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Athabasca Falls facts for kids

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Athabasca Falls
Location Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
Coordinates 52°39′51″N 117°53′01″W / 52.66417°N 117.88361°W / 52.66417; -117.88361
Type Segmented Horsetails
Total height 24 m (79 ft)
Total width 46 m (151 ft)
Height of longest drop 20 m (66 ft)
Average width 30 m (98 ft)
Number of drops 2
Average flow rate 113 m3/s (4,000 cu ft/s)
Watercourse Athabasca River

Athabasca Falls is a waterfall in Jasper National Park on the upper Athabasca River, approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of the townsite of Jasper, Alberta, Canada, and just west of the Icefields Parkway.

Geography & geology

Athabasca Falls is a Class 5 waterfall, with a total drop height of 24 m (79 ft) and a width of 46 m (151 ft). A powerful, picturesque waterfall, Athabasca Falls is not known so much for its height as it is known for its force due to the large quantity of water falling into the gorge, which can be substantial even on a cold morning in the fall, when river levels tend to be at their lowest. The river falls over a layer of hard quartzite and through the softer limestone below, carving a short gorge and a number of potholes.


The falls can be safely viewed and photographed from various viewing platforms and walking trails around the falls. Access is from the nearby parking lot, which leads off Highway 93A just northeast of the falls. Highway 93A takes off from the nearby Icefields Parkway, and crosses the falls on the way north to the town of Jasper. Whitewater rafting often starts below the falls to travel downstream on the Athabasca River to Jasper.

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