Sunwapta Falls are a set of Class 6 waterfalls that originate from the Athabasca Glacier and the Sunwapta River in Jasper National Park, Alberta. The falls are easily accessible by car during the summer months, located a short drive off the Icefields Parkway that connects Banff and Jasper National parks.
Sunwapta is a Stoney (Assiniboine) word meaning “turbulent water.” Over time as the Sunwapta River changed its course, a deep gorge was caused in the limestone rocks. Today, the two sets of falls that make up Sunwapta Falls are over 75 feet tall. They have a total drop of 60 feet (18 meters) and a width of 30 feet (9 meters). The upper waterfall flows through a narrow canyon and drops into three lower falls. The waterfalls are at their peak in late spring and early summer when glacial melt is at its highest, and in the winter, you can ice climb, snowshoe, and admire the ice formations created by the falls.
Sunwapta Falls Road is closed to vehicles from October to May but can be accessed by snowshoe during the winter months. For the best view of the main waterfall, walk down from the parking lot to the viewing bridge over the rim of the canyon. There is also a moderate hiking trail that leads to the Lower Sunwapta Falls.