Waterfalls In Canada: Mighty Niagara To Glacial Trickles

Waterfalls are among the world’s most wondrous natural sights. There is nothing like a mighty mass of water cascading and crashing down rocks to enliven the senses. The waterfalls in Canada certainly did not disappoint, but it was the smaller ones that left more of a lasting impact.

I’m not saying that Niagara Falls – the most famous in Canada – was not impressive to see. Visiting this incredible force of nature in Ontario was well worth the effort – especially due to the fact that a gorgeous rainbow decided to make an appearance. Just like a smile brightens up a face, this rainbow brightened up Niagara Falls.

rainbow at niagara falls

I was surprised to discover that Niagara Falls consists of three waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side and the American Falls and much smaller Bridal Veil Falls in the US.

niagara falls through the railings

Horseshoe Falls grabs the most attention out of the three waterfalls.

horseshoe falls niagara falls canada

Niagara is the biggest waterfall in North America – the largest waterfall I’ve ever visited (so far!). But, as I mentioned earlier, the smaller waterfalls were so much better. Let me show you my picks for the best waterfalls in Canada…

Takakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park 

The highest waterfall in the Canadian Rockies and one of the highest in Canada is the spectacular Takakkaw Falls. The stunning setting in Yoho National Park made visiting here all the more wonderful.

There is something really special about this waterfall. You are able to get right up close to it and feel the refreshing ice-cold spray. It looks beautiful and, unlike Niagara Falls which is surrounded by hotels and casinos, this location feels natural. 

takakkaw falls yoho national park

Glacial waterfalls at Stanley Glacier, Kootenay National Park

I never would have envisaged that tiny trickles of water would have more resonance with me than the mammoth Niagara Falls. When I was hiking in Stanley Valley, numerous glacial waterfalls could be see majestically tumbling down the rock side.

They were magical and reminded me of the waterfalls you see in the Lord of the Rings films; in the heavenly elven habitat of Rivendell.

tiny waterfalls in canadian rockies at stanley glacier

Little Qualicum Falls, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

When I worked on an organic blueberry farm in Vancouver Island as a WWOOF-er, I had an opportunity to see some of the local sights. This included Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park where there were some lovely waterfalls.

A short scenic hike through woodland took in two different look-out spots: the lower falls and upper falls. The setting was perfect, with mountains in the background and craggy rocks and trees to add breathtaking dimension to the scene surrounding the tumultuous Little Qualicum River. 

little qualicum falls vancouver island

Giant Steps, Banff National Park

This might have been the location where I lost my camera (the second camera within two weeks I might add!), but there’s no taking away the fact that Giant Steps is absolutely amazing. This waterfall is accessible via a day hike in the area behind Lake Louise.

There are lots of grizzlies here and you will have to hike in a group of four or more; safety in numbers and all that! Take bear bells with you or, alternatively, sing your heart out to ensure the bears avoid you like the plague ;-).

giant steps in paradise valley

giant steps paradise valley

Have you visited any waterfalls in Canada? What is your favourite and why?

9 Comments

    • January 17, 2013 / 22:17

      Thanks for the link – looks BEAUTIFUL! Would love to visit if (or rather when) get a chance to get back to BC :-)

  1. January 18, 2013 / 04:08

    I’ve seen Niagara Falls twice — once when I was very young and once a few years ago. The last time was in winter and it was just as stunning as in the summer. I’d love to see the smaller falls mentioned in your post.. Beautiful nature!
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..A Sweeney First: Zip-Lining in MazatlanMy Profile

    • January 27, 2013 / 16:08

      I’d like to see Canada in the winter and go prepared with my thermals ha ha. Niagara must’ve been pretty in the snow!

  2. January 18, 2013 / 07:20

    Waterfalls are one of natures biggest surprises. I love them. There is a lot in the mountains of the Balck sea region of Turkey, but none of them compare to these in size
    Natalie recently posted..Gaziantep Castle : Remembering the VeteransMy Profile

    • January 27, 2013 / 15:56

      It was spectacular; my favourite waterfall by far!

  3. January 23, 2013 / 13:05

    Wow! Beautiful pictures. I love waterfalls, though I’ve never visited Canada yet… I plan on hitting Banff this summer & maybe Jasper. If you like falls you definitely need to visit Yosemite NP. There’s like 7 just in the valley. Also I recommend Calf Creek falls in Escalante Utah. Thanks for sharing

    • January 27, 2013 / 15:51

      Hi Joshua, thanks for the tips! I’d really like to see more the US – didn’t get a chance to weave in from Canada as I’d originally planned. Banff is such as great base for seeing the Rockies and a nice little town in itself. I didn’t get to Jasper and heard mixed reviews about it; either high praise or total disappointment.