15 Top-Rated Waterfalls in Canada

Canada is not only abundant with waterfalls, but it shelters some of the most unique cascades across the globe. From the world’s fastest torrent overlapping sheer cliffs to dramatic landscapes surrounding the waterfalls, photographers, nature enthusiasts and adventure sport fans visit the great white country for such awe-inspiring sceneries. While the world famous Niagara Falls stands in the limelight of tourism, there are countless other favorite cataracts, featuring higher drops, more secluded and even easier to access- for family-planned trips.

For more information, read on to discover fifteen of the top rated waterfalls in Canada.

1. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Highlighted as the most emblematic destination in Canada, Niagara Falls comprise a series of waterfalls, overflowing the bed-rock cliffs of Niagara Gorge. As the fastest moving river in North America, Niagara river pours over three silver cascades of American, Bridal Veil, Horseshoe Falls.

With over 50 meters height, Horseshoe waterfalls mark the largest and the most photographed of all three. In addition, the encircling landscape conceals interesting elements such as the Giant Rock, Devil’s Hole Rapid and Caves of the Winds, sheltered at Niagara Falls State Park.

Queen Victoria Park offers long hiking trails around Niagara Gorge. It connects the Oak Garden Theatre, the colossal bridges, outstanding viewpoints to the untamed wilderness of Erie and Ontario Lakes. Cruise Boat Rides, Bungee Jumping from the falls’ side cliffs, Zip Lining and Kayaking highlight the recreational activities, included in Niagara Fall Adventure Pass; the Pass could be purchased at the park’s center, covering from side hikes to a journey behind the falls. 

2. James Bruce Falls

James Bruce Falls

With an eminent 840 meters of height, James Bruce Falls is the highest waterfall in Canada, while regarded as the 9th tallest cascade in the world. James and Bruce’s parallel streams spill down Princess Louisa Inlet, at the vicinity of Malibu Camp, forming a chain of magnificent silver linings. The Sunshine Coast hikes through Princess Louisa Marine Provincial Park and leads the way through the picturesque Strait of Georgia.

Further down, the verdant footpaths reach to the glacier lake of Princess Louisa Inlet, and the sight of 60 collective falls, including the colossal James Bruce. These seasonal falls dry up almost entirely during summers, except for a few overflowing streams, including the 40-meter high Chatterbox Falls. Campsites, cabins, well-groomed trails, and boating facilities to accommodate the visitors of the giant JB Falls and its enfolding nature reserve.

3. Churchill Falls

Churchill Falls

Churchill River, formerly known as the Grand River, sweeps over a series of steep bedrocks and cliffs, including the scenic Churchill falls. A land mingled with sinister myths and lush vegetation, the fierce streams are located in the basin of Labrador Ranges.

The aboriginal Innu tribe, who dwelled near the current town of Labrador, believed that looking at this cascade brought death upon the onlookers. Today, the splendid falls feature one of the most popular Canadian waterfalls, located at the end of Bowdoin Canyon Nature Trail.

The hike to Churchill Falls starts next to the Trans-Labrador Highway, stretching through over 20 kilometers of Alpine slopes, and exceptional viewpoints on the Bowdoin Canyon vertical walls.

4. Takakkaw Falls

Takakkaw Falls

National Park of Yoho is home to Mount Daly and its Glacier that drips into the overflowing stream of Takakkaw waterfalls. Marking the second highest waterfall of the country, a kilometer-long hike from the highway’s park walks the visitors to the mesmerizing beauty of Takakkaw. The trailhead sits at the charming hamlet of Field, crossing the photogenic viewpoints and ultimately ending at the renowned cascades.

The route is branched into other hikes, leading to other attractions in Yoho National Park. Emerald lake lounges only 12 kilometers from the cascades, harboring a sparkling lake and a posh resort at its verdant shores, together with a delightful campsite for a night under the star-lustrous sky of the nature reserve.

Noted as a dynamic landscape, the park is often subjected to landslides, avalanches and occasional floods. Consequently, the trail to Takakkaw Falls may be closed for temporary blockages and repairs. It is recommended to visit Yoho National Park’s website beforehand.

5. Della Falls

Della Falls

Among the countless beauties of the Vancouver Islands, Della Falls sweep gracefully over the cliffs of Strathcona Provincial Park. The charm of these waterfalls inspired the rather romantic prospector, Joe Drinkwater, to name the falls after his beloved spouse, Della.

The connective hike to the falls starts at the Great Lake and follows the draining stream into Drinkwater Creek and ultimately, the overflowing Della falls. To enhance the romantic spirit of this destination, a five-kilometer hike reaches the Creek’s watershed and the Love Lake.

While the hike is regarded as moderately difficult, the lake is equipped with an equipped campsite, basic facilities, and one the best wilderness swimming spots in British Columbia.

6. Panther falls

Panther falls

The melting glaciers of Banff National Park are the spring source of Nigel River and Panther Falls, at the end of Nigel Creek. Icefields Parkway drive is enlisted among the National Geographic drives of a lifetime. The infamous highway encompasses several attractions including the Bridal Veil Falls and soon after, the striking Panther Falls.

Overlooking the scenic views of Bridal Veil cataracts, the head-trail sits along the icefields parkway. Narrow footpaths, arched by pine and oak trees, descend to the creek and the cascades, presenting a stunning scenery. Occasionally, spectators sight the flourishing wildlife of the verdant rivulet, encountering herds of mountain sheep, black bears, and varieties of birds.

7. Virginia Falls

Virginia Falls

Among the least traveled roads and untamed regions of Canada, Northwest Territories are home to uncontaminated nature and spectacular vistas- often achieved by enduring difficult hikes and unfacilitated camping. Also known as Nailicho, Virginia Falls perch on the steep bedrocks of Nahanni River and sheltered within the boundaries of Nahanni National Park Reserve. Virginia Falls, perhaps, represents the most eminent feature of the park, with twice the height of Niagara Falls.

A delightful campground, one of the few regional camping facilities, is situated at a standpoint distant from the falls, marking the starting point of several hikes to the wonders of Nahanni territory. Such as the hike to behind the falls with mesmerizing vistas of Sluicebox Rapids, the Prairie and Scow Creek hiking route, the moss-ridden terrain of Marengo Falls.

8. Maligne Canyon Falls

Maligne Canyon Falls

Recognized as the deepest ravine in Jasper National Park, Maligne Canyon is ladened with undiscovered coves, natural stone arches pinned by hiking passages, and home to the renowned Maligne Canyon Falls. The hike to these cascades conceals six bridges, each revealing a distinct viewpoint over the river, springs, and vertical cliffs.

The third bridge spectates the majestic Maligne Falls, dropping into a 50 meters high karst depression. Limestone formations, lush vegetation on the rocky mountain slopes, and barren vertical cliffs, with white-mist covered waterfalls- bring together an otherworldly vista.

9. Alexander Falls

Alexander Falls

At a short distance from the Sea to Sky Highway of the Ski resorts town of Whistler, Callaghan Valley lounges on the slopes of West Coast Mountains, housing a number of bewildering attractions. Madeley Creek’s stream pours over a perpendicular ridge, forming the drop point of Alexandra Falls.

In 2010, Olympic Nordic events took place on the river banks, which resulted in a better trail structure and further accessibility of the falls. Whereas Whistler is a renowned hiking destination and a transcendent winter sports playground, these falls mark the winter icefall climbing, while spring and summer lure the visitors from around the world with the impressive cascade.

It is notable that in the Northwest Territories, River Hay is home to another series of enthralling falls by the same name. The 32 meters tall Alexandra cascades form a part of Twin Falls Gorge Territorial Park.

10. Numa Falls

Numa Falls

The south-heading trails of Marble Canyon in Kootenay National Park sink into the gorge of Vermilion River, known as Tokumm Creek. The regional hike follows the pristine glacier river through several small gorges and earth fissures, which ultimately drops over a 43 meters tall cliff of Canadian Rockies.

Numa Falls’ ease of access and well-curated hiking paths and campsites invites countless visitors annually, particularly through spring and summer. A handful of the park’s significant attractions sit at a hiking distance from Numa Falls; such as the serene Floe Lake and the steaming springs of Radium Hot Springs.

11. Spahats Creek Falls

Spahats Creek Falls

Southern Caribou Ranges rises amid the green refuge of Wells Gray Provincial Park, enfolded by the mystifying sceneries and exceptional geological phenomena. Encircled by lush alpine meadows and varieties of wild animal species inhabitants, Spahats Creek falls out of a hanging gorge. It is situated at the center of the rocky walls of a deep basin, with an over 60 meters drop.

Many scenic trails penetrate the wild territory of the creek; the small hike that reaches the vantage point for a bewitching vista over the falls, Granite Canyon picturesque trail, loop hike of cedar forests, and the characteristic Clearwater River Trail.

12. Helmcken Falls

Helmcken Falls

Another magical attraction of the Wells Gray Provincial Park lounges only a few kilometers from Spahats Creek, located on the Murtle River. This glacier stream is home to six waterfalls, comprising the fourth highest Canadian cascades, Helmcken Falls. The sight of the spectacular waterfalls is appreciated throughout the year; in summer for its refreshing mist and lively biosphere and in winters, the frozen motion of the river into a giant icefall.

These falls could be reached by the road or through the Helmcken Canyon and Gattling Gorge trails. Additionally, a four-kilometer hike leads to Dawson Falls, crossing densely wooded forests and panoramic viewpoints over the eroded lava bedrocks of the massive canyon.

13. Shannon Falls

Shannon Falls

The hiking trail of Shannon Falls Provincial Park perches on the cragged slopes of Mount Habrich and Mount Sky Pilot, at a brief distance from the historic town of Squamish. Highlighting British Columbia’s third-largest falls, it is located at a short walk from Sea to Sky Highway; hence distinguished as a popular family destination.

A private adventure club offers a campground above the creek, together with a wide range of recreational activities; including helicopter tours to ascending gondola rides from the bottom of the falls, providing spectacular vistas over Slhanay granite domes and British Columbia’s wilderness.

14. Athabasca Falls

Athabasca Falls

Athabasca Cascades are distinguished for their strong torrent. It accommodates large volumes of water from North America’s largest Icefield, Columbia icefield, in Jasper National Park. The Athabasca River flows over the upright cliffs of quartzite-limestone bedrocks, splashing over a 23 meters drop. In the springs, the lagoon below the stormy downpour of the Athabasca river hosts whitewater rafting adventure sports, riding down to Jasper River.

Casual visitors of these falls testify to the change in the river’s colors throughout the year, due to the unstable bedrock compositions and dissolution. The most accessible trail to this destination rests only a kilometer from the parking grounds of Highway 93A or reached through other longer hikes such as the Jasper town trail for all skill levels.

15. Montmorency Falls

Montmorency Falls

Nearby a culturally dense locale, Montmorency Falls are mesmerizing attractions, flanked by historic gardens, an ancient geological structure, and a wealth of nature. A 12-kilometer hike from Quebec old town guides the way to Montmorency waterfalls, with a dazzling plunge of 83 meters. Spectators can savor the vista of the falls from various perspectives; a side staircase, an enthralling hanging bridge, and at the panoramic comfort of cable cars.

Through the warmer months, historical heritage sights and numerous hikes welcome visitors from across the globe. Whereas the winter, the falls, river, and surrounding forest freeze in time, setting forth a truly unprecedented scenery. Ice Hotel is the first and only ice-built accommodation in entire North America, providing a unique inclusion to the itinerary of Canadian waterfalls.

Once an ancient creek, the slow erosion of water has transformed the gorge of Mount Robson into a broad canyon. Known as the Valley of a Thousand Falls, heaps of seasonal and permanent stream pour down the vertical walls of the valley. These streams are often fed by the annual glaciers and turquoise color lakes of Berg and Kinney. The sight of such a large assemblage of waterfalls is unparalleled throughout the world.

Together with highland lakes and passes of Mount Robson Park, the Valley of a Thousand Falls and surrounding wilderness are safeguarded and registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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