Hidden Gem

Ride to the Falls

Rating: Premier
Distance: 97 km 
Elev Gain: 1498 m
Percent Gravel: 100%
Surface: Double Track, Gravel
Difficulty: 4
Tire: 35+mm
Road: Public

Jasper National Park does not have a lot of gravel roads to explore.  For those looking for a bit of adventure that is perfectly suited to a gravel bike, there is the trip to a huge waterfall.  The Falls are spectacular but rarely visited. They are not accessible by car, and require a very long hike and some good effort to reach!

You'll start your ride next to the Snaring Overflow Campground entrance building where there is plenty of parking.  After short bit of the paved on Snaring Road, you’ll turn on to Celestine Lake Road that winds along and above the north side of the Athabasca River. Here are steep climbs and Instagram worthy views.

After 22km, you’ll start a descent to a bridge over the river and then another steep uphill until the junction to Celestine Lake and Devona Lookout. These are worth the side trip, but best done on the way back when you know if you have any remaining time or energy to do them. The trip to Celestine and to the lookout is 3.5km (7km round trip). The 5km to the junction was closed to vehicle traffic sometime in the 80’s.

The junction is the start of the North Boundary Trail (you’ll see a sign). The 21km to the falls is mostly smooth and fast, but it will test your bike handling skills. Bunny hopping small logs, short hike a bike sections, sandy bits, mud, roots, climbing over or under downed trees, etc.  There is a short creek crossing 10km from the Falls, a good place to use your water filter (you brought one right?) and refill.

The final 10km to the falls has some overgrown sections and you’ll be wondering if you will EVER get there, until you see a sign to hike down a short 100m trail and the views will make the entire ride worth it!  

This route is high in wildlife (bring bear spray), solitude and adventure.

Route explored and posted by Greg Nicholson