#27 – Silverton Falls

#27 – Silverton Falls

Oct 29th, 2016 – Well we went to Jasper a few times, and then the Bighorn Dam area I think once…so now we decided to mix it up and go down to Banff.  Our target was the touristy Johnston Canyon: a hopefully easy way to knock 5 Falls off our list.  After the 4+ hours of driving however we ran into a big obstacle…the Canyon was closed!  We didn’t even contemplate that; it was apparently due to repairs.  After a little bit of sneaking under yellow tape, then spotting a sign saying there would be a $25,000 fine, we decided to abandon Johnston Canyon and come up with a quick backup plan.

The closest to that location was Silverton Falls, so off we went.  First here are directions from Spruce Grove to Johnston Canyon…

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As you can see, basically you make your way to Banff.  Here’s an overview from there…

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So just a short 24 km away from Banff.  About 5.5 km out of Banff you turn right onto Hwy 1A (Bow Valley Parkway)…

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Once you get on Hwy 1A, it’s about 15 km to Johnston Canyon.  You’ll find on the way that the road splits and then once they join again it’s only about a km further.  Then here’s an overview from Johnston to Silverton…

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So it’s about 5.7 km past Johnston Canyon, on your right-hand side.  Here’s a zoomed in Google Earth view of the parking lot for Silverton Falls and the area…

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You’ll see the parking lot on your right-hand side.  This one’s easy, because if you go too far you’ll hit the intersection that has the gas station and Castle Mountain Chalets.  There’s actually a path from there connecting to Rockbound Lake Trail (that you follow to go to Silverton), but the closest parking would be the parking lot before that intersection.  Here’s a view of the turn and parking lot (we got there at 1:30pm)…

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Once you’re in the parking lot it’s clearly labeled to get to Silverton Falls.  Here’s the trailhead…

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Just past that is the sign showing you’re on Rockbound Lake Trail and what’s ahead…

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Silverton Falls is about a 0.7 km hike.  Despite it being pretty well groomed, we actually had the trail to ourselves…

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After a bit of hiking you’ll come to a sign showing to go right…

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After this point you’ll start hearing Silverton Creek.  It was pretty loud to us so we of course hoped it was the Falls already.  No such luck, as the trail does go to right beside the creek but then veers away again.

The “away” part to the left is the beginning of the ascent, as the trail climbs and zigzags up a fairly steep hill which is sort of a real high bank.  Once the trail levels off you have to cross a bit of a sketchy stretch…

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After this point you’re almost there.  The trail continues through the bush making a long right-hand turn…

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Then there’s a short left-hand turn and you’ll see Silverton Falls!

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If you climb down the little rock cliff you can get a better view…

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We got there at 1:50pm.  You can see the top 3 tiers pretty easily.  Then there’s another short tier…

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Then the creek passes a bit of an open cave…

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Then it’s hard to see, but there are more tiers.  I bet a lot of people miss them.  First you go back up the trail to the top of the cliff.  From there you should be able to see the highway and mountain…

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Here’s the face of the cliff, with a bit of a path or at least worn down section…

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Go down the face of the cliff and cut back towards the Falls.  You’ll be rewarded with the rest of Silverton Falls.  To get there isn’t very kid-friendly so I just went quickly myself.  You can make out the top tier or two, and then the bottom tiers.  There’s a nice longer one…

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Followed by another shorter one…

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Which then goes to a creepy cave…

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With a little bit of acrobatics to get a touch more upstream, you’ll get a better view of the longer lower tier…

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And so was conquered our 27th Alberta Waterfall together, Silverton Falls!  The World Waterfall Database says it’s the 20th tallest waterfall in Alberta at 165 ft.  Here’s a few pics…

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And of course our selfie…

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On the way back I noticed an interesting tree with green shades at the bottom…

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And that was that.  Stay tuned for the next waterfall of the day – Cascade Falls.


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