14 Alberta Waterfall Hikes to do with Your Kids this Summer

The hikes that give you the payoff of a loud falls at the end are a kid-favourite around here – but in a pinch, even the small falls of Hard Luck Canyon will do. If you’re beginning to plan your summer adventures, here are 14 Alberta Waterfall hikes to do with your kids this summer.

Some of these are a bit far from the city – but I know we’ve been spending more of our time on outdoor adventures than ever, so we bet you’re in the same boat.

Hard Luck Canyon

Trail Length: .5 km
Elevation Gain: little to none
Distance from Calgary: 436 km

It used to be that there was nothing in Hard Luck Canyon but a rough trail to get back there and a rope that led you down, into the canyon. Developed by Woodsland County, the easy trail that takes minutes to new terrain, is one of the best road trip stops we’ve made with the kids. The falls are best seen during spring and summer, after there’s been rain in the area.

Troll Falls

Trail Length: 3.4 km
Elevation Gain: 150 m
Distance from Calgary: 98 km

Before adding this hike to your list, make note that the trail was closed for an expected period of 4 weeks in early May for improvements to the area. The cool thing about Troll Falls, is that you could do the hike multiple times, as there are two trail systems, one to the bottom of the falls, and one to the top of the falls.

Mistaya Canyon

Trail Length: 1 km
Elevation Gain: 55 m
Distance from Calgary: 255 km

Canyon and waterfalls, incredible views and a short-enough trail that the kids will make it to the end without being bored, the Mistaya Canyon trail is a fun one if you’re in the Jasper area.

Cat Creek Falls

Trail Length: 2.4 km
Elevation Gain: 140 m
Distance from Calgary: 132 km

Newly revamped with bridges on the trail, the kids are going to love the beginning of this hike where the road has been washed out – it’s apocalyptic feeling. The falls are a great finish, and you’re able to get quite close to the falls, and swim in the water at the end of the trail. There are plenty of flat rocks to enjoy a picnic, but you’re going

Siffleur Falls

Trail Length: 9km
Elevation Gain: 25 m
Distance from Calgary: 366 km

A suspension bridge, a meadow and finally, three waterfalls at the end of the hike – kids are going to love this one because the whole hike is full of scenic views and adventures. To the left side of the suspension bridge, there’s even a sandy beach that’s great for when you’re heading back out from the trail.

Whitegoat Falls

Trail Length: 2.6 km
Elevation Gain: 130 m
Distance from Calgary: 355 km

For a bit of extra adventure, you can hike down the steep-sh trail to the bottom of the falls. You’re going to want to make sure your kids wear sturdy shoes for this one.

Crescent Falls

Trail Length: 2.5 km (or straight from the parking lot for the lookout 0.6 km)
Elevation Gain: 0 to 30 m
Distance from Calgary: 320 km

Crescent Falls is an easy hike for the kids because you’ve got two choices – you can park and get out of the car and check out the two platforms for viewing the falls, or you can take the 2.5 km hike and have a completely different vantage point of the falls. We suggest doing both!

Panther Falls

Trail Length: 1.1 km
Elevation Gain: 40m
Distance from Calgary: 327 km

Panther Falls is unique because there are actually a couple of spots that you can walk behind the waterfall. It’s a short hike from the parking lot, and a small amount of elevation gain, with a trail that’s suitable for younger children. Near Lake Louise, it’s a good add-on for an off-road trip if you’re spending time in the area searching for waterfalls in Alberta.

North Drywood Falls 

Trail Length: 8.5 km
Elevation Gain: 200 m
Distance from Calgary: 216 km

This 8.5 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Pincher Creek No. 9, Alberta is easy for all skill levels, and a similar length to Siffleur Falls. If you’ve tackled that one, this lesser known hike might be next on your list. Located in Castle Provincial Park, you’ll feel like you’ve left the world behind.

Ram Falls

Trail Length: .08 km
Elevation Gain: 15 m
Distance from Calgary: 266 km

Ram Falls is a 0.8 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Nordegg, Alberta, and an easy day trip with the kids. The waterfall trail is easy enough for all skill levels, and short enough that you could tackle two trails in one day, or check out the hike, and spend the day at Abraham Lake!

Sunwapta Falls

Trail Length: 3.2 km
Elevation Gain: 0 to 143 m
Distance from Calgary: 359 km

If you’re not feeling up for the hike, there’s an easy route to see the upper falls right at the top of the parking lot. We love the flexibility of having the view straight away from the parking lot, or the hike!

Elbow Falls

Trail Length: 1 km
Elevation Gain: 48 m
Distance from Calgary: 66 km

This short loop trail is only 1 km, and is a great option for parents with younger children. The easy trail can be made a bit more exciting by following and exploring the offshoots of the trail. The walk is nice, and it’s a great option while exploring Kananaskis. Elbow Falls is one of the best places to spot wildlife and birds, a must for a nature-loving kid.

Star Creek Falls

Trail Length: 2.1 km
Elevation Gain: 95 m
Distance from Calgary: 227 km

Exploring Crow’s Nest Pass this year? These falls are worth a trip with the kids. The short trail is a great option for a quick trip but make sure you download the trail map, as it can be a bit tricky once you’re on the trail. Gorgeous trail though, with views to keeps the kids entertained while you hike.

Which Alberta Waterfall hikes are on your list with the kids this year? Let us know on Facebook!

 

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