Sunwapta is a native word that means turbulent waters and the Sunwapta Falls lives up to it’s name. Not too surprisingly the waterfalls are on the Sunwapta River which originates from the foot of the Athabasca Glacier and eventually joins the Athabasca River shortly after the waterfalls. I visited the glacier later that week and even though it is huge I’m always amazed that these glaciers are the source of so much fresh water year after year. There are markers all around the glacier indicating how fast it is receding, it’s astonishing to see how fast we are losing these glaciers and it’s not just in Canada. Call it global warming, climate change or whatever you want but the truth is that in the decades ahead we will be facing so many important decisions about fresh water as a resource. It makes me appreciate that we have all that we have right now and hope that by working together we can find a way to preserve all this natural beauty for generations to come.
The trees, water, sky, and earth all blend in so nicely in this image. I love the way that fallen tree lies there so perfectly spanning the two sides of the river forming a natural bridge that I wouldn’t dare attempt to cross. While I know it’s impossible to do, I wonder what it would be like to camp on that island in the middle of the photo for a few days of communing with nature. It’s not just the sights that are impressive at Sunwapta Falls but the sounds as well. I was lucky enough to be there during a quiet time in terms of tourists when taking this photo and I could really hear the crashing white water as it cascaded under the bridge I was standing on. Two of my favourite sounds are ocean surf and flowing white water in a river, both powerful yet incredibly soothing sounds. After taking this photo I went down the trail to the riverside where the flow of the water slows down substantially. It was another nice spot for photos and it was so calm that I got lost in my thoughts and the sounds of nature, always a nice treat for a city boy who lives downtown on a busy street.
Enjoy more travel photography and stories: