Sunwapta River & Falls, Jasper National Park

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Ice Field Parkway Jasper National Park

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  • Sunwapta River & Falls
    by Hanau93
  • Sunwapta River & Falls
    by Hanau93
  • Sunwapta River & Falls
    by Hanau93
  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo

    See the awesome power of nature - hear the roar

    by scottishvisitor Written Aug 3, 2005

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    The name Sunwapta translates from the Stoney Indian words Turbulent River.
    These great falls start where the Chuba Valley joins the Athabasca Valley creating a deep gorge.
    Stay a while on the bridge and lose your self as you are mesmerised by the sight of mighty water falls & the great roaring of raw nature. Experience the tremulous feeling & marvel at the cascading waters.

    Sunwapta Falls
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  • JanPeter74's Profile Photo

    Sunwapta Falls

    by JanPeter74 Written Sep 17, 2004

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    The Sunwapta Falls are located close to the Icefield Parkway, towards the southern boundary of the park. The Sunwapta river is forced through a very narrow canyon-like passage with both at the start and end some very spectacular falls. In the picture you see the most famous, upper part of the falls.

    Sunwapta Falls
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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    SUNWAPTA FALLS

    by LoriPori Written Nov 1, 2004

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    Another breathtaking waterfall ,SUNWAPTA FALLS is found just 55 kilometres(33 miles) south of Jasper townsite. The Stoney Nations's word "Sunwapta" means "turbulent river" and a more apt description could not be found for this unpredictable watercourse plummeting over the cliffs into a deep canyon. If you follow the river back from the cliffs, you find that it flows northwest for a majority of its length and then changes course to the southwest toward the falls

    Sunwapta Falls

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    SUNWAPTA FALLS

    by balhannah Written Aug 28, 2010

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    These falls are another that I would say Do not miss!
    Sunwapta is a native word that means turbulent water, how true to the word these falls were.

    Just a short walk to them, and after heavy rain, what a volume of frothy, angry water was plunging over these falls and down through a narrow gorge. Once again, these falls are not high at 18.5 metres, but they were very spectacular.
    There are two falls, go to both, as it is only a short walk.

    Be careful walking on the paths, as they are slippery from the waterfall's spray, and beware of Bears.

    The water originates from the Athabasca Glacier, and volumes are higher in early summer, caused by glacial meltdown.

    Sunwapta Waterfalls
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  • Hermanater's Profile Photo

    Sunwapta Falls - "turbulent river"

    by Hermanater Written Jul 19, 2006

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    Sunwapta - Stoney Indian word for "turbulent river"

    The river flows from the northwest and quickly changes directionover the lip of a deep canyon. The falls are located just off the highway. There is a trail that takes you to the lower Sunwapta falls. The trail on the other side of the bridge goes to Fortress lake and is about 50 km long.
    To go to the lower falls - The trail is downhill on the way in but it's a gentle climb back up, and the waterfalls are very much worth it. To obtain the perfect view of the lower falls, stacked one above another, it is necessary to scramble down a steep bank (cliff) below the last fall. Regardless, it is still an enjoyable hike.

    This is a nice stop on the highway and not really out of the way. If you want more time to explore the area (hike the Sunwapta Bluff) There is accommodations at the turn off where Sunwapta Falls Resort is located. There are picnic sites available.

    Sunwapta Falls Sunwapta Falls Sunwapta Falls Sunwapta Falls
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  • Waalewiener's Profile Photo

    A closeup look at the Sunwapta River & Falls

    by Waalewiener Updated Jul 18, 2003

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    The Stoney Nations word " Sunwapta ''
    means '' Turbulent River '',
    At the Falls the Sunwapta river abruptly changes course from Northwest to Southwest and plunges in a cloud of spray in to a deep Canyon. In the winter the Falls freeze over and it is an amazing site to see and to take pictures off

    Sunwapta River & Falls
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  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    Sunwapta Falls

    by spidermiss Updated Apr 12, 2011

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    The falls come from Sunwapta River that is situated in Jasper National Park. They aren't far from the Icefields Parkway and the water originates from the Athabasca Glacier. The falls are approximately 18.5 metres and there two falls altogether, an upper and a lower falls and they're a short hike between them. Sunwapta is an Indian word for "turbulent water".

    Sunwapta Falls
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  • zrim's Profile Photo

    Bridge over the river Sunwapta

    by zrim Written Sep 17, 2003

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    The bridge has easy access from the parking lot and is probably the best place to view the upper falls and the canyon. Many long hiking trails converege in this area and it is kind of fun to scramble up the bluffs to view the surrounding mountains. But you will not be rewarded with a better view of the falls. If waterfalls are your primary interest stick to the bridge.

    Sunwapta River
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    Sunwapta Falls

    by zrim Written Sep 15, 2003

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    About twenty-five miles north of the Icefields Center. Athabasca Glacier and the pool of water at its base is the source of Sunwapta River. As it meanders north it picks up plenty of snowmelt off the endless mountains until it is a thunderous stream at the falls. Sunwapta Falls is not as dramatic as Athabasca Falls, but worthy of stop.

    upper falls at Sunwapta
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  • kymbanm's Profile Photo

    Sunwapta Falls .... GO!!!!

    by kymbanm Updated Aug 31, 2005

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    I was told I might be disappointed in Sunwapta after going to Athabasca falls - sooo wrong! I loved these falls more than Athabasca. Yes, Athabasca falls are bigger, more spectacular and all .... Sunwapta are less crowded, less improved, more natural and just amazing in their own right.

    I didn't take the full walk to the lake and picnic area .... it was cold, alternating between snow and drizzle, and I was on a time schedule so ... okay no excuses! I was just cold!!!

    I did walk down to the fall overlook, and across to the other side and did a little walk toward the picnic area, but decided I needed my heater ...... in the car ..... more :)

    More water ....... YAY!
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  • Hanau93's Profile Photo

    SUNWAPTA FALLS

    by Hanau93 Updated Nov 18, 2008

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    Sunwapta ( a native word meaning turbulent) Falls is a waterfall of the Sunwapta River and the water originates from the Athabasca Glacier.The falls have a drop of about 18.5 metres and there are actually upper falls as well as lower falls. The latter ones can be seen when you take a hike a bit further down.

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  • zrim's Profile Photo

    The canyon at Sunwapta Falls

    by zrim Written Sep 17, 2003

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    After tumbling down the upper Sunwapta Falls the river enters a deep dark canyon the water is funneled into a small crevice and then shoots through the mouth of the canyon with a thunderous roar somewhat like a water cannon.

    water cannon
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  • orke's Profile Photo

    Sunwapta Falls

    by orke Written Oct 28, 2004

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    the Sunwapta Falls are very close to jasper (about 30 miles or so) and there is a short walk to the falls from the parking , u can walk around the falls and look from diff angels .

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  • zrim's Profile Photo

    Whitewater on the Sunwapta

    by zrim Written Sep 17, 2003

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    The water in the stream above the falls seems to be in a boiling frenzy in anticipation of cascading over the falls and shooting through the gorge.

    too dangerous for rafting
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  • sunnywong's Profile Photo

    Sunwapta Falls

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003

    Sunwapta is a Stoney Indian word for "turbulent river". At the falls, the Sunwapta River abruptly changes course from northwest to southwest and plunges in a cloud of spray into a deep canyon.

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