdrop, the waterfall can be seen from several trails and viewpoints. Many sightseeing tours of Jasper National Park follow routes along the Icefields Parkway, and combine the falls with other points of interest such as the Athabasca Glacier, Peyto Lake, and the Weeping Wall of Cirrus Mountain. Some white-water rafting excursions pass also pass the falls.
Things to Know Before You Go
Stay within the barriers when observing the waterfall as they are there for your safety.
Wear shoes with good grip as pathways can be slippery when wet.
There are parking and pit toilets at the site, as well as a paved wheelchair- and stroller-accessible path.
How to Get There
Athabasca Falls are situated off the Icefields Parkway, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Jasper Town. Driving from Jasper takes about 30 minutes. If you don’t have access to a car, it’s best to come as part of a tour as public transport it limited.
When to Get There
The best time to visit the falls is during the spring melt—which typically occurs between March and June—as this is when the waterfall is at its most powerful. In winter, the falls often freeze.
Waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies
The waterfalls of the Canadian Rockies showcase the power of nature. Sunwapta Falls, like Athabasca Falls, is situated just off the Icefields Parkway, which makes it another easy-to-access options. Takakkaw Falls, which drops 835 feet (255 meters) down a cliff face, is the second-highest waterfall in Canada, and is situated further south in Yoho National Park. Getting to Takakkaw Falls is relatively easy too; from the parking lot, it’s just a 0.5-mile (1-kilometer) hike to the base.