Our last stop before arriving in Jasper was at the Athabasca Falls. The 23-metre Athabasca Falls is not very high by Canadian Rockies standards, but the volume of the river is what makes it one of the most powerful in the Rockies. At the falls, the water passes over a layer of hard quartzite. Over the years, the water has cut into the softer limestone beneath, carving intricate features, including potholes and a short canyon.
The Athabasca River is the largest river system in Jasper, with the enormous Columbia Icefields as its source. Recognized for its historical, natural and recreational values, the Athabasca was designated a Canadian heritage river in 1989.
On our drive back from Jasper, we came across two groups of mountain sheep walking among the rocks by the road. Following is a short 8 second video of mountain sheep on the Columbia Icefields Parkway.
Also, a few photos.
I didn’t take very many bird photos while in Canada – I was more focused on the larger animals. But I did get a few, a couple of which we don’t have where I live in Oregon. The photo of the magpie flying is not in focus but I included it because I liked the wings and tail in flight.
Shortly before arriving in Jasper we stopped at Sunwapta Falls. Sunwapta is an Assiniboine word meaning turbulent water. I have a fear of heights so I had a hard time getting onto the bridge to overlook the area. We didn’t hike the entire trail but what we saw was really beautiful.