In the warmer months, waterfalls captivate nature lovers with their refreshing rushing splendour, but when temperatures drop, they transform into winter wonderlands. The ice formations sculpted by Mother Nature are truly breathtaking.
Here are 10 wonderful frozen winter waterfalls in Alberta.
Lundbreck Falls by @photohunter403
Lundbreck Falls presents a spectacular setting with an expansive frozen landscape that looks like an ice sculpture. An ideal day trip from Calgary, this stop off of Highway 3 will take you down a short walk along the river’s edge to find two falls descending into a pool of water. The surrounding landscape of rolling hills makes for a perfect backdrop to this wintery scene.
Panther Falls by @craiggy_artist _ @my_grande_aventure
While Panther Falls roars powerfully through an opening in the cliffside in the warmer months, during the winter it freezes into a wonderland that is definitely worth the short hike to get there. Tucked off the Icefields Parkway at the top of Big Bend Hill, this 1.3-kilometre out-and-back trail leads to the frozen waterfall that you can even venture behind for a unique perspective. Ice traction devices such as trail spikes or crampons are a must.
Johnston Canyon Lower Falls by @ericfrigon
Johnston Canyon is a natural marvel of nature that radiates in the summer and transforms into a picture-perfect holiday postcard in the winter. Follow the trail along the creek for 1.2-kilometres as you meander through the snow-covered forest with no shortage of photo opportunities. While adventurers can continue on to the 30-metre-high Upper Falls, the Lower Falls are worth the hike alone, comprised of striking larger-than-life icicles as the water continues to rush and roar in the background. The trail is not overly difficult, but proper footwear is recommended.
Crescent Falls by @danschyk
Crescent Falls consists of spectacular double waterfalls that turn into a wall of ice in the winter. This spectacular attraction is enjoyed by ice climbers or hikers, and proper ice equipment is advised for the steep and slippery slopes. Located along the Bighorn River, the falls are a three-hour drive from Edmonton in between Banff and Jasper National Parks, making for a wonderful road trip.
Bow Falls by @bluesmartie1
Bow Falls is one of the main attractions of Banff, and in the summer the turquoise Bow River cascades through the falls with ease and grace. In the winter when the conditions are right, they present a completely different visual, allowing you to get up close and personal with the frozen falls. No matter what the time of year, these falls are worth seeing.
Troll Falls by @joaoluiztc
One of the most popular winter attractions in Kananaskis is Troll Falls, ideal for ice climbing or a short scenic hike. The well-trodden trail is usually packed with hard snow and the falls completely freeze over, allowing you to get up close and personal. Step behind the icefalls for an especially unique view.
Maligne Canyon by @shivali.barot
If you want to truly immerse yourself in the wonders of Albertan winter, embark on a Maligne Canyon ice walk through fascinating formations of the canyon, ice caves, and several frozen waterfalls that will leave you in awe. While it is possible to do the ice walk on your own, a professional guide is recommended along with gear such as hiking boots, cleats, poles and a helmet.
Athabasca Falls by @foreverinstant
These powerful falls are known for the spectacular gorge that they have carved through the rocks, but in the winter, they take on a different art form. A short and easy trail (that can get quite slippery, be warned) will lead you to the falls, which are adorned with icicles but still flowing in parts, making for a unique wintery dynamic.
Siffleur Falls by @soroush.khazraei
Those looking to experience some true Rocky Mountain winter goodness should visit Siffleur Falls, one of David Thompson Country’s most popular waterfalls. The scenic hike leads past a canyon, two rivers, a suspension bridge and, of course, the waterfall. The ice formations and ice bubbles on nearby Abraham Lake are not to be missed.
Grotto Canyon by @escottexplores
Grotto Canyon transforms into a beautiful ice walk with frozen waterfalls in the winter, presenting spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, ice formations and falls, which are popular with ice climbers. The out-and-back Grotto Canyon Trail spans seven kilometres in total and conditions can be icy and wet, so equipment such as spikes, trekking poles and waterproof boots are recommended.