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On the Beauty Creek hike there are a few places where you can get close to the water
On the Beauty Creek hike there are a few places where you can get close to the water

Beauty Creek Hike to Stanley Falls, Alberta

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If you’re driving the Icefields Parkway and you’re looking for a short, easy hike try the gorgeous Beauty Creek hike to Stanley Falls. In an hour you will be transported to another world full of canyons and waterfalls. It’s family friendly, as long as you keep the kids away from the edge. Round-trip it’s about 4 kilometres return and the total elevation gain is just 40 metres.

The Beauty Creek hike is an excellent shoulder season hike as well. But in summer it really shines with the sheer number of waterfalls you encounter. There are several places where you can get close enough to dip your feet in the water and cool off.

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The Beauty Creek hike starts off on an arrow straight trail
The Beauty Creek hike starts off on an arrow straight trail

Beauty Creek trailhead location

The trailhead for Beauty Creek is located on the east side of the highway, 15.5 kilometres north of the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre. If you get to the Beauty Creek Hostel, you’ve gone too far. From the hostel it’s two kilometres south. There’s a small hiker sign and room for several cars to park.

                                               

Beauty Creek hike and Stanley Falls description

Distance: 3.6 km round trip

Elevation gain: 40 metres

Time needed: 1 hour – 90 minutes

Map: Gem Trek Columbia Icefield, Sunwapta Peak 83C

Dogs allowed: Yes, on a leash

The hike starts off arrow straight and flat, paralleling the highway. Then it moves up into the woods and follows Beauty Creek. In short order you’re into canyon country; look for several opportunities along the hike where you can descend to the creek.

On route to Stanley Falls you’ll pass several small waterfalls. Stanley Falls is by far the largest of the falls you’ll see. Don’t turn back at Stanley Falls if you’ve got time as the area above it is very beautiful with flat rocky sections that are perfect for lazing on and contemplating the state of the universe.

Adventurous hikers can keep exploring after the trail dies out. Everyone else can retrace their footsteps.

 Follow Beauty Creek
Follow Beauty Creek up towards Stanley Falls
There are a few places where you can scramble down and get close to the water
There are a few places where you can scramble down and get close to the water
The Beauty Creek Hike to Stanley Falls in Jasper National Park
There are several falls along Beauty Creek
Around every corner there's a pretty scene on the Beauty Creek hike
Around every corner there’s a pretty scene on the Beauty Creek hike
 It looks like a miniature Johnston Canyon in places
It looks like a miniature Johnston Canyon in places
Stanley Falls
Stanley Falls
There is some serious exploring to do if you're prepared
There is some serious exploring to do if you’re prepared
Just past this spot on the Beauty the trail thins out and requires more scrambling
Just past this spot the trail thins out and requires more scrambling
The Beauty Creek Hike to Stanley Falls in Jasper National Park
Interesting layering in the rocks
The start and end of the hike parallels the Icefields Parkway
The start and end of the hike parallels the Icefields Parkway

For more information about hiking trails visit the Jasper National Park website.

Where to stay in Jasper

If you’re heading for Jasper, you can certainly camp along the Icefields Parkway but if you want a roof over your head consider one of the following.

If you want to be south of Jasper, consider Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge

For a splurge and a beautiful location, check out Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.

Pyramid Lake Resort, just a short drive out of town would be another solid choice – and ideal in summer.

Pull up a chair and enjoy this view at the Fairmont Jasper
Pull up a chair and enjoy this view at the Fairmont Jasper

Further reading related to the Icefields Parkway

Click on the photo to save to your Pinterest board.

Beauty Creek + Stanley Falls hike located north of the Columbia Icefield in Alberta

 

 

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