As we were approaching the end of the Icefields Parkway, we decided to make a short stop at Beauty Creek. The weather was nice, we were still full of energy and we all felt like doing an additional hike. A Hike to Stanley falls would take us no longer than half a day, so we squeezed this trip into our schedule. The hike to Stanley Falls was absolutely worth the stop. I will add plenty of photographs to give you an impression of what it looked like.
A hidden beauty along the Icefields Parkway
The starting point of the hike is hard to find. There is no indication of the start whatsoever. If you pass the Beauty Creek hostel, you need to head southwards. After approx.. 2 km, you will see 2 rivers diving under the Icefields Parkway. This is the starting point of the hike. It looks like this:
The hike to Stanley Falls is only 1,6 km, so back and forth it is 3,2 km. It seems a very short hike, but don’t underestimate it. You will proceed rather slowly as the second part of the hike is full of obstacles like fallen trees, rocky roads, stones etc… You’ll have to watch your steps, so I would advise you not to take young children with you. For teenagers and grown-ups, this hike should not be a problem. Just remember that you have to keep concentrated while walking.
Short, but intensive hike to Stanley Falls
You will see 8 waterfalls along the way. These are the first two:
You will walk along the river the whole time and this is what makes this hike so interesting. For those who like some adventure: there are plenty of rocks to climb on and to jump on. I enjoyed hiker’s life to the fullest over there. My legs were all bruised, but still it was all worth it
If you finally reach Stanley Falls, you only have to enjoy the stunning view. This is the place where the 3 main waterfalls come together. You can get very close to the falls, so this is exactly what we did.
Beauty Creek: great bear habitat
Watch out, because the whole area of Beauty Creek is bear habitat. As a hiker, you are literally in a tight spot. At your left hand is a hill with a dense forest (so you cannot see bears coming) and at your right had is a fast flowing river. Hikers are actually stuck between the river and the hill. You will see what I mean on these pictures:
This is why I would recommend you to do this hike with at least 4 persons in order to minimize the risk of a bear attack. Also, read these tips on what to do if you encounter a bear in the wilderness… just to be on the safe side! Precautions are necessary, but don’t let your fear of bears stop you from doing this nice hike!