Blackiston Falls (Blakiston Falls)

Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 2
Blackiston Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Blackiston Falls (or Blakiston Falls - I've seen it spelled both ways; also Chutes Blackiston in French) was a waterfall that Julie and I hadn't planned on seeing. Fortunately for us, we noticed it on a topographic map in our accommodation in Waterton and decided to do it. We were quite glad that we did. It turned out to be one of more unexpected surprises of our 2010 Canadian Rockies trip.

The falls was perhaps one of the more accessible ones we visited at the Waterton Lakes National Park. It was actually nestled in a section of the park known as Red Rock Canyon. The falls itself consisted of perhaps a 15-20m main cascade while there were other sloping cascades further upstream. What we particularly enjoyed about this waterfall was the mountainous backdrops making for nice photos as well as getting that sense of really being in the Rocky Mountains.

We took a 1km walk (each way; or 2km round trip) that was pretty straightforward to follow. It started from a primitive car park area before passing by a sheltered picnic area looking more like someone's log cabin. Already from the beginning, we appreciated the shapely mountains towering over the immediate forest cover just on the other side of Blackiston Creek. A few paces further, we then crossed a bridge as the trail entered that pretty dense forest.

Julie on the Blackiston Falls trail while surrounded by beautiful mountains and dense forests It was in this stretch that we were wary of grizzly bears, especially after someone informed us that they had seen bear scratches on trees and Julie thought she had heard a strange groan earlier on in the hike.

Anyways, it wasn't long before the trail climbed gently towards a more open part where the vista opened up from trees to the pretty mountains surrounding the valley as well as the waterfall itself nestled within its depths. Even before we started to notice the waterfall, the shapely peaks and valleys made us enjoy the hike and take our take.

There were a pair of viewing decks where one provided a distant frontal view downwards towards the falls while the other deck was right at the brink of the falls. The path leading to the viewing deck by the brink of Blackiston Falls also provided views of an upper cascade as well. The whole hike took us a very leisurely 75 minutes.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

This was one of the beautiful lakes we encountered on the way to Waterton Lakes National Park around the Red Rock Parkway turnoff (which was the route branching off to Blackiston Falls)This was one of the beautiful lakes we encountered on the way to Waterton Lakes National Park around the Red Rock Parkway turnoff (which was the route branching off to Blackiston Falls)
Closer look at Blackiston FallsCloser look at Blackiston Falls
Looking back towards the main valley as we were returning from Blackiston FallsLooking back towards the main valley as we were returning from Blackiston Falls
This was another one of the Waterton Lakes that we encountered as we made our way to both the Waterton town as well as the Blackiston FallsThis was another one of the Waterton Lakes that we encountered as we made our way to both the Waterton town as well as the Blackiston Falls
Looking across Blackiston Creek towards an attractive mountainLooking across Blackiston Creek towards an attractive mountain

Julie peering into a log cabin that was really a picnic areaJulie peering into a log cabin that was really a picnic area

Crossing the bridge over Blackiston CreekCrossing the bridge over Blackiston Creek

Julie meanding through the forested section of the trailJulie meandering through the forested section of the trail

When we left the dense forest cover, the beautiful mountains started reappearing againWhen we left the dense forest cover, the beautiful mountains started reappearing again

Even though we were kind of looking against the late afternoon sun, the trail was still beautifulEven though we were kind of looking against the late afternoon sun, the trail was still beautiful

Our first look at Blackiston Falls with some people at the overlook above it for some scaleOur first look at Blackiston Falls with some people at the overlook above it for some scale

Julie taking photos of Blackiston Falls from one of the more distant viewpointsJulie taking photos of the falls from one of the more distant viewpoints

Looking downstream from Blackiston FallsLooking downstream from the falls

Looking at Blackiston Falls and some rapids further downstreamLooking at the falls and some rapids further downstream from one of the viewing decks

Another look at Blackiston Falls with mountain contextAnother look at the falls with mountain context

Julie peering into a log cabin that was really a picnic areaJulie peering into a log cabin that was really a picnic area

Some of the small upper cascades just upstream from Blackiston FallsSome of the small upper cascades just upstream from the falls

Julie right at the top of Blackiston FallsJulie right at the top of the falls

Last look at Blackiston Falls before it was time to goLast look at Blackiston Falls before it was time to go

Looking downstream from the bridge over Blackiston Creek towards those log cabins doubling as picnic shelters before an attractively wrinkled mountainLooking downstream from the bridge over Blackiston Creek towards those log cabins doubling as picnic shelters before an attractively wrinkled mountain

Looking towards a thin but attractive cascade tumbling beneath another pointy mountain on the Red Rock ParkwayLooking towards a thin but attractive cascade tumbling beneath another pointy mountain on the Red Rock Parkway

Gorgeous scenery as we headed back towards the Waterton townshipGorgeous scenery as we headed back towards the Waterton township


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Following the waterflow from the brink of the falls


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From the town of Waterton, drive east about 4km back in the direction of the park entrance where you turn left to get onto the Red Rock Parkway. Follow this paved but fairly beat-up road for the next 15km where the public part of the road ends and veers off into a looping car park (the road is private beyond this point so this is as far as you can go anyways).

For specific driving directions to Waterton, see the Cameron Falls page.

As for the context, Waterton was 284km (3 hours drive) south of Calgary and 373km (4 hours drive) south of Banff. Across the US-Canada border, Waterton was 76km (over an hour drive) north of St Mary and 398km (over 4 hours drive) north of Helena.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES





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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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RELATED PAGES



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