With a small island in the middle of the Sunwapta River just up stream of the brink, Sunwapta Falls in Jasper National Park has an idyllic setting. Sunwapta, the Stoney Indian word for 'turbulent river' was applied in 1892 by AP Coleman. This is less of a trail and more of a viewing area below the parking lot, but plan on moving around a bit to take in different views of the waterfalls and canyon.
From the parking lot, the walk down to the viewing bridge over the canyon will afford the best view of the main waterfall. The trail to Fortress Lake strikes off in to the forest on the other side of the bridge, unless you have plans for a major hike don't go that way.
The best view of the waterfall below the viewing bridge is from the rim of the canyon. Once you have your fill, head back to the parking lot. If you have a desire to see more canyon and waterfalls, you might be interested in the Lower Sunwapta Falls hike.
In winter please check the local avalanche bulletins and conditions.
NTS Map: 083C12
No elevation gain.
Drive south of Jasper on Hwy 93 (The Icefields Parkway) for 55km and turn right at the Sunwapta Falls Resort. (http://www.sunwapta.com/). The parking lot is at the end of the 300m access road. There are tables, privies and garbage can around the area but it is a bit busy for an enjoyable picnic.
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Posted By: Hermanater
- Mon Jul 10 16:01:43 UTC 2006
UpsideI rate this as good just because of the scenary. The hike itself is not much of a hike. Many photo opportunites here. CommentThis was a nice stop along the road. My favorite photo was the top of the falls with the island and mountain in the back ground.....wish I could have posted it.