While exploring the Bow Valley Parkway, don’t miss Silverton Falls, a 50-metre high waterfall near Castle Junction.
Silverton Falls is a beautiful two-tier waterfall on the scenic Bow Valley Parkway. Since it’s only 1.4 kilometres round trip, you can combine this little hike with nearby Johnston Canyon for a nice half-day outing. Other options in the area – from late June to October – include Castle Lookout and Rockbound Lake. We enjoyed being the only ones on the trail on a snowy Saturday in November.
Note: This trail is not recommended for winter travel as the waterfall viewpoint is on an avalanche slope. The slope is also prone to mudslides and should be avoided if there has been a lot of precipitation.
Begin the trail at the shared trailhead for Silverton Falls and Rockbound Lake. 300 metres down the forested trail, you will come to a signed junction. Go right for the falls. Continue north-east until you see an arrow pointing to the left. From here, there are a few switchbacks up a narrow path to the waterfall viewpoint. Most of the elevation gain is in this short section, but it’s over before you know it.
The trail drops off steeply on the right for the last stretch, and the small viewing area (room for 5 or 6 people) has no railings, so keep kids and pets close. Allow 30-45 minutes to hike to/from the 50 metre (164′) high falls and enjoy the view! Return the way you came.
Silverton Falls Trail at a Glance
- Distance: 700 metres one way
- Elevation gain: 90 metres
- Difficulty: Easy
- Nearest washrooms? Pit toilets at trailhead/parking lot
- Stroller friendly? No
- Parking: Rockbound Lake
Know Before You Go
- There is avalanche and landslide danger near the waterfall. Avoid this trail in winter or after lots of rain. (It looks like we went in winter, but it was early November in a less-snowy-than-usual year.)
- A Parks Canada Discovery Pass / daily admission fee is required to stop in Banff National Park.
- Dogs must be kept on a leash.
What to Bring
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For shoulder season hiking, we recommend traction devices such as Kahtoola Microspikes (Available from Amazon and MEC), or Hillsound Trail Crampons (Available at Amazon and Sport Chek) and trekking poles with snow baskets. Wear base layers, insulated winter boots, a down jacket and windproof/waterproof shell (or insulated ski jacket / parka), gloves or mittens, and toque. See our fall hiking gear guide for product recommendations.
You should also carry The Ten Essentials including: water, extra food, extra clothes, a headlamp, a GPS/satellite communicator (or compass) and map of the area, sunscreen (this one is safe for babies), and bear spray. Carry bear spray in a Frontiersman Bear Spray Holster (attaches to your backpack or belt) or Scat Belt.
The trail begins at Rockbound Lake Parking Lot, near Castle Junction, 158 km from Calgary.
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