About Blakiston Falls
Blakiston Falls (or Blackiston 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 this excursion because it turned out to be one of more unexpected surprises of our 2010 Canadian Rockies trip.
Blakiston Falls was perhaps one of the more accessible waterfalls that 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 “Crown of the Continent” (well, at least the Canadian version of the Rocky Mountains).
Hiking to Blakiston Falls
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 (see directions below) 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 Blakiston Creek.
A few paces further, we then crossed a bridge as the trail entered that pretty dense forest.
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.
Julie also thought she had heard a strange groan earlier on in the hike, which might have come from a grizzly.
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.
This was where we saw the Blakiston Falls tumbling within the depths of the valley that we thought looked even deeper due to the towering mountains around us.
Even before we started to notice the waterfall, the shapely peaks and valleys made us enjoy the hike and take our time to savor the experience.
There were a pair of viewing decks where one provided a distant frontal view downwards towards the Blakiston Falls while the other deck was right at the brink of the falls.
The path leading to the viewing deck by the brink of Blakiston Falls also provided views of an upper cascade as well.
The whole hike took us a very leisurely 75 minutes.
Blakiston Falls resides in Waterton Lakes National Park near Waterton in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is administered by Parks Canada. For information or inquiries as well as current conditions, visit their website.
We’ll describe the driving route to Blakiston Falls from the town of Waterton, where we stayed.
So from town, we drove east about 4km back in the direction of the park entrance where you turn left to get onto the Red Rock Parkway.
We then followed this paved but fairly beat-up road for the next 15km where the public part of the road ended and veered off into a looping car park.
Apparently, the road was private beyond this car park so this was as far as we could go.
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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