Sunwapta Falls - 2.6km round trip (easy)
Authour: Braedyn Brosda
The Sunwapta Falls are a very popular stop along the Icefields Parkway. The upper falls are a huge draw for people, and why not, they are gorgeous. However, after driving about an hour from Jasper townsite, it is worth it to do the easy hike down to the lower falls as well.
The walk from the parking lot to the upper falls is only about 100m and really is just down the hill from the parking. You will cross a bridge that gives you a nice view of the Instagram famous island with water flowing around either side into the falls.
After you get your fill of this and all the people that crowd along the bridge, you can continue down the trail marked for the lower falls. The descent towards the lower falls is short and steady. You will walk through a nice forested area along the Sunwapta River.
There are two main viewpoints for the falls. The first is a large viewing area above the falls. Here you can see the water just starting to tumble over the cliff. If you walk a bit further you can find another viewpoint, from which you see the entire falls crashing into the river below.
This is where I would recommend stopping your hike. If you want you can continue along the trail and it will take you down to where the river flattens out, but you will not be able to see the falls from here anymore.
I think it's definitely worth the short walk to the lower falls, even if you just want to avoid some crowds. In my opinion the lower falls are more impressive but less picturesque.