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.
The trip to Jasper, from Banff is one of the most stunning. With many turnouts for breathtaking photo opportunities, it took us hours to drive it. As a result, we opted to stay in Jasper for a couple of days to enjoy this charming town. It is a higher elevation and was a bit cooler than Banff. We enjoyed not only it’s beauty but the pubs, restaurants, shops and the people here.
“Jasper is a specialized municipality in western Alberta, Canada. It is the commercial centre of Jasper National Park, located in the Canadian Rockies in the Athabasca River valley. Jasper is approximately 362 kilometres (225 mi) west of Edmonton and 290 kilometres (180 mi) north of Banff, Alberta at the intersection of the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16) and the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93).” source Wikipedia
The Canadian Rockies are magnificent to see and the Icefields are beautiful. Due to the relatively short time we would be there, our photos of the Icefields are from the turnouts. You can pull off Highway 93 and go out onto them via a specialized vehicle. It is a popular tourist spot as we could see from numerous vehiclesparked and people waiting for the tour.