Siffleur Falls

The Siffleur River Canyon

The classic Hike On The Kootenay Plains

by | Published on May 15, 2014 | Last updated on July 5, 2019

Based on a visit to the area on May 11, 2014 and April 27, 2015

One of the most popular hike in the area and for good reasons, taking you right to the edge of the canyon and up close for great views of Siffleur Falls.
The trail can be busy, especially on summer weekends. If you head out mid week, in the spring or later in the season you can often have the whole area to yourself.
Siffleur Falls

Siffleur Falls

Siffleur Falls

Mount Peskett

This hike is located within the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve which encompasses approximately 34 square kilometres of the North Saskatchewan River valley south of Abraham Lake. The area is intersected by the Siffleur and North Saskatchewan rivers with open plains dominated by grasses, forbs and stands of aspen and limber pine trees. White spruce and lodgepole pines cover most of the surrounding slopes.

The area is influenced by the surrounding mountains, the wide shape of the valley and the consistent winds. As a result, the climate is relatively dry and warm creating favourable conditions for a wide diversity of wildlife and plant species.

Plan Your Adventure

Trail conditions can change quickly. The map and directions below are based on our hike in the area on May 11, 2014 and April 27, 2015.

  • Activity: Hike
  • Distance: 7 km return
  • Elevation Gain: ~80 m
  • Challenge Level: Easy
  • Family Friendly: Yes - strollers not recommended
  • Trail Type: There and back
  • Trail Conditions: Good
  • Season: Year Round
  • Congestion: Busy
  • Alternate Descriptions: The David Thompson Highway - A Hiking Guide includes this hike as part of the longer hike to the third falls.
  • Trailhead: Approximately 62 km west of Nordegg and 21 km east of the Banff National Park boundary. The trail starts at the Siffleur Falls Staging Area which provides ample parking space and dry washrooms.

Guided Tours

Enjoy the comfort that comes with a guide who knows the area’s trails, wildlife and terrain so that you can focus on your adventure, while the rest is taken care of.

  • Management: Alberta Parks
  • Protection Status: Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve
  • Other Trail Uses: None past the Siffleur River bridge
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes
  • Permits / Restrictions: None
  • Cell Reception: None

Head Out With A Guide

Make the most of your adventure and head out with a guide. Pursuit Adventures offers guided hikes to Siffleur Falls from April to November. Book below or check out the full itinerary.

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Head Out On Your Own

Sometimes you just want to head out on your own to explore the area. We get it. Here’s the guide for the Siffleur Falls trail.

Siffleur Falls Access | 3.5 km

  • 0.5 km | Suspension bridge
  • 0.7 km | Boardwalk
  • 1.2 km | Go left at the end of the boardwalk
  • 1.8 km | Siffleur River Bridge
  • 1.9 km | Go right at the junction
  • 2.4 km | Hill
  • 3.2 km | Canyon Viewpoint
  • 3.5 km | Siffleur Falls

Siffleur Falls Return Trail | 3.5 km

  • Retrace your steps back to the trailhead
From the trailhead parking lot, follow the main Siffleur Falls trail making your way across the North Saskatchewan River on the suspension bridge. A boardwalk has been build through the next section. This area is extremely fragile, please stay on the boardwalk. At the end of the boardwalk, follow Glacier Trail on the left toward the Siffleur River.
Siffleur Falls
Siffleur Falls trail
Siffleur Falls
Siffleur Falls
Shortly after the Siffleur River bridge the trails comes at a junction. The Siffleur Falls trail is the one on the right.

The trail follows the river a short distance before reaching the only hill on this hike. It is a short uphill from there to some great views of Two O'Clock Ridge across the valley and the Siffleur River canyon.

Siffleur River
Siffleur River
Siffleur River
Siffleur River
The trail heads into the forest for a short section before coming up to great views of the canyon and a series of viewing platforms. The falls ahead are impressive with the Siffleur River plunging 15 m through a narrow channel in the rock. Take the time to enjoy the views and make sure to stay a safe distance from the cliffs and canyon edge. Unfortunately the area has seen many casualties over the year.
Siffleur River
Siffleur Falls
Siffleur Falls
Siffleur Falls
Siffleur River

The Return

The falls mark the end of the trail for most people. If you want to go further, the trail continues to two more sets of falls and leads to the Siffleur Wilderness Area. You can find out more about the next section in the Siffleur Falls - Third Falls and Wilderness Area Access trail guide. To head back to the trailhead, simply retrace your footstep.

Outdoor Safety

  • For your safety and the protection of the area please follow trail signs, stay on the trail and respect all trail closures
  • Be respectful of wildlife and familiarize yourself with wildlife safety techniques including keeping your pet on a leash and keeping your group together.
  • Always use the bear proof garbage bin, keep a clean site and store your food in a bear safe fashion.
  • Always be prepared when travelling outdoors.
  • This area has no cell phone reception. We recommend carrying an InReach on your hikes. A pay phone is available near the trailhead at the highway pullout across from the Cavalcade Group Campground.
  • Information provided here may be inaccurate or outdated. Always make sure to obtain current information before going on your adventure.

Disclaimer

There are inherent risks in outdoor activities. Although we strive to provide accurate information and to alert you of potential dangers, trail conditions may change quickly due to weather conditions and other factors. Using the information provided on this site is entirely at your own risk and Pursuit Adventures is in no ways liable for any injuries or other damages that may be sustained by anyone using the trails or information described on this site.

Have you been to this trail? Let us know about your adventure in the comments below.