A torrent of plunging water not far from the Icefields Parkway, Sunwapta Falls is just one of the many waterfalls in Jasper created by hanging valleys.
Hanging valleys were formed when glacier ice receded 8000 years ago, leaving behind broad U-shaped valleys. Larger valleys were carved deeper than smaller ones and in places where the two meet, the smaller valleys “hang” at a higher elevation. This is an excellent place to find waterfalls. At Sunwapta Falls, the smaller “hanging” Chaba Valley and larger Athabasca Valley join in a spectacular stepping waterfall that has carved a deep limestone gorge out of the rock some metres below the footbridge.
We made a quick stop at Sunwapta Falls … just another stunning waterfall in Jasper National Park.
The result of thousands of tourists making their way down to the falls …
Now I’m just throwing in Old Man Mountain, Roche Bonhomme, or Nanabusho which is visible from the Jasper townsite as well as various places along the highway.
It struck us funny because the first night we were having dinner in a restaurant in Jasper, Don looked up and said “oh, there’s a face up there!”
We joked that it was Brian Mulroney, stern jaw and all …
Some aboriginals refer to it as Nanabusho: a teacher, a brother of humans, and a reminder of spiritual connection to the land.
Next stop … Yoho National Park and Emerald Lake Lodge … Heaven on earth.