In Alberta, we’re obsessed with superlatives. You’ll find plenty of the world’s biggest things scattered across the province. From the biggest perogy to the largest dinosaur, we love big things. So, in the interest of record-breaking size, we want to tell you about Alberta’s tallest waterfall. Kakwa is the tallest waterfall in Alberta, and it can be found about three hours away from Grande Prairie.
The Kakwa Falls can be found in the Kakwa Provincial Park, which is a destination in its own right. The falls are a series of waterfalls, with the tallest of the bunch earning the title of the tallest in Alberta. This gargantuan waterfall is 30 meters high. Exploding over a cliffside and misting visitors with glistening fresh water, this place is the essence of magic. Here’s the thing, it’s not exactly easy to get there.
The park is only accessible by 4X4 vehicles, and it takes about 1.5 hours of driving to get there. You’ll drive about 20km along the trail to Kakwa trail, and this can only be done in the late summer/fall when the water levels are low enough. Once you reach the end of the driving portion, you will hit the Day Use Area, where you’ll embark upon a short, 1.5 km hike that leads to the viewpoint. While this doesn’t sound like the most accessible journey, it’s absolutely worth it if you have the means.
The Wildland Park is a remote and rugged place it is filled with natural beauty. There are endless mountains, foothills, meadows, streams, rivers, and–of course–waterfalls. Apart from Kakwa, other Other falls in the park include Lower Kakwa Falls, and Francis Peak Creek Falls. There are also several wildlife species in the area, including elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose, mule, white-tailed deer, bears, wolves, wolverines, lynx, and foxes. There are about 100 km of hiking trails throughout the park, though they require careful planning as the trails aren’t well-marked or maintained.
As you may have gathered, this bucket-list destination is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re comfortable with a challenging road and some backcountry hiking, you’ll love every minute. As always, do some serious research before embarking on this journey. Check for closures, weather, advisories, conditions, etc. This area is gorgeous, but it isn’t meant to be accessed on a whim or without a proper understanding of how to successfully navigate it. If you’re up for it, we are so excited for you. This waterfall is an unforgettable experience.
Britanny Burr is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the 2023 Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.