Finding Silverton Falls
Silverton Falls is a long cascading waterfall near the much heralded Johnston Canyon Falls. It doesn’t get nearly the attention that Johnston Falls gets so you most likely will have it all to yourself when you reach the viewpoint. This is a good thing since the viewpoint is a small ledge overlooking the waterfall.
My hike was born out of disappointment as my primary reason for visiting Banff, Canada, was to visit the two waterfalls of Johnston Canyon. The canyon was closed for repair of the trail and for recent rock slides. Imagine my disappointment as the Canyon was closed the day of my arrival to Banff. What was I to do? I went into the gift store of the lodge in front of the trailhead. I quickly conversed with the clerk as I bought a bottle of water. I asked her how long the trail would be closed in hopes that it would be reopened prior to my departure. She said it would be closed for a while, longer than my stay. She quickly gave me options of other trails and one nearby trail with a waterfall. Silverton Falls, this would be my replacement hike. I was advised the trail was less than 10 minutes from the Johnston Canyon trailhead. I then drove in the direction of Silverton Falls along Highway 1A and found myself driving longer than the stated distance and found myself further down the highway than I should be. I turned back and stopped at a campsite store to ask for directions. The trail was just about 100 meters from here but it was only accessible from the Rockbound Lake Trail parking lot. All this time I was looking for a sign for Silverton Falls. You actually start at the Rockbound Lake Trailhead until a fork in the road about 300 meters into the trail. Take Silverton Falls Trail to the right, look for the sign.
The trail is easy with a distance of 2 miles round trip and a short strand of switchbacks with less than 300 feet of elevation. The trail will take you through a pine forest and then opens up as you make your way up the switchback and to the viewpoint. On a ledge, you have a spectacular view of Silverton Falls which is a series of smaller cascading falls. If you suffer from Acrophobia, fear of heights, I don’t suggest this hike as the ledge is small, rocky, and over a high cliff.
You could say I accidentally found a hidden gem that not many visitors know of. It may not be the Johnston Falls but it’s beautiful in its own right.
Keep chasing waterfalls!