#62 – Unnamed Waterfall #17

#62 – Unnamed Waterfall #17

July 14, 2018 – After discovering the quite enjoyable Star Creek Falls, next on the list was Unnamed Waterfall #17.

Getting there is a little tricky and interesting.  Here’s an overview, again from the intersection of Hwy 3 (Crowsnest Hwy) and 507 (just past Lundbreck)…

So you go about 27 km on Hwy 3.  These directions say to turn left on 18 Ave (Sentinel Road) in Sentinel (just before Crowsnest Lake).  If I was in that area again I’d probably do that, but I’ll tell you how we went and then you can decide which way you might like to try.  Ahead of time I did up this close-up…

I saw that going from Sentinel Road is less driving but more walking (562m vs 250m), if you want to go right to the waterfall.  The other aspect is if you go from Sentinel Road there’s some sort of creek to cross (the one that dumps into Crowsnest Lake), and I wasn’t sure how big it was.  Wanting to avoid a portage, I opted to drive past Sentinel Rd and make the next left, which I’m not sure if it’s actually named but you’ll know it’s the right one if you see the Travel Alberta Visitor Information Centre (which is the first left off that road).  Drive past that driveway and make your next “left” (I say it loosely because it’s not your average road) which looks like this…

So that’s what it looks like; on the close-up this is the beginning of the faint bendy road that’s about 1.3 km if it was straight.  It’s strange to go through a gate like that, but it didn’t say “No Trespassing”; in fact it just asked to respectfully “Close the Gates”.  Once Dana man-handled the barbed-wire fence gate, we cautiously ventured ahead…

The road itself wasn’t too bad, although would probably depend on what you’re driving and the latest weather.  There were many rocky sections, and then some sandy sections…

It was very scenic…

Then came some muddy sections…

I can’t remember how many gates there were but there were a few.  At last we reached the end of the bendy road, which looked to be more of the same…

So that’s the start of the junction where it heads left (East) for approximately 980m.  I don’t think it really matters which side of the fork you take, but we went to the right through the gate.  Unfortunately Dana didn’t survive that gate-opening unscathed, so I took over gate duty moving forward…sorry babe, you’re a real trooper!

We continued on, including going over a sketchy narrow bridge…

Then it wasn’t much further when we reached the end of the approximate 980m where the creek crossing was.  We weren’t very inspired as we saw the creek containing our waterfall didn’t even get its own bridge; it only got a black plastic culvert under the road…

As piddly as it was, we parked and prepared for our approx. 250m walk.  At that moment some hunters in a 4×4 drove by who knew the land pretty well.  We asked them if they knew about a waterfall nearby, and as we usually determined, nope, they had never come across one.  Maybe for a split-second I considered not going through the bush on a wild goose chase for a waterfall that didn’t exist, but nah…I’ve come to trust the Database’s coordinates, which were about 95% accurate up to this point.

We walked down the neighboring road a little ways which the creek seemed to follow a little too closely…

And then we came to the bottom of the hill where the creek was more predominant…

At this point it cut straight through the bush, so we followed it downstream hoping to find our destination.  We had the help of a faint game trail…

Haha very faint indeed!  It sort of ended so we decided to hop across the creek…

As we crossed we looked up and saw a bit of a clearing, which promised to be easier navigating and less spider webs in my face…

Sure enough it opened up nicely…

And even provided some nice views!  There was one peak, two peak…

Three!

That peak seemed to follow us on a few of the waterfalls that day 😉

Once we had enough of taking in the surrounding beauty, we switched back to the task at hand in trying to locate the unnamed waterfall.  We peered down the cliff towards the creek and there it was, tucked back in a corner, Unnamed Waterfall #17!

Not one of the surprisingly large ones, but still nice in its wild and tranquil setting.  Some nice flowers found a home at the bottom…

We decided to go a little further in case there were more tiers.  It was a little steep but manageable…

It’s amazing how dark and hidden that upper tier is when you go even a short distance away!  We continued following the creek, and it was apparent there was another drop that would result in another tier…

And sure enough it did…

It looked like it went down a fair distance, so I wanted to keep delving further.  Although it looked like a nice water slide, I knew it’d be a bad idea to try that so went back to climbing my way down.  This part grew very steep so Dana opted to let me go ahead and see what I find.  Here’s the view looking back up from part-ways down…

And here is the second tier beside it…

It continued on, and looking ahead it seemed like it would have yet another tier…

At that point, between the tough terrain, difficult camera angles, and Dana waiting at the top I decided that we saw enough of this one for now.  What might be interesting is thinking back to the map and the close-up, if you take 18th Ave/Sentinel Road and get to the end of it, with a zoom lens you can probably see the remaining tiers and get a decent shot of most of the waterfall, apart from probably that highest tier.  We’ll have to try that one day!

And so concluded Unnamed Waterfall #17, our 62nd waterfall of Alberta together 🙂

Stay tuned for the couple waterfalls we did the following day – Waldron Falls and Gap Falls…


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