Lower Sunwapta Falls Trail
ElevationAscent: 8' 2 m
Descent: -232' -71 m
High: 4,561' 1,390 m
Low: 4,336' 1,322 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 8% (4°)
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“Waterfalls, a gorge and more waterfalls! A short trail along Sunwapta River from Sunwapta Falls to Lower Sunwapta Falls.”— Joan Pendleton
For most of its length, Lower Sunwapta Falls Trail is in the forest, too far from the river to see it or its gorge, but near enough to hear it to the left/southeast. At the 0.7 mile mark, the trail arrives at the river's banks at the top of the first of the major drops of Lower Sunwapta Falls. From here, for the next 0.2 miles, to the trail's end at the bottom of Lower Sunwapta Falls, the trail is right at the edge of the falls and its gorges. A sturdy railing on the left, keeps one safe while getting good views of the falls and gorges.
After plunging over the first Lower Sunwapta Falls drop, the river is in a gorge, and then almost immediately plunges over another cliff, into more gorge below. The river then cascades down a length of rapids. Finally, emerging from the gorges, the river becomes wider and calmer, as it goes off into the distance to find the Athabasca River that it empties into. The trail with its protective railing ends after the biggest rapids, next to the river where it widens out and calms down.
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Land Manager: Parks Canada - Jasper National Park