Historic Photos of Waterfalls from Alberta

What is it about a waterfall that draws us in? Is it the unbridled power? The constant motion? The indescribable beauty? Some combination of all of them? Whatever it is, waterfalls have an innate ability to attract people. You don’t have to look too far past Alberta’s most popular falls to know this to be true. Falls such as Bow, Elbow, Athabasca, Sunwapta, Crescent, Lundbreck, Ram, Panther, and the Upper and Lower in Johnston’s Canyon are all swarming with locals and tourists alike, angling for that most coveted photo opp.

Although the crowds were most likely sparse by today’s standards, these historical photos perpetuate the popularity that is a waterfall. These images were captured in different locations across this province and showcase their stunning beauty in black and white (and two in full colour). How many of these waterfalls have you personally visited?

Sundance Canyon, Banff National Park, Alberta, 1910
Suspension bridge over waterfall, Kananaskis, Alberta, 1913
Hunters beside waterfall, in Waterton national park, Alberta, 1920s
Waterfall in Jasper National Park, Alberta, 1911-1912
Giant stairway, waterfall, at Banff National Park, Alberta, 1920-1929
Near the Lakes in the Clouds, near Lake Louise, Alberta, 1916
Group of men sitting beside waterfall, Alberta, 1921
Waterfall, Highwood valley, Alberta, 1910
Two men sit beside small waterfall, Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, 1925
Climber at waterfall, Banff National Park, Alberta, 1930-1937
Waterfall, Cataract Creek, Alberta, 1916
Twin Lake and waterfall near Castle Mountain, Alberta, 1921-1937

The photos above were collected from the Glenbow Archives. Additional information can be found for each photograph on the Glenbow website by searching the identification number that is printed on each photo. There is also the option to purchase a high-resolution copy. Stay tuned for additional posts featuring historical photos from across Alberta. We’d love to know what you think in the comment section below.

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About Tyler Dixon 117 Articles
Tyler is originally from Saskatchewan, and yes he cheers for the Roughriders, but don’t hold that against him as Calgary has been his home for the past eight years. He is a teacher working at a wilderness- based treatment program for youth working to overcome addiction. Tyler is also a volunteer with the GOT Parks initiative, which aims at reconnecting Canada’s youth with our national, provincial, and territorial parks. During his time away from work, Tyler enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and snowboarding, team sports, travelling, photography, spending time with good friends, and being at home with his wife and German Shepherd, Rome.