David Thompson Highway: Hike Siffleur Falls with Kids

There are very few hikes that we’ve done with the kids that have felt as well balanced as Siffleur Falls. The 9km, give or take, out and back trail is on the easier side of hikes, a great option for families with younger children that are ready to tackle a longer hike.

Siffleur Falls Hike

This hike is located within the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve which encompasses approximately 34 square kilometres of the North Saskatchewan River valley south of Abraham Lake. The area is intersected by the Siffleur and North Saskatchewan rivers with open plains dominated by grasses, forbs and stands of aspen and limber pine trees. White spruce and lodgepole pines cover most of the surrounding slopes.

Starting off at the parking lot, you’ll want to arrive early in the day to ensure that you get a spot. Don’t fret if you don’t get a spot though, you can park on the road if you’ve arrived later in the day and the trail is busy.

Straight from the parking lot to Siffleur Falls, you’ll have a view of the suspension bridge to cross, over the river to make the trail. On the other side, there’s a sandy beach to the left, and a rocky beach to the right, with shallow water that’s great for wading on the way out. Make a note of this, if you want to soak your feet in ice cold water.

Boardwalk Through the Meadows

After you’ve crossed the Siffleur Falls Hike bridge, you’ll walk a bit on the trail to a boardwalk through the protected meadow. It was here that we spotted a Mama bear and two cubs, safe enough of a distance away, but close enough that we were able to see the cubs frolicking and the markings on the Mama bear’s face. We had bear spray, just in case, like all hikes, but they never got too close that we were concerned, and spent a few minutes watching the bears in the meadow.

Onward to Cliffs

From the meadow, you’ll enter more traditional trails, with some great views and small cliffs. It’s at this point you’ll find the most challenging part of the hike for small children, a couple of small hills to conquer. There are plenty of roots on this part of the trail, so you’ll want to have footwear that will give you sure footing, but it’s still an easy trail up to Siffleur Falls.

Through the Forest to the Falls

The trails will loop you around, into the forest, for the last part of the hike. That was one of our favourite parts of the Siffleur Falls hike, it was a whole new landscape before you reached the first lookout point of the Falls (there are three in total). The first lookout point is very near the second, and it’s where we decided to stop and have lunch as we sat on the ground, enjoying the view.

How to get to Siffleur FallsĀ 

It may be a bit ambitious for a day trip for some families, but we’re seasoned day trip professionals, so the 3.5 hour drive from Edmonton didn’t scare us. The Siffleur Falls hike trailhead is located nearest to Nordegg, and you can find full directions, here.

Are you searching for more adventure? Keep going, and explore Jasper Horseshoe Lake cliff jumping!