"Sideways Falls" ("Big Bend Falls")

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

About “Sideways Falls” (“Big Bend Falls”)

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2010-09-21
Date last visited: 2010-09-21

Waterfall Latitude: 52.164
Waterfall Longitude: -117.067

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

I’m putting “Sideways Falls” or “Big Bend Falls” in quotes because I believe that these are informal names for this fairly conspicuous waterfall that we spotted from the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93A).

I borrowed these names from Bryan Swan’s Pacific Northwest waterfall survey as well as Leon Turnbull’s Waterfalls West, respectively.

Icefields_Parkway_387_09212010 - Full context of the 'Sideways Falls' as seen from a pullout off the Icefields Parkway
Full context of the ‘Sideways Falls’ as seen from a pullout off the Icefields Parkway

I suppose giving it these names would sound a lot better than “that waterfall seen from a pullout at a big bend in Hwy 93” or something like that.

In any case, viewing this waterfall was pretty much an exercise in pinpointing its whereabouts on our GPS and then following its instructions until we noticed the falls.

At that point, it was a cinch to just see it from afar.

Of course, photographing it meant we needed a telephoto lens given how far away the “Sideways Falls” was.

Icefields_Parkway_385_09212010 - Bringing the 'Sideways Falls' in with the zoom of the camera
Bringing the ‘Sideways Falls’ in with the zoom of the camera

Without the powerful zoom, the falls would’ve looked puny in our photographs.


“Sideways Falls” resides in Banff National Park between Jasper and Lake Louise in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is administered by Parks Canada. For information or inquiries as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Icefields_Parkway_393_09212010 - Even more zoomed out contextual view of the 'Sideways Falls' revealing why a zoom was necessary

We found the “Sideways Falls” while heading about 2km south (downhill) of the large car park for both Bridal Veil Falls and Panther Falls along the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93).

You can also think of this is as being 16km south of the Columbia Icefields Center (which itself is 103km south of Jasper and 186km north of Banff).

Look for a large pullout as you’re descending on a wide bend towards its bottom.

That pullout is where you can park the car and look ahead of you for the waterfall tumbling down the mountainside.

For additional context, Jasper was 365km (under 4 hours drive) west of Edmonton and 412km (5 hours drive) northwest of Calgary.

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Tagged with: banff, national park, alberta, canada, waterfall, icefields, canadian rockies, columbia, sunwapta, jasper, panther creek, behind

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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