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Exploring Calgary’s Natural Backyard The Best Waterfalls in the Area

Exploring Calgary’s Natural Backyard: The Best Waterfalls in the Area 

It’s time to break in those hiking shoes you bought months back because you’re going to want to get your butt off the couch for the next adventure we’ve planned for you. 

This isn’t your usual, run-of-the-mill excursion. Today, we’re diving into waterfalls – and believe it or not, Calgary has an abundance of waterfalls in its massive, untamed backyard. 

So, strap on your Fitbit and watch your number of steps go up just to get a glimpse of these wonders. It’s time to turn your boring day into a fun-filled cascade of excitement in our list of the best waterfalls near Calgary!

1. Elbow Falls

Elbow Falls

Address: AB-66, Bragg Creek, AB T0L 0K0, Canada
Contact details: +1 866-427-3582

58 minutes away from Calgary are the Elbow Falls, one of the most popular outdoor attractions outside the city – and it’s easy to see why. 

It’s located inside Kananaskis Recreation Park, which is itself known for its abundance of outdoor activities.  The area surrounding the beautiful waterfalls is an ideal destination for hiking, walking, picnics, and so on. 

Go there if you want picturesque views that will leave you in awe. 

2. Troll Falls

Troll Falls


Troll Falls has beautiful scenery that entrances any curious visitor who passes by it. One of the reasons it continues to grow its popularity is how family-friendly the trail is, even for the little ones. But of course, we urge you to still keep an eye on them as a safety precaution! 

Anyway, as you go deeper into the forest, you’ll also see several mini waterfalls, letting you collect scenic photographs effortlessly as you go. 

The main attraction, Troll Falls itself, is a small waterfall. However, its charm certainly adds an enchanting vibe to the surroundings. 

Oh, and here’s a tip: during the winter, it becomes even more amazing to look at because you can see the waterfall being frozen midway. 

3. Sheep River Falls

Sheep River Falls

Address: Sheep River Rd, Turner Valley, AB T0L 2A0, Canada
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 7:30 AM to 10 PM 

Throw the saying “no pain, no gain” out the window because at Sheep River Falls, you’ll be able to enjoy the striking views it offers without breaking into a sweat. 

The path that leads to the fall itself is mostly flat and with a short 250m distance from the parking area, you’ll be blessed by the enchanting scenery in no time. 

4. Lundbreck Falls

Lundbreck Falls

Address: Range Rd 24B, Lundbreck, AB T0K 1H0, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-627-1165

Lundbreck Falls is a majestic waterfall that would transport you to an otherworldly dimension, leaving you in awe of the art that nature’s brush is capable of producing.  

Plus, it’s a two-for-one! Here, you’ll discover two waterfalls not too far away from each other, but both cascade smoothly down one river. 

5. Bow Falls

Bow Falls


Considered the famous Bow River’s main waterfall, Bow Falls is an equally enticing attraction that regularly attracts a crowd of outdoor adventure seekers. 

Though it won’t quite satisfy the itch for a majestically massive waterfall, it offers an abundance of delightful natural views that make it a worthwhile destination. Plus, the water current of the waterfall is so strong, the short descent resembles clouds gracefully making a short dive. 

6. Rainbow Falls Park 

Rainbow Falls Park

Address: 301 Rainbow Falls Dr, Chestermere, AB T1X 0E4, Canada
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 5 AM to 12 AM

We visited the Rainbow Falls Park in spring and discovered that it was the perfect time to do so because the waterfalls are in their full glory. Because of factors like melting snow, the water level is at an all-time high in spring, which helps in creating more majestic cascades. 

The hike to the waterfall itself is quick and easy, though we questioned the bridge’s sturdiness on the way. That said, we were able to arrive in one piece!

Anyway, this location doesn’t feature a stunningly high drop, but it was still an exciting visit. Another plus is that it’s only 24 minutes away from the city!

7. Grotto Canyon Falls

Grotto Canyon Falls

Address: Grotto Mountain Pond, Bighorn No. 8, AB, Canada

For seasoned outdoor adventurers, you might’ve just met your match. Introducing the mighty Grotto Canyon Falls: challenging paths with a high reward at the end! 

This stunning gem provides stunning rock formations and natural scenery. The waterfall is lovely, though it’s a bit small. We find that it’s more enjoyable to visit during winter, actually, when the water is beautifully frozen, like a stunning image of nature’s sculptural art.  

By the way, make sure to bring your trusty rock climbing gear to best enjoy this location! It might get slippery, so be safe. 

8. Johnston Canyon Lower and Upper Falls

Johnston Canyon Lower and Upper Falls

Address: Canada, Improvement District No. 9, AB T1L 1K2, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-762-1500

The waterfalls at Johnston Canyon offer a relaxing and cooling respite from the challenging 3.3-mile hiking path. Despite that, it’s relatively safe, which is why you’ll see plenty of families bringing their kids along here. 

Since this spot is popular, though, expect a small crowd – enough to have you lining up for a glimpse of the waterfall especially during weekends. 

9. Crescent Falls 

Crescent Falls


Surrounded by a lush forest, Crescent Falls offers an abundance of natural wonders, making it an ideal destination for plenty of Calgarians. 

Here, you’ll be able to find a stunning waterfall that features two exciting cascades. It’s easily accessible through a short, yet scenic hike. 

10. Athabasca Falls

Athabasca Falls


Located in the famous Jasper National Park, Athabasca falls is known for its captivating beauty and its mystical surroundings. Additionally, its remarkable height and extreme water pressure will make you appreciate the intense rush of the water cascading down a rocky terrain. 

By the way, there are several viewing platforms to enjoy the spectacle safely – use them! 

11. Silverton Falls 

Silverton Falls

Address: Banff National Park, Rockbound Lake Trail, Improvement District No. 9, AB T0L, Canada

Silverton Falls is an exciting attraction located in Banff National Park. While it has captivating views, it surprisingly doesn’t attract plenty of crowds – unlike other places on this list. 

With that in mind, this is the destination we recommend if you want to enjoy reconnecting with nature without any distraction from people. 

12. Big Hill Springs Waterfall

Big Hill Springs Waterfall

Address: Big Hill Springs Rd, Cochrane, AB, Canada
Contact details: +1 403-297-5293
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 5 AM to 11 PM 

Big Hills Springs Waterfall is an idyllic setting located just 34 minutes away from Calgary. Given that, it’s known as a captivating destination for anyone looking to get a taste of nature’s backyard. 

The waterfall itself features grandiose cascades instead of a sharp, single drop, creating an interesting display that would impress anyone who sees it.

Aside from being a visual treat, this destination also offers a tranquil setting to enjoy the natural views and the wildlife in its full glory. 

13. Panther Falls

Panther Falls

Address: Improvement District No. 9, AB T0M 2H0, Canada

Situated in Icefields Parkway in the famous Banff National Park, there’s a hidden gem called Panther Falls. 

This easily accessible destination offers not only exciting viewpoints of the surrounding views, but also an exciting opportunity to appreciate the cascade of the waterfall. 

The falls themselves are an interesting display: descending from a rocky cliff, providing a captivating backdrop for any outdoor adventurer. 

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