Thompson Creek Lower Falls

The forest regenerating after a fire

A Short Hike Through a Burn Area

by | Published on July 27, 2013 | Last updated on July 5, 2019

Based on a visit to the area on July 15, 2013

A shorter hike along Thompson Creek through the Landslide Lake Prescribed Burn area with a nice waterfall providing a great lunch spot.
Thompson Creek is a great option for families and those travelling along the David Thompson Highway looking to stretch their legs.
Thompson Creek

Lower falls on Thompson Creek

Thompson Creek

Thompson Creek

This hike is located near the Banff National Park boundary, across from the Thompson Creek Campground.The area was affected by the Landslide Lake Prescribed Burn of 2009 providing great insights on the ecological role of forest fires in the area.




Plan Your Adventure

Trail conditions can change quickly. The map and directions below are based on our hike in the area on July 15, 2013.

  • Activity: Hike
  • Distance: 2 km return
  • Elevation Gain: ~50 m
  • Challenge Level: Easy
  • Family Friendly: Yes – no strollers
  • Trail Type: There and back
  • Trail Conditions: Moderate – expect some deadfall across the trail
  • Season: April to October
  • Congestion: Minimal
  • Alternate Descriptions: The David Thompson Highway – A Hiking Guide includes a version of this hike.
  • Trailhead: You can start the trail at the day use area of Thompson Creek Campground which provides ample parking space, washrooms and a day use area with tables or you can park on the side of the highway at the creek. The trailhead is approximately 83 km west of Nordegg and 9 km east of the highway 93 junction at Saskatchewan Crossing.

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 Environment
  • Protection Status: Kiska/Wilson PLUZ
  • Other Trail Uses: None
  • 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 from April to November. Get in touch with them to plan your custom adventure to Thompson Creek.

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 Thompson Creek trail.

Thompson Creek

This is a straightforward trail along the right side of the creek. Follow the trail starting on the side of the highway up to the lower falls.

From the day use area located within the Thompson Creek Campground, head behind the washroom facilities and cross highway 11. You will find the trail near the creek itself.

Almost immediately you will come across sections of trails that were damaged during the flood of June 2013. A new trail is already appearing but there are still some light bushwacking along the way.

Most of the trail is in an area that burnt in 2009 as part of the Landslide Lake Prescribed Burn. The contrast between the burnt trees still standing and the new vegetation that is growing below makes for a very enjoyable hike.

Thompson Creek
Thompson Creek
Thompson Creek
As you walk along the creek keep an eye for some nice viewpoints of the peaks across the valley.

Closer to the fall the landscape starts to change. The creek channel becomes narrower and the banks start to get steeper.

Thompson Creek
Thompson Creek
The falls are a great spot for a lunch break. Head back to the trailhead following the same trail.

For those more adventurous, cross the creek on the rough log bridge for a closer view of the falls. The trails that continues from here will take you to the upper Thompson Creek Falls, about 5 km away on a rough trail.

Thompson Creek
Thompson Creek

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. There is a campground host at the Thompson Creek Campground and the Banff National Park gate is located 5 km west of the trailhead.
  • 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.