Siffleur Falls

Feb 2, 2013

On this unseasonably warm February I found myself in the Kootenay Plains in search of Siffleur Falls.  The hike would be quick and simple, starting on some of Alberta's prairie lands; then merging into the mountains and up alongside a canyon.




In comparison with my most recent hike in December, there was even less snow in this area; which meant less of a reason for me to use snowshoes.  So on this occasion I would simply hike with my friend Charles for a duration of 3.5km, achieving our destination.


As far as this trail goes, I was surprised at the amount of history that develops as your journey continues towards the waterfall.  Beginning at the parking lot there are placards and monuments dedicated to the memory of people.  Below is an example of the monument at the beginning of the trail.
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Later on the trail you see a sign demonstrating more history in the region, as it places Canadian historical figures, having completed the trail.  I'll leave the names out in a way to encourage those interested to go in search of this area.  There is also one final placard that is dedicated to the memory of some who have befallen victim to the canyon's cliffs.



With that said, you are constantly encouraged to stay behind the guard rails at all times.  The reason for this is no different than you would think, as the walls of the canyon can give away at any time, with even the lightest of weight (for example an unleashed pet).  The reason for an extra level of caution is due in part to the waterfall being the sole reason for the canyon's existence.  The Siffleur falls, over time, has carved out the rock with it's powerful force and has formed a canyon in order to drive the Siffleur River to connect with the North Saskatchewan River.

The hike itself is relatively easy and short, however it become slightly more difficult in the winter, as the trail earlier on this day, was covered with a thin sheet of ice.  However even in the winter there were signs of a well worn trail by a number of travelers; and on this day we would pass two sets of people.  With ample forewarning, this trail is well known to summer travelers, although you need not worry as it isn't as packed as Johnson Canyon.


Though I never managed to run into any wildlife (aside from various birds), we did encounter the sound of hoofed animals bucking not too distant from our location.  This continued from roughly 6-7 rams before a victor was decided.  This would happen at a moment when we had decided to take a short break and eat some snacks, which made for an interesting conversation to our lunchtime meal.

Further along past the first waterfall there is another 2-3 smaller falls along the Siffleur River.  On this day I did not travel further than this waterfall, as I want to save those smaller ones for a summer expedition.