I’m in Canada and visiting Banff and Yoho National Parks this weekend. It’s Labour Day weekend here in Canada, so it’s a popular weekend to visit the parks. I started by going to Johnston Canyon, which I’ll post about some other time, and it was insanely busy. 100+ cars were parked on the roads outside of the regular parking area, and I probably passed 200-300 people along my 1.5 mile (one way journey).
So it was a nice surprise to find another trail that was much calmer. If you visit Banff National Park during the summer, and you feel like you need a break from the crowd, Silverton Falls is the right place for you. I passed maybe 10 people the whole time. And while it’s not advertised very well, Silverton Falls is a very pretty waterfall. It’s a pretty short hike also, though on the second half of the hike, it does climb up switchbacks. At 150’+, it’s also a pretty impressive waterfall. The are two main drops, and one smaller drop at the top.
Now getting to the falls isn’t really difficult, but there’s one piece you need to pay attention to. The sharp left turn isn’t extremely obvious when you’re hiking in, but on the way back, it became much clearer. Check the directions below.
- From Trans-Canada Highway 1, exit at the junction of AB-93 South/AB-1A.
- Turn right to head toward Alberta-1A, the Bow Valley Parkway.
- Take another right onto the Bow Valley Parkway heading east.
- After maybe 500 feet or so (a VERY short distance), you’ll see a sign for the Rock Bound Lake Trail. Turn left into this parking area for the trail.
- Start along the trail. I’ve seen directions that indicated it is an unsigned trail, but the trail is now marked for Silverton Falls. It’s only about 0.6 miles (0.9 km) one way.
- After a few hundred feet, you should see a sign indicating to take the right path to Silverton Falls. If you have any doubt, it’s easy just to stay close to the creek that’s to the right of the parking area.
- After maybe 0.3-0.4 miles, pay attention for a fork that veers sharply left. It’s a 90 degree turn. You’re going to want to take this turn.
- You’ll start climbing up switchbacks along this trail. It’s a short distance along these switchbacks, though they are steep. It could be very easy to slip along the trail, so exercise caution as you approach the falls.
- The falls just appear! Again, exercise caution. There might be a way to get close to the falls, but I really felt like it wasn’t the best idea. You can get a pretty good view of the falls from about halfway between the base and crest.
Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Hike: 1.2 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Silverton Falls?