Calgary is lucky to be on the footsteps of the majestic Rocky Mountains. The landscape around is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground, including some pretty cool waterfalls. The waterfalls around Calgary are not as easy to to get too as the ones around Vancouver but there are a few beauties you can explore.

Here are some of my favourite waterfalls you can enjoy on a day trip from Calgary, with a few hidden gems 🙂

Takakkaw Falls

Located 218 km from Calgary or about a 3 hour drive, Takakkaw Falls is the tallest waterfall on this list. In-fact with a main drop of 254 meters, it is actually the 2nd tallest waterfall in Canada!

I am always surprised how many people around the province not only haven’t been but haven’t even heard of the place. Yet most have driven right by it. Takakkaw Falls is located at the end of Yoho Valley Road right off the Trans-Canada Highway right before Field, BC and about a 25 minute drive from Lake Louise. It has a very short season; the road is open from the end of June to October. The road it self has tight winding spots in it, so if you are traveling with an RV you will most likely not make it up!

Once you park it is about 1km to the waterfall on a paved path. You can get as close as you want to the waterfall but expect to get wet! On the drive up to Takakkaw make sure to stop and explore the pull over spots; the milky turquoise river running through the raw landscape is breathtaking.

Johnston Canyon

Johnston Creeks flows from Castle Mountain and empties into the Bow River (yes the same Bow River that runs through Calgary). Over thousands of years the water carved the gorge we know as Johnston Canyon.

Located 149 km or about a 2 hour drive from Calgary, Johnston Canyon is probably one of the busiest tourist destinations not only on this list but also around Banff. If you want to avoid the crowds start as early as possible or in the afternoon.

The Canyon consists of the Lower and Upper Falls with a catwalk and a trail totaling 2.7km. From the Upper Falls you can actually continue on the trail that climbs out of the Canyon on to Moose Meadows to check out the Ink Pots – great place for a picnic!

You can hike Johnston Canyon pretty much all year round. Winter time there is also ice climbing lessons you can take there. There are a couple areas you can go off the path for a better view – just don’t go close to the edge!

Troll Falls

Troll Falls is probably one of my favourite places to explore – and you can do that pretty much all year round. Located about 100km or 1 hour and 20 minute drive from Calgary. This leaves you with a plenty of time to your day to do other things.

This is a very busy, family friendly, 3.4km trail and also a great place to bring your dog. Most people however only go to the lower falls. A short up hill hike will take you along an adventurous and fun terrain to a series of cascades and waterfalls. Be careful – the water runs strong and the rocks are very slippery.

Lundbreck Falls

If you enjoy jumping in the car and just going for a drive, Lundbreck Falls is a great stopping point to stretch your legs at. Located in the Southwestern part of Alberta, 200 km or a 2 hour drive from Calgary.

There is a parking lot right at the top of the falls and you can even hike down to them. Lundbreck Falls is a waterfall of the Crowsnest River. There is some beautiful country around that is not as ‘main stream’ as the Banff area – if you are looking for new areas to explore, this would be my pick.

I have seen people fish right in the water of the falls. Apparently there are good sized bull trout hanging around there. What a spot to cast into!

Grassi Lakes

Located in Canmore this 4.3km hike is very popular. I would say this is a great introduction hike into hiking for the young ones as well.

Driving into the parking lot you may notice that there is a waterfall on the left. When you start the hike you will have two choices; the straight gravel route up or the scenic route. Always pick the scenic route! Eventually it will open to vast view of the valley and the waterfall.

But there is more…

If you follow the water running from the lakes, you will wander into some cascades and small waterfalls off the path that 99.9% of the visitors never go to. I won’t get into much details to preserve the area but it is so pristine and peaceful; the curious get rewarded 😉

Cameron Falls

Those who are good with math may notice that this is the 6th waterfall on my 5 waterfall list. You got me!

Here is the thing though; Cameron Falls are located in the heart of Waterton Park – one of the most beautiful areas in the province and I think everyone should visit it. You can also park right at the falls.

Waterton Park has some of the best hikes in Alberta, including Crypt Lake hike that has been named as one of the best hikes in the world!

You will find me here a number of times every year.

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