Hamilton Falls was a waterfall that I visited out of convenience since I was already determined to check out the beautiful Emerald Lake nearby. In a way, it provided a nice excuse for me to linger around Emerald Lake a little while longer while seeing a waterfall to boot.
But as far as its merits as a waterfall, I think it would flow best during the peak runoff period of June or July. And as you can see from the photo at the top of this page, my September 2010 visit showed that this waterfall had clearly seen better days. This was despite the Summer being wetter than normal and our trip being plagued by heavy rains and unstable weather.
To reach the falls, I walked from the car park about 0.7km each way going uphill all the way to the base of the falls. Actually when the trail started to disappear into the creek, I still had to do some additional scrambling to even see the waterfall. I could only imagine how much more difficult that would be had the creek contained a lot more water than it did during my visit.
It seemed like only parts of the falls could be seen at any one time thanks to its twisting nature as it tumbled mostly unseen within the rocky cliff it was nestled in. I also noticed a rather hideous man-made wall at the very base of its main plunge, which I wasn’t quite sure what that was for.
I did this hike solo, and it took me around 30 to 45 minutes for both the hiking and photographing. We probably spent another 45 minutes just checking out the nearby Emerald Lake. Both features could be visited on the same visit.
Hamilton Falls shares the same car park as that of Emerald Lake. To get to Emerald Lake from the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 and Icefields Parkway Hwy 93 junction about 3km north of Lake Louise, continue west on Hwy 1 for about 28km. Then, turn right onto the signposted turnoff for Emerald Lake (a short distance beyond Field).
Continue on this turnoff for the last 8.5km, where the road terminates at the car park for Emerald Lake. The trail for the falls starts on the south side of the car park.
Contextually, Lake Louise was about 57km (45 minutes drive) north of Banff, 182km (2 hours drive) west of Calgary, 232km (3 hours drive) south of Jasper, and 469km (4.5 hours drive) southwest of Edmonton.
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