Cameron Falls, Waterton Lakes National Park


Perhaps the easiest and best thing to see in Waterton Lakes National Park during the wintertime, is Cameron Falls.  This waterfall doesn’t require a long drive on treacherous roads, or a frigid, snowy hike.  It’s right at the edge of Waterton Town, and one of the town’s main roads will take you directly to it.

Cameron Creek (the same creek that runs along the Akamina Parkway) goes tumbling over the edge of these diagonal rocks, shortly before ending its journey at Upper Waterton Lake. Geologists say this waterfall is especially interesting, since it has cut through, and exposed, the oldest rock in the Canadian Rockies (dating back 1.5 billion years).

From the observation area (which is right along the edge of Evergreen Avenue), you can get a nice look at the waterfall.  I’m not sure if it freezes more thoroughly in the coldest of the winter months, or if this is what you should expect at any time during winter.

Once you’ve admired Cameron Falls’ icicles and snow-capped rock from the viewing area, walk across the footbridge that crosses Cameron Creek, and look for the trail that takes you uphill.

If you’re extremely lucky, and I mean very, very lucky, you might catch a rare phenomenon at Cameron Falls.  Occasionally, after a heavy rain, the water will turn red, and look like tomato soup or blood cascading over the rocks.  The coloring is natural, and a result of red argolite sediment washing into the creek.  Here’s one example of what it looks like.  

A short hike leads to a viewpoint, where you can look down on the waterfall from a different angle.  This view isn’t perfect, and I wouldn’t say it’s mandatory that you hike up here (if you’re short on time, you can skip it).  Not only do you have a view of the falls from here…

… but you can also look south towards Upper Waterton Lake, and in the distance, perhaps catch a glimpse of the United States.

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