A secluded waterfall in Kananaskis


A quiet place - 2013 © Christopher Martin-7750

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens at 17mm: 2 seconds at f/22 on ISO 200

I have spent a fair bit of time hiking and travelling around Kananaskis Country.  That said, I have only seen a small amount of its beautiful landscape.  It is always wonderful to find a new place.  On the weekend, I was revisiting a few favourite spots that I had not been able to see since the flood.  Along the drive between two such spots, up Highway 66, the morning mists and fog were slowly rising up in the warming air in a small meadow I have passed by many times but never explored.  I stopped this time for a few minutes to photograph the light and shadows playing with one another.  There was a roar of water nearby but it was hidden deeper into the forest and I had another spot on my mind so I headed on.

Forest morning - 2013 © Christopher Martin-0428

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 70-200mm lens at 81mm: 1/400th of a second at f/11 on ISO 400

Morning sunlight - 2013 © Christopher Martin-0342

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 70-200mm lens at 135mm: 1/200th of a second at f/11 on ISO 400

On my return past the same place an hour later, I pulled off and set out for a little exploration.  I found a trail that led down from the meadow and into the woods.  Following that for a few minutes, I walked up to the top of this small waterfall.  It was the source of the roaring heard earlier.  The water drops only a few metres but it falls into a narrow bowl of rock which intensifies the sound significantly.

2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens at 17mm: 6 seconds at f/22 on ISO 50

A bit of mountain goating saw me step and then jump down into the bowl.  Water vapour was heavy in the air which played a little havoc with the front of my lens but it was nothing a couple of cloths couldn’t handle over the time I was down there.  I stayed for more than an hour – at one point just sitting down and enjoying this wonderful little place.

Over the rocks and through the forest - 2013 © Christopher Martin-7599

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens at 23mm: 5 seconds at f/22 on ISO 50

The stream is only a metre wide above and below the falls.  At the base, the pool opens up to a few metres across.  There were some signs of recent high water activity but it seems the flow was not enough to damage the trees and bushes that overhang the channel.

Downstream - © Christopher Martin-7731

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens at 19mm: 2 seconds at f/16 on ISO 50

I believe this stream falls into the Elbow River but I’m not sure if it, or this waterfall, have their own names.  I have to find out from a few of the locals who know Kananaskis Country in a way I hope to some day far down my path.

River rock abstraction - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens at 39mm: 5 seconds at f/22 on ISO 200

So, for me at least, this waterfall remains unnamed.  In truth, I like it that way for now.  I really enjoyed that narrow wedge of rock and water below the forest and will be returning there soon.

12 responses

  1. Michael James Davies

    Hey guys,

    Fellow Calgarian here, just looking to find this majestically little waterfall. You say 150m cross the meadow in which direction? Towards Elbow river or up Prairie Creek? Last time I went looking for this, I had no luck what so ever.. Great shots though!

    June 16, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    • Hello Michael,

      Thank for your email. If memory serves, the location is at 50.843003, -114.812210. The waterfall is east of Highway 66.

      I hope you find it.



      June 18, 2016 at 3:44 am

  2. Melanie

    Hi there, I know Spray Lakes area very well but have never stumbled across this little gem. I would love to check it out 🙂 Can you tell me where it is you stopped and heard the water?

    August 14, 2013 at 7:21 am

    • Hi Melanie,

      The area is along Highway 66 in Kananaskis Country. So, you have to go through Bragg Creek rather than to Spray Lakes. Along 66, go past Elbow Falls. From there, I don’t have an exact distance but look for a large rectangular parking lot (no lines, just an asphalt pad) on your left. There are no obvious attractions ight at this lot. Just the forest in front of it and the little meadow a bit to the right. The road carries on up the hill at a steep angle from there. If you get to the top of the pass, you have gone too far – but not by much. From the parking lot, walk about 150m across the meadow and then find the trail that leads down towards the sound of the rushing water.

      When I get back there next, I will try to remember to take a GPS reading. Hopefully you can find it without too much trouble.



      August 16, 2013 at 10:13 am

      • Melanie

        Thank you Chris, I am heading that way this weekend so if I can get mapping on it I will let you know as well 🙂

        September 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      • My wife and I went up there with our children on the weekend and she loved it.

        I hope you enjoy it.



        September 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm

  3. Absolutely beautiful shots as you captured the light and motion, Christopher.

    August 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm

  4. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography)

    Superb photos.

    August 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm

  5. Fantastic shots, thanks for sharing.

    August 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm

  6. This looks like an absolutely magical place and your photos have captured it perfectly! They are stunning. The water over the rocks – superb.

    August 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm

  7. Beautiful. I have a certain fascination with moving water.

    August 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm

  8. Beautiful pictures !
    I like the the ones with the sunlight.

    August 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm

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