A new week, a new adventure. Sunshine on winter days, clouds in the sky and snow covered mountains make the decision to go outside and explore that much easier- especially when it’s followed with coffee and good food for lunch.
The main aim of todays’ expedition was to visit Sunwapta Falls after I stumbled on some stunning photos on instagram. Fortunately we didn’t have to walk there (according to Google Maps it’s 27kms from Jasper but in reality it’s 53kms out). I was able to take in the scenery on the drive and watch out for the signs to our places of interest.
The drive to the Falls were picturesque with the Canadian Rocky Mountains on either side of the highway- you can happily stare out the window and be awe struck. There are trees as far as your eyes can see and the views are unspoiled.
On the way to the main destination, Stu and I stopped on the side of the road to climb over some snow and trudge through powder to take in the view of the mountains and a few tourist photos.
As I kept my eyes open for a sign directing us to Sunwapta Falls, we detoured via Athabasca Falls. The main entry for buses and small cars was closed so we had to park and walk over the snow barricade and were greeted by breathtaking views of the mountains, running water, snow covered trees and a sunny winter sky. These natural elements are all beautiful on their own but when you can see them all together, it’s magnificent.
If you follow the snow covered paths around to the right, you can find yourself standing on one of several viewing platforms- each offering stunning views of the landscape. After getting a lesson on how to use my camera to take decent photos of ourselves in the front of the unspoiled nature aka an ‘it’s all about the camera angles’ talk by Stu, a few more photos were taken. It’s not too often that you feel bad for wanting to take a photo with a landscape in the background but at the falls, you may feel that- I know I did.
During the winter season, there is a large amount of ice on the paths and several of the viewing platforms are closed for safety reasons but you won’t find yourself feeling cheated or that it was a waste of a trip. The highway noises are muted by the trees so if you stand still, you can take in the sounds of the water moving through the falls at a rapid rate.
Next stop was Sunwapta Falls. The resort was closed but the road to the falls was still accessible. There is a small car park and the walk involves a small descent and an easy 100 metre walk. I must admit, the photos I saw on Instagram had given me high hopes and I was left slightly disappointed. I’m not saying that it wasn’t a beautiful place but if you have limited time, I’d recommend visiting Athabasca Falls over Sunwapta Falls as there are more vantage points for landscape photos and it is closer to Jasper.
If you’re having a groundhog day or just feel like experiencing something a little extraordinary to put a smile on your face, then a short drive to the falls should be on your to do list.
Because after all, sometimes you need to spread your wings to see how far you can fly.