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27 Awesome waterfalls in Alberta you need to visit

The province of Alberta in Western Canada isn’t exactly known for its waterfalls.

The Canadian Rockies, Calgary the Calgary Tower, and the indoor mall in Edmonton? Sure! But when it comes to waterfalls in Alberta, not so much.

On our trips to Alberta, we’ve been fortunate enough to see many incredibly beautiful waterfalls in Alberta! From seeing the waterfalls near Banff National Park and waterfalls in Jasper National Park (some of my favorites and some of the best waterfalls in the world) to others less well-known, there are plenty of Alberta waterfalls to discover.

If you’re something of a waterfall chaser and want to find some hidden gems, then check out this guide to the best waterfalls in Alberta.

Best waterfalls in Alberta map

Click the image below to view an interactive map of these waterfalls in Alberta. This Alberta waterfalls map includes all the waterfalls near Edmonton and Calgary as well as other places throughout the province that I mention in more detail below.

AllTrails is my go-to hiking app for finding, planning, and navigating while I’m out on the trails. With offline maps on AllTrails+ you can be confident you’re still on the right track, even without mobile signal.

troll falls in summer
troll falls waterfall in alberta winter
Troll Falls winter

1. Troll Falls

Troll Falls is the most popular waterfall in Alberta’s Kananaskis area which is popular with those on a day trip from Calgary.

Parking at Troll Falls can be difficult on the weekend since this is such a popular area. However, if you do get parking you’re in for a treat at Troll Falls; one of the best waterfalls near Calgary.

This Alberta waterfall gets its name from the troll shape in the rock. It’s not the easiest to spot immediately, but if you know it’s there you’ll see it!

To get to the waterfalls, it’s an easy 1-2 hour walk from the parking lot. At the falls, you can cross over the creek and walk a bit further upstream to Upper Troll Falls. From here, there are even more options for you to continue walking toward Boulder Falls, Marmot Falls, and others.

You can also return via the Hay Meadows Trail which goes along the Kananaskis River and has great views. This is the route I’d choose!

If you’re looking to visit waterfalls in Alberta in winter, Troll Falls is a great option. Since the main trail is quite short and not very steep, you’ll just need some good hiking boots and some microspikes to get there.

Sometimes the waterfall freezes which is super cool to see!

lineham falls waterfalls in alberta

2. Lineham Falls

Lineham Falls is a 250 m-high Alberta waterfall in the forests of Waterton National Park. This waterfall is super impressive in spring or after high rainfall periods.

Getting to Lineham Falls takes more effort and you’ll need to prepare for a 5.3 km hike each way through to reach the falls.

The trail is quite challenging, but you’ll get amazing views once you’re walking through the valleys! Also, be sure to carry bear spray and follow bear safety advice as you’ll pass through berry patches which are prime bear habitats.

bow falls alberta waterfalls

3. Bow Falls

One of the most well-known waterfalls in Alberta due to its location in Banff National Park, Bow Falls isn’t the tallest waterfall, but it’s still impressive.

The falls span the entire width of the Bow River they’re super easy to get to. It’s just a 1-1.5 km walk over a well-kept trail with minimal elevation gain depending on exactly where you start from. This means it’s one of the best things to do in Banff in a short time.

bow glacier falls alberta

4. Bow Glacier Falls

The Bow Glacier Falls are another great option for Banff National Park waterfalls. These falls are near Bow Lake and fed by the Bow Glacier and Wapta Icefields. This means the water cascading over the rocks at Bow Glacier Falls is super cold!

These waterfalls in Alberta are one of the many great places you should stop at on an Icefields Parkway road trip!

The Bow Glacier Falls trail runs along the shores of the glacial-fed Bow Lake, featuring the ice-blue glacial Bow Lake and stunning panoramic views of its headwaters.

Getting to the falls is relatively easy and takes most people between 2 and 4 hours and is almost 9 km long with 260 m elevation gain.

This is one of the best hikes in Banff as you’ll get a bit of everything. From a beautiful lake to waterfalls, mountain vistas, rock scrambles and likely wildlife sightings! It does get busy at weekends and during the summer, so arrive early!

castle falls waterfalls in alberta

5. Castle Falls Alberta

Castle Falls is in Castle Provincial Park. Though Castle Provincial Park is quieter than Banff and Jasper, it is becoming more popular so this waterfall still gets busy at weekends.

The colour of the water in the pool at the foot of the falls is beautiful turquoise. If the water isn’t running too fast, this can be a popular spot for swimming (done at your own risk).

You can also just enjoy the surroundings, listen out for wildlife and get some great photos!

sheep river falls in alberta

6. Sheep River Falls

Sheep River Falls are about 10 metres tall and can be found in Sheep River Provincial Park in Kananaskis.

There are so many beautiful Kananaskis waterfalls and these are some of my favourites.

It’s a short walk to get to the falls from the parking lot and so it’s a great waterfall in Alberta to visit with kids.

Along the way you’ll be able to enjoy some of my favourite views of the Rockies!

crypt lake trail waterfalls in alberta

7. The four Waterfalls on the Crypt Lake Trail

One of the best hikes in Waterton National Park is the Crypt Lake trail hike; named one of the most thrilling hikes in the world by National Geographic!

The trailhead must be accessed by water (ferry, canoe, kayak) and tickets for the ferry often sell out so you’ll need to plan carefully for this hike and to see Swirling Mist Falls.

There are actually four waterfalls along the Crypt Lake tail with Swirling Mist Falls being the penultimate one.

There are Hell Roaring Falls (1 km in), Twin Falls (3.5 km in), Swirling Mist Falls (5.6 km in), and Crypt Falls, (8 km in).

Then, if the waterfalls weren’t enough, you’ll come out to the beautiful Crypt Lake itself on the US-Canada border.

The trail is challenging and involves narrow cliffside paths, a tunnel through a mountain, ladders and an exposed ridgeline.

crescent falls in alberta

8. Crescent Falls Alberta

The twin falls that make up Crescent Falls can be seen from both Bighorn Lookout where you can see the falls rush from one pool to another with a combined drop of 27 metres. You can also view them from the bottom, by following a small trail to the base of the falls.

Personally, I always think it’s cool to view a waterfall from both the top and bottom where possible – you really get an appreciation for the sheer force of the water!

However, do not get too close to the falls and do not try and swim in them. There have been awful accidents here.

Crescent Falls is absolutely stunning and is one of my favourite waterfalls in Alberta! It’s also one of the best waterfall hikes near Edmonton if you’re looking for places to visit outside of the city.

starcreek falls alberta

9. Star Creek Falls

These unique waterfalls in Alberta, Star Creek Falls are in the Crowsnest Pass area of Alberta.

This hike is accessible in both winter and summer and in summer you can extend the hike by heading up to the top of the falls. The trail is beautiful and rugged, with some easy and some more challenging/steep parts.

You’ll need a 4×4 or high-clearance vehicle to get to the trailhead

athabasca falls icefields parkway (1 of 1)

10. Athabasca Falls Jasper

Another popular option for Alberta waterfalls is the Athabasca Falls just off the Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Banff National Parks. Visiting the Athabasca waterfalls in Alberta is one of my top things to do in Jasper National Park!

The Athabasca River and the falls are formed from melting glaciers and snowmelt and, over time, they’ve carved a canyon through the rock leading to the creation of the falls.

There’s a rail alongside the waterfalls as well as several lookout points along the way.

On a hot summer day, you’ll enjoy the mist from the falls and you can sometimes see rainbows over the falls too.

Sunwapta Falls are also another great stop on the Icefields Parkway. They’re easy to get to and pretty impressive too!

sunwapta falls icefields parkway

11. Sunwapta Falls Alberta

The word “sunwapta” translates into “turbulent water” in the Stoney language or the Indigenous people. When you see these falls you’ll understand where the name comes from!

The short trail to Sunwapta Falls gives you a great view of the Upper Falls. You can then decide whether you want to hike a bit further to the Lower Falls where you can see 3 smaller waterfalls.

The Lower Falls at Sunwapta aren’t quite as impressive as they’re not as powerful, but they’re still cool to see.

stanley falls alberta waterfalls

12. Stanley Falls

Just south of Sunwapta Falls is a less well-known waterfall in Alberta; Stanley Falls.

To get to Stanley Falls means hiking 1-2 hours from the trailhead at Beauty Creek just off the Icefields Parkway.

As you hike, you’ll be going alongside the Athabasca River before climbing uphill to a lookout over Stanley Falls.

kakwa falls in alberta

13. Kakwa Falls Alberta

The Kakwa Falls are near Grand Prairie in Kakwa Wildland Park, which is an area full of forests, valleys and lakes. Kakwa Falls are some of the tallest waterfalls in this part of Alberta and you’ll need a good 4×4 or off-road vehicle to get to the viewing point as it’s 20km down dirt roads.

Once you’ve gone as far as you can, you’ll need to hike to get to your view of Kakwa Falls. There’s also a short but very steep trail to the bottom of the gorge which you can take for another viewpoint.

14. Tangle Creek Falls

These were some of my favourite waterfalls in Alberta because they were such a surprise!

As you drive along the Icefields Parkway, you’ll see Tangle Creek Falls just after the Columbia Icefields Skywalk (if going south to north). They’ll be on your right and there’s a small pullout to your left.

The waterfall is a multi-tier cascade and you can’t see the entire falls, but what you can see is still impressive.

mistaya canyon falls

15. Mistaya Canyon

Yet another beautiful stop between Banff and Jasper is Mistaya Canyon and these impressive waterfalls in Alberta.

There is a small parking area to the west of the highway and then you can follow a trail for 500m down towards the canyon and the falls.

There are several viewing areas within the forest and a bridge which runs across the gorge so you can really experience the waterfall in all its power!

maligne canyon (1 of 1)

16. Maligne Canyon Waterfalls

Maligne Canyon is one of the best Jasper National Park waterfalls and is definitely one of the best things to do in Jasper. When visiting the canyon you don’t just get one of the best waterfalls in Alberta, you get a whole series of them!

There is a walking path which takes you through the gorge and over six bridges which cross back and forth over the river and the falls to give you unique viewpoints and perspectives.

The majority of visitors to Maligne Canyon park at the first bridge by the top of the gorge, but there’s also parking by the 6th and 5th bridges.

You’ll want to walk over all the bridges, so it doesn’t matter where you park!

The trail also has signs with information about the area, the formation of Maligne Canyon, and the waterfalls you’re seeing.

silverton falls waterfalls in alberta

17. Silverton Falls Banff

Silverton Falls are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Banff National Park, but less well known and less crowded than Johnston Canyon not too far away.

Silverton Falls are narrow but high with a long drop and there’s a small trail towards Rockbound Lake that takes you to a good viewing area of the falls.

The trail passes through the forest along a flat terrain to begin and then climbs the remainder of the way along switchbacks.

A small section of the trail is narrow along a steep ledge.

Besides the waterfall, you’ll get amazing views of the valley and Rocky Mountains.

johnston canyon (1 of 1)
Johnston Canyon

18. Johnston Canyon

One of the most popular things to do in Banff is to visit Johnston Canyon which is a bit like Maligne Canyon in Jasper.

Johnston Canyon features a walking trail through a narrow gorge area as you. get views of the numerous waterfalls through the canyon.

The two main waterfalls in Banff here are just called Upper Falls and Lower Falls and to reach upper falls takes about an hour.

If you’re visiting in winter, be sure to wrap up warm and pack microspikes! You may even be able to watch some people go ice climbing on this waterfall in Banff!

If you want to see Johnston Canyon, go early in the day and ideally on a weekday to avoid the worst of the crowds. And try and avoid summer where possible. The parking lot here gets very full and there are often too many people walking back and forth on the narrow pathway through the gorge for it to be enjoyable.

siffleur falls waterfall in alberta

19. Siffleur Falls

Siffleur Falls is in the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve and involves a 3.5 km hike across a suspension bridge and through stunning landscapes.

I think the falls are quite similar to Sunwapta Falls though a little bit smaller.

Once you’ve seen Siffleur Falls, you can continue onwards towards two more sets of waterfalls. Though not as impressive, if you’re looking for a hike I’d still recommend making your way to them.

siffleur falls waterfall in alberta

20. Cameron Falls Alberta

Another beautiful Alberta waterfall in Waterton National Park is Cameron Falls.

I think this has to be one of the easiest to get to waterfalls in Alberta as you can just drive almost straight to the viewpoint!

At Cameron Falls there is a viewing bridge as well as trails around the area to get different views of the falls. Since it’s so easy to get to, it’s often pretty busy here so don’t expect to enjoy the falls in solitude.

You can also hike uphill slightly to get a view of the falls from above. There’s a series of switchbacks which will take you up there.

These falls made the map as large storms have previously disturbed argolite sediments upstream leading to the water turning bright pink!

While it’s pretty unlikely you’ll see the pink waterfalls, these falls are impressive nonetheless.

elbow falls waterfalls in alberta

21. Elbow Falls

Though not exactly a waterfall in Calgary, these falls are pretty close by and so make a great Calgary day trip.

The Elbow Falls trail in Kananaskis are super easy to get to too and make a great walk with kids.

There are several viewing areas and the water in the gorge is crystal clear. The surroundings are as, if not more, impressive than the falls themselves!

When the water level is lower in the summer, you can also hike upstream to a small pebble beach area.

ram falls in alberta

22. Ram Falls Alberta

Ram Falls is in the well-named Ram Falls Provincial Park. The falls are about 20 meters tall and there’s a good viewpoint, down a steep staircase, for a photo opportunity.

The trail to Ram Falls is easy and short, but you will need a high-clearance or 4×4 vehicle to get to the trailhead.

Once you are at the falls there are plenty of other trails to explore if you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery in this area. Or, just enjoy the photo opportunities from the Ram Falls lookout.

Keep an eye open for Bighorn sheep!

panther falls winter

23. Bridal Veil Falls and Panther Falls

Similar to Tangle Creek Falls, Bridal Veil Falls is visible from a small pull-out area off the Icefields Parkway.

As with Tangle Creek, Bridal Veil Falls is larger than you’d think – you just can’t see the whole thing! The falls are in fact 370 m high but you’d never know that when you view it from the road.

The pullout is labeled “The Big Bend” on Google Maps and there’s a small area where you can pull over to view the falls.

From the pullout, you can also hike up to Panther Falls which is worthwhile if you’re looking for an adventure. It’s a short trip, but the trial isn’t exactly the best-maintained trail in the park!

Panther Falls in particular is super popular in winter!

blakiston falls waterfall in alberta

24. Blakiston Falls

Blakiston Falls is in Waterton Lake National Park and is easy to get to on a 15-minute walk from Red Rock Canyon.

You’ll start at the southern end of Red Rock Canyon and then make your way through the burned trees from the Kenow Fire in 2017, before coming out to two platforms with fantastic views of these Alberta waterfalls!

grotto canyon trail

26. Grotto Canyon Falls

Grotto Canyon is another waterfall in Alberta that is within the Kananaskis area. This one is on the way to Grotto Canyon which has become well known for the Inukshuks, pictographs, and caves you can see along the way.

The waterfall halfway up is labeled Grotto Canyon Icefall on Google Maps and is the falls.

Though it’s arguably more impressive in winter, it’s still a cool site to see on this trail and I think still worthy of being on this list.

lundbreck falls waterfall in alberta
Lundbreck falls photos

27. Lundbreck Falls Alberta

Lundbreck Falls in the Crowsnest River area are a 2-for-1 as you get two waterfalls here which sit side by side. They’re split in two by a small island on the river.

You can view Lundbreck Falls from both an observation deck near the top, or head down on the trail to the bottom of the gorge and look back up at the falls from their base.

Though only 12 meters tall, the falls seem much bigger. Stopping here is a great idea on a trip from Lundbreck Falls to Waterton.

Things to know before visiting these Alberta waterfalls

  • Always practice leave-no-trace ethics.
  • Follow the three T’s (Trip planning, training, and taking the essentials) and be AdventureSmart!
  • Take care around waterfalls and don’t go swimming in waterfalls in Alberta. Most waterfalls are on dangerous cliff areas, are slippery, and will suck you underwater if you fall in them. Swim at your own risk.
  • Keep dogs on a leash near waterfalls
  • Most of these waterfalls involve hiking. While many are short hikes, some are longer, please read trail descriptions before heading out to these waterfalls and make sure you have the appropriate gear and your 10 essentials.

FAQs about the best waterfalls Alberta has to offer

Where is the closest waterfall you can swim in near Edmonton that’s not a long walk?

Big Horn Falls near Ya Ha Tinda is a popular waterfall near Edmonton where swimming is possible and requires a short walk.

how long is the Troll Falls hike?

The Troll Falls hike is approximately 3.4 kilometers round trip.

When is Cameron Falls pink?

Cameron Falls turns pink after heavy rainfall when sediment called argillite is stirred into the water.

What is the closest waterfall to Edmonton?

The closest major waterfall to Edmonton is Sunwapta Falls, located in Jasper National Park, roughly a 4-hour drive away.

Final thoughts on these water falls in Alberta

If you’ve been looking for waterfalls near me and are based in Alberta, then this guide has surely helped you find some amazing waterfalls in Alberta to go and discover.

These amazing waterfalls in Alberta are fun to explore and are particularly impressive in the spring when the snow melt has made the rivers and falls much bigger.

If you’re looking for more Canada travel guides, be sure to check out my guides!

Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by Hannah

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