Numa Falls – Kootenay National Park
Numa Falls is an impressive waterfall that you can visit with virtually no effort in Kootenay National Park, in the Canadian Rockies. We popped in to use the picnic benches after our incredible hike along the Rockwall. This quick sightseeing stop will show off extraordinary splashing waters and interesting rock formations.
Numa Falls Map
Numa Falls – The basics
Elevation gain: Negligible
Time: 15-30 mins
What to bring:
This is super short. You only really need your camera.
There are loos in the car park and picnic benches.
Dogs: Yes (on a leash)
How hard is it? Easy-peasy, sightseeing.
Extra notes: There is no cell service in Kootenay National Park. Download maps and details before you drive into the National park!
Where is Numa Falls?
This fabulous waterfall is at the north end of Kootenay National Park, near the Rockwall trailheads. It is 24km from the turn-off on the Trans Canada Highway (1) onto the Banff-Windemere Highway (93.) This is 35 mins drive from Lake Louise or 40 minutes from Banff.
There is a small car park right next to the highway (Banff-Windermere Parkway.) The falls are a few hundred meters walk away.
Is Numa Falls Open?
Numa Falls was closed in 2019-20, but it is now open with a beautiful new pedestrian bridge, new restrooms and a beautiful picnic area.
Numa Falls Pedestrian Bridge
There is a new bridge over Numa falls you you can look down into the crazy, churning waters.
Numa Falls isn’t one of the super famous waterfalls of the Canadian Rockies, but it is impressive. It’s a fantastic place for a picnic. We loved popping in after our hike on the Rockwall.
Not bad eh!? The waters is churned up so much it creates its own rainbows.
Geology of Numa Falls
When you look closely at the rocks, they are pretty fascinating. You’ll see plenty of potholes and curves that have been carved into the limestone by the eddying currents. There is also fabulous banding that looks all swirly- like marble. If you like seeing cool rocks, visit Marble Canyon nearby.
Numa Falls picnics
If you decide to stay here for a picnic, you can sit by the bright blue, Vermilion River and the back of Numa NW3 (part of Numa Mountain) This is the other side of the “boob mountain” that Lisa hiked up from Numa Pass along the Rockwall.
The Rockwall via Numa Falls
The Numa Creek trailhead is located in the middle, between the two main Rockwall trailheads. It is possible to start here to hike to the Numa Creek Campground, halfway along the Rockwall. So you may see this waterfall along the way to a more epic adventure!
Hikes Near here
Hiking in Kootenay National Park is incredible! There are countless options for all skill levels. We found the area close to Numa Falls was a lot quieter than the busy trails near Lake Louise or Banff. If you want to stay, there is a great campground nearby – Marble Canyon Campground.
- Marble Canyon (super easy and really gorgeous.)
- Paint Pots (Another easy trail near here, to reach bright orange and green pools of water.)
- Dog Lake (easy hike to one of the prettiest places I have ever been swimming.)
- Cross the Vermilion River to hike along the Simpson River
- Stanley Glacier (intermediate or challenging depending how far you go… one of the best hikes near here)
- The Rockwall trail – this is the fabulous (but hard) multi day hike in this area.
- If you don’t have time for the entire Rockwall, you can still get to Floe Lake or Helmet Falls as day hikes.
- The area around Moraine Lake (with so many options like Sentinel Pass, Eiffel Lake & Consolation Lake)
- The area around Lake Louise (with a bunch of trails like the Plain of the Six Glaciers, Big Beehive, Fairview Mountain and Paradise Valley to Lake Annette.)
This map shows all of our adventures in BC and Alberta. You can zoom in to the area around Kootenay National Park to see all the hikes mentioned above (and more!)
Numa Falls was far more impressive than I expected for such an accessible stop-off along the highway! If you drive through Kootenay National Park, would you be tempted to visit?
15 thoughts on “Numa Falls – Kootenay National Park”
Wow… again a very dramatic landscape, I love the pale turquoise colour of the water, it must be icy cold. Great photos.
Thanks Araceli! It is beautiful isn’t it! I am always drawn to the bright blue waters.
We ate lunch at the picnic area in Numa Falls when we visited Kootenay in the summer. It’s a lovely spot to explore and admire the falls. Your pictures look stunning.
Oooh we did the same thing! It is a great lunch stop isn’t it!?
Wow, I’m sad I missed this when I was in the Canadian rockies last time. I’m going next summer and will have to add this to my bucket list!
We explored a lot of this area with our girls a couple of years ago. I love the brilliant blue of the rivers and lakes. So stunning.
Wow, what incredible scenery. I love hiking but I also love visiting natural wonders that don’t require much effort to get to – this waterfall looks great!
This is a great post! So informative and inspiring. I was jazzed about this hike and then I got to the section with the other hikes in Kootenay National Park and I have a case of fomo! I was in Banff earlier this year but want to return with my family to explore the area some more. I will definitely be saving this post for future travel planning!
Oh yaaay! If you liked Banff, you will probably LOVE Kootenay National Park. It has the epic scenery of Banff NP, but with far smaller crowds!
Although, Banff is good for the food/accomodation – Kootenay is just fab for the hikes!
We are headed back to BC shortly so good to read about another great waterfall we can see. The Numa Falls look like a great spot in the Kootenay National park. We would definitely hope that the waters were churning enough to create rainbows. So many great hikes in the area. A good reason to plan a few days stop.
This was in July too! I guess the waters would be even more churney/impressive earlier in the springtime!
You know, if you’d asked me if we’d visited Numa Falls I’d’ve said no, but I’ve just found some photos from our 2009 visit to the Rockies that look suspiciously like yours 😀 I’d totally forgotten just how gorgeous they were – and those rocks! So cool!
Right!? Those rock patterns were really interesting! I love it when you can see such a good waterfall with no effort!
Those falls were so impressive, I am glad we took time to stop even though the parking lot looked full. Your pictures capture it well, as always Josy!
Thanks Shannon! It was such a good holiday wasn’t it. Finishing with a waterfall and a soak in Radium hot springs was perfect!