Frozen Waterfall

A guide to the spectacular Star Creek Falls hike in Crowsnest Pass

Winter wonderland is here and we love it! We have so many amazing memories of skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Although our favourite moments in the winter include a hot tub soak after an adventurous day!

Get outside this winter

We want to challenge you to get out this winter and try something new. You can even try an Adventure Club or Moonlight Snowshoe experience with us. Perfect for people who want to get outside and have fun.

You can also try one of my favourite winter locations: Star Creek Falls. You can enjoy Star Creek Falls by either walking upstream or doing the loop. We also run a Science Ice Walk program at the falls where we focus on hydrology and science experiments.

Star Creek Falls Trail: Upstream Option

The upstream option is awesome in the winter, but we prefer the loop in the summer. It is best with snowshoes or ice traction devices at a minimum (we rent both if you don’t have your own). We challenge you to find treasures along your journey. Can you find the calcium-enriched springs coming out of the mossy slopes? Or do you see any swallow nests in the rocky overhang or in a rocky hideout? What about a special ice feature that appears right from the rock? Or an upside-down icicle? As you feel the magnificence of this canyon, you may forget that you are a brief distance from Coleman.

In less than an hour, you can arrive at the waterfall. Listen for the water flowing behind the ice. Just remember to use good judgement on how close you get. Under the ice, there is a deep hole from the water carving deeper and deeper as it launches over the edge, and people have been rescued by search and rescue because the ice breaks away.

Distance: 1.8km

Duration: 1.5 – 2.5 hours

Star Creek Falls Trail: Loop Option

The owner of Uplift Adventures used to work for Alberta Environment and Parks, and managed a backcountry trails program where they installed two bridges – one below the falls and one above the falls. When the trail crew was installing the lower bridge, they found a stick of dynamite in a mason jar and called asking what to do with it. It’s not every day you find a stick of dynamite! The best advice at the time was, “Don’t touch it!” It ended up that the bomb squad from Edmonton had to come down to safely dispose of this questionable explosive. Now that the area is explosive-free (that we know of), you can enjoy a beautiful Star Creek loop and look down on the falls.

Remember, there are no signs along this trail, so go to the creek and start hiking upstream (south), when you see a bridge, cross it. Follow this trail up the hill and when you come to a double-wide trail, turn right. Follow this and you will eventually look down at the falls. There is a great photo opportunity when on the ridge when you can see the High Rock Range and Crowsnest Mountain. If you plan this Instagram worthy photo right, you can get a panoramic photo with the waterfalls and the mountains in the back. Just be careful because the edge can be unstable.

Continue along this trail and you will go down a hill to another bridge. Cross this bridge and immediately turn right. Go up the hill. At the top of the hill, you can go right to another lookout point (it might be unstable in the winter and either keep the kidlets close, or don’t go at all). Or at the top of the hill, turn left and this will take you back. At each intersection on the way back, you can stay to the right and it will spit you out near your starting point.

Distance: 2.5km

Duration: 1.5 – 2.5 hours

We hope you enjoy your adventure to Star Creek Falls. Tag Uplift Adventures in photos on social media or send us a message letting us know what you thought! We love to hear from other adventurers.

About the writer of this blog post

Heather is trained by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides as a Hiking Guide and Interpretive Guide Association currently as an Apprentice Interpreter Guide, with a University Degree in Environmental Science and a Professional Agrologist with the Alberta Institute of Agrology. She has a passion for the outdoors and connecting others to the environment – a place that has given her the space to heal after traumatic events. She believes that we are always learning more about ourselves and our surroundings – let’s go find out more and see what we are capable of. Heather is the owner of Uplift Adventures and one of the guides.

Join Uplift Adventures on a hike, interpretive hike, an outdoor course, outdoor rock climbing, or even a snowshoe. Fill your memory with beautiful stories. Sign up for our newsletter to get more information about blogs and upcoming adventures.

Comments 2

  1. What’s it like this time of year? Oct/Nov? Woukd the upstream be an option, or which route would be best? And what would we wear– shoes, boots, is there enough snow for snowshoes?

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