Stanley Falls - Jasper National Park - Hiking Alberta

 

Stanley Falls are spectacular along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The trail-head for Stanley Falls, along Beauty Creek, is accessed via a small, nondescript parking area on the Icefields Parkway north of the Columbia Icefields between the Stutfield Glacier Viewpoint and the Beauty Creek Hostel in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.  This is one of the most commonly accessed, relatively easy and spectacular hikes in Jasper National Park

This popular hike is 2.3 KM (1⅜ miles) one-way with minor elevation differential.  Beauty Creek is a major drainage between 3,001 m (9,486 ft) Tangle Ridge to the south and 3,315 m (10,875 ft.) Sunwapta Peak on the north.  An early morning start begins from the grass roots David Thompson Resort in Bighorn Backcountry for the 1½ hour drive to the Stanley Falls trail-head.

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The view south from the Stanley Falls trailhead with Tangle Ridge in the background at Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada The trailhead for Stanley Falls beside Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada The beginning of the trail to Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Initial, good-gravel trail morphs to a short section of root-laden, damp trail leading to excellent quality trail hosting beautiful border carpets of wildflowers in seed alongside Beauty Creek.  At one time, this flat section of the trail was paved and although the surface has nearly returned to gravel, it is easy walking to the Y junction where Beauty Creek heads up and along the north edge of the narrow canyon.  At some time in the past this trail also crossed a bridge over Beauty Creek and continued south.  This brief steep ascent leads to good trail along the narrow Beauty Creek canyon hosting roaring, white water.

 

 

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada A short, more rustic section of trail to Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada Straight, once paved path with seeded borders along the level approach to Stanley Falls on Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

The formidable profile of Tangle Ridge is in the background.

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada The Y junction, left to Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek, straight to an impasse over Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada Remains of an old bridge over Beauty Creek which connected to similar trail on the other side in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Beauty Creek is a phenomenal experience of hiking the edge above a narrow canyon containing frothing, roaring, white and turquoise water accompanied by the musty odor of wet, mossy rock combined with damp, forest aroma.  Powerful sound of the tumbling creek is amplified by the acoustic characteristics of the narrow canyon. All senses are on overload. 

Following sequential photographs attempt to capture the nature of this short, easy hike above the narrow, twisting, turning canyon.  Hundreds of photographs are taken.  These few are representative of the indelibly memorable experience.

 

 

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada On the way to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada On the way to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada On the way to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada On the way to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada Along the route to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada On the way to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada On the way to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. Tangle Ridge in the background.

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada The natural gateway to the largest of Stanley Falls on this hike along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Trail between two old, weathered boulders leads quickly to the largest waterfall.  The sound of crashing water reverberates within the canyon bowl which contains the impressive waterfall.  This ethereal experience is uniquely exhilarating and while walking around the edge of the bowl, the beautiful waterfall reveals its multiple spectacular facades.

 

 

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada Approaching the largest of the tiered Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada A closer view of Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada From near the top of Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada The cascading feed into Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada Old sea bottom table rock beside the white, turquoise, glacial-fed water above Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

 

The trail continues along Beauty Creek but return is justified by other plans for this day which include the the short, easy hike to the toe of the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefield and the trail to Wilcox Pass before returning to David Thompson Resort.

 

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada The view back along Beauty Creek towards Mushroom Peak in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada The view back towards Stutfield Glacier on the return hike along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada The chock stone wedged in the top of the narrow canyon above Beauty Creek hosts a faint trail in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

 

From the Stanley Falls trail-head, the drive south on the Icefields Parkway proceeds to the viewpoint for Stutfield Glacier before a brief stop at impressive roadside Tangle Falls.  A short distance further south past Tangle Falls provides impressive views from the large viewpoint along Icefields Parkway of the massive Kitchener Glacier and Dome Glacier on the flank of Mount Kitchener and the Snow Dome.  The massive Columbia Icefields occupy a large section of the Continental Divide and channel water to the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans.

 

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada Tangle Falls at roadside on the Icefields Parkway north of the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada The Stutfield Glacier from the Icefields Parkway in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada A long lens view of the blue ice of the Stutfield Glacier along the Icefields Parkway in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

 

Stanley Falls is an outstanding hike north of the incredible Columbia Icefields.  A rest stop at Icefield Centre provides the opportunity for lunch with a view on the elevated stone patio adjacent to the dining room.   

Following lunch the short drive across the Icefield Parkway to parking near the trail-head initiates a short hike to the toe of the very accessible Athabasca Glacier.  Cloud cover is building and getting moody.  From a private, upper parking area, tour buses with massive wheels are delivering passengers for the experience of traveling on the surface of the massive glacier.

 

Photographs for this outstanding hike to Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek were taken on August 19, 2014 in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.  This hike is highly recommended when hiking or travelling in this world famous area.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Awesome! Especially like the last shot.

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