Promises of a waterfall, a creek, a canyon, and candy are the things that get my kids hiking. Here are 11 family-friendly waterfall hikes so, Mamas load up your playlist with TLC and start the car.
A short walk from the parking lot along Miette Road.
This popular family hike is a choose your own adventure. From a short hike; viewing the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd bridge. Or for a longer less traveled route park at the sixth bridge and walk the entire canyon in reverse order to the first bridge, a 7 km return hike.
30 km south of the Jasper townsite go early or late to miss the crowds. If you have the time walk down the stairs to the base of the Athabasca River and check out the inukshuks.
55 km south of Jasper check out Upper & Lower Sunwapta Falls. Short on time, the Upper Falls are a short walk from the parking lot. The lower Sunwapta Falls is a 3.2 km return hike.
Keep driving south on the Icefields Highway (93) to hike this 3.2 km return trail. The trail initially runs parallel to the highway before turning left to follow a narrow canyon where you view a series of waterfalls before ending at Stanley Falls. A smaller version of Maligne Canyon, but with no railing so stay safe. Beauty Creek to Stanley Falls parking lot is a small pullout approximately 88 km south of Jasper on the north side of Highway 93. You may have to drive past the pullout until you can safely turn around depending on the direction you are driving.
Not a hiker, this waterfall is perfect for you. A view of the waterfalls can be had right from the parking lot, on the south side of Highway 93 96.5 km south of Jasper. A marked crosswalk allows you to walk across the highway and walk right up to the falls, be safe crossing the busy highway.
A short 1 km round trip walk down a hill leads you to the lesser-known just as memorable Mistaya Canyon. The parking lot is 5.2 km south of Saskatchewan River Crossing, on the south side of Highway 93.
62 km west of Nordegg down the David Thompson Highway (11) this popular family hike is ~8 km return hike that includes two bridge crossings and starts at the Siffleur Falls Staging Area parking lot.
Walk through an 8m long culvert that runs under the David Thompson Highway to start the ~4km return trail which crosses several creaks until reaching a 6m waterfall, a great hike for a hot day! Park on the east side of Highway 11, just past the causeway that goes over Allstones Creek west of Nordegg.
A 3.4 km return trail 45 km west of Nordegg features a double punch bowl set of waterfalls. The trail starts at the Cline River Waste Transfer Station.
22 km west of Nordegg in Crescent Falls Recreation Area the popular upper and lower waterfall can be viewed a short walk from the parking lot. Another option is a ~4.9 km return hike from the trailhead at the Bighorn Canyon lookout parking lot.
Even More (Close to the Road) Waterfalls
Is this not enough for you?! Be sure to check out the incredible, exhaustive list of waterfalls within 500m of a public road in Jason Walchuck’s book Stoked on Waterfalls: Volume 1.
Allison Hopkins is a tea-loving, wannabe blogger, passionate planner of adventures, and crappy house cleaner. Mother of 3.