Blakiston Falls

Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

About Blakiston Falls


Hiking Distance: 2km round trip
Suggested Time: 60-75 minutes

Date first visited: 2010-09-22
Date last visited: 2010-09-22

Waterfall Latitude: 49.12594
Waterfall Longitude: -114.03596

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.

Blackiston_Falls_065_09222010 - Blakiston Falls set amidst some majestic scenery
Blakiston Falls set amidst some majestic scenery

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

Blackiston_Falls_008_09222010 - Julie on the Blakiston Falls Trail while surrounded by beautiful mountains and dense forests
Julie on the Blakiston Falls Trail while surrounded by beautiful mountains and dense forests

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.

Blackiston_Falls_014_09222010 - Julie about to enter an opening where we would finally get to see Blakiston Falls and the beautiful mountainous backdrop
Julie about to enter an opening where we would finally get to see Blakiston Falls and the beautiful mountainous backdrop

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.

Blackiston_Falls_044_09222010 - A cascade upstream from the main drop of Blakiston Falls
A cascade upstream from the main drop of Blakiston 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.

Authorities

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.

Blackiston_Falls_001_09222010 - Looking back towards an interesting snow-capped mountain from the car park of Blakiston Falls
Blackiston_Falls_003_09222010 - Looking across Blakiston Creek towards an attractive mountain before we started the hike to Blakiston Falls
Blackiston_Falls_005_09222010 - Julie peering into a log cabin that was really a picnic area and shelter at the Blakiston Falls Trailhead
Blackiston_Falls_009_09222010 - Crossing the bridge over Blakiston Creek en route to Blakiston Falls
Blackiston_Falls_010_09222010 - Julie continuing to follow the sign directing us on the trail to Blakiston Falls (spelled Blackiston Falls on this sign)
Blackiston_Falls_011_09222010 - Julie meanding through the forested section of the trail to the Blakiston Falls
Blackiston_Falls_013_09222010 - When we left the dense forest cover, the beautiful mountains started reappearing again around the lookouts to Blakiston Falls
Blackiston_Falls_018_09222010 - Contextual look down at the Blakiston Falls backed by a beautiful snow-capped mountain
Blackiston_Falls_021_09222010 - A different angled look at the Blakiston Falls showing cascades further below its drop and still showing that pretty mountain towering high above it
Blackiston_Falls_025_09222010 - Focused long-exposure look at Blakiston Falls with some people at the overlook above it for some scale
Blackiston_Falls_026_09222010 - Julie taking photos of Blakiston Falls from one of the more distant viewpoints
Blackiston_Falls_028_09222010 - Looking downstream from Blakiston Falls from the lookout with the direct view of the falls
Blackiston_Falls_034_09222010 - Looking at Blakiston Falls and some rapids further downstream from one of the viewing decks
Blackiston_Falls_039_09222010 - Direct long exposure shot of the Blakiston Falls and lookout at its brink as seen from the viewing deck right across from it
Blackiston_Falls_041_09222010 - Another look at Blakiston Falls with mountain context
Blackiston_Falls_043_09222010 - Julie approaching the lookout right at the top of Blakiston Falls
Blackiston_Falls_058_09222010 - Context of the walkway to the lookout right at the top of Blakiston Falls where Julie was enjoying the view
Blackiston_Falls_062_09222010 - Julie heading back after having had her fill of the Blakiston Falls
Blackiston_Falls_064_09222010 - Contextual look at the view directly of Blakiston Falls with some people on it as well as on the other lookout at the waterfall's brink
Blackiston_Falls_070_09222010 - Looking downstream from the bridge over Blakiston Creek towards those log cabins doubling as picnic shelters before an attractively wrinkled mountain
Blackiston_Falls_074_09222010 - Looking towards a thin but attractive cascade tumbling beneath another pointy mountain on the Red Rock Parkway
Blackiston_Falls_076_09222010 - Closer look at that cascade we noticed on the way out of Blakiston Falls
Blackiston_Falls_077_09222010 - Gorgeous scenery as we headed back towards the Waterton township from Blakiston Falls
Blackiston_Falls_078_09222010 - The Red Rock Parkway Road leading between Waterton Lakes and the Blakiston Falls Trailhead

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We’ll describe the driving route to Blackiston 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.

Blackiston_Falls_004_09222010 - Julie at the car park for Blackiston Falls
Julie at the car park for Blackiston Falls

Apparently, the road was private beyond this car park so this was as far as we could go.

For specific or more detailed 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.

Fixated on the falls from a distant viewpoint


Top down sweep of the falls starting from the mountainous backdrop and ending further downstream away from the falls


Following the waterflow from the brink of the falls


Top down sweep covering the upper cascade before ending near the brink of the main tier

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Tagged with: waterton lakes, waterton, national park, alberta, canada, us border, waterfall, canadian rockies, red rock canyon, blackiston creek, glacier



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