Travels in Canada – part ten – Athabasca Falls


On our return from Jasper to Banff, we stopped off to see these spectacular falls.  The power of the rushing water was awesome.

Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park is not the highest or the widest waterfall in the Canadian Rockies but it is the most powerful. The full width of the Athabasca River is funneled into a three metre gap and over the brink of the falls. Despite what the interpretive signs say, most of the rock is not limestone, it is actually gog quartzite, and ounce for ounce it’s as strong as steel.

Over the eons the waterfall has moved back and forth in it’s search for the path of least resistance, cutting and abandoning channels as it goes. One such channel has been developed with stairs and trail for easy exploration. It also gives access to viewpoints at the bottom of the main canyon and to the river bank beyond.

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