Tangle Creek Falls is a pretty impressive multi-tiered waterfall, which is one of the many gorgeous possible stops along the Icefields Parkway (the main road between Banff and Jasper). The waterfall has a 35 m drop split between multiple layers. Each tier splits into lots of smaller streams which seem to be in a tangle – maybe that is how it got its name!?
There is no hike to get to this one, you just need to cross the highway to get these amazing views. While you’re there, don’t forget to stop and stare in the opposite direction, as the views of the Stutfield Glacier are also fantastic.
Tangle Creek Falls – the basics
How much time do you need: This one is right by the road, so you can see it is just a few minutes. We were here for about 15 minutes as we all wanted to climb to the top!
Facilities: Pit toilets
Good in winter: In spring (April) half the waterfall was a giant wall of ice! The lower half had mostly melted, but it still looked amazing.
How to reach Tangle Creek Falls
This is the easiest-to-reach waterfall ever! Tangle Creek Falls is 96 km south of Jasper along the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93.) The waterfall is so close to the road, that the car park has to be on the opposite side of the road. Just make sure you are very careful when you cross the highway. There is a bend just before the tangle creek, so speeding cars won’t be able to see you.
Even if you don’t want to stop and take a closer look, at least keep an eye-out for this waterfall as you drive to or from Jasper.
Climbing up Tangle Creek Falls
If you need to stretch your legs, rather than just feast with your eyes, it is quite easy to climb up the rocks at the edge of Tangle Creek. There are several tiers to these falls, with each shelf a little more frozen than the one below.
In the summertime this waterfall looks like it is made up of loads of teeny braids, all tangled up. However in winter (and spring) the entire top half of the falls was frozen into a massive icy cliff.
How Busy is it?
This seemed like the busiest out of the all the waterfalls we saw along the Icefields Parkway. That is probably because it is so easy to get to, and because there is just one viewpoint, so everyone congregates in the same area. Having said that, it wasn’t exactly teeming with people!
Getting up close to the ice
Be very careful if you decide to climb up to see the ice or waterfalls up close! I imagine these rocks must get very slippery with the spray from the falls.
If you do walk up close to the waterfall, it looks like some sort of frozen wonderland.
While you’re there, don’t forget to stop and stare in the opposite direction, as the views of the Stutfield Glacier are also fantastic. It’s funny to think these huge walls of ice are just one teeny section of the massive Columbia Icefield up high on the plateau! This toe of the glacier is heading out to the Arctic Ocean, but the glaciers on the other side of the mountains are heading to both the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.
We found the best view of this glacier was just before Tangle Creek Falls (if you’re coming from Jasper.) There is another viewpoint with its own car park. If you’re interested in seeing the scale, you can see the Icefields Parkway Driving Guide, including its map of the glaciers here.
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