My first visit to Ram falls began one bright Sunday morning in December on an outing with family.
We left the small town of Caroline in central Alberta and pulled into the parking lot of the day use area of the Ram Falls provincial campground about three hours later, after a long, slow drive over all but barren back roads. I only knew that someone had traveled these roads before us because there was one solitary set of tracks in the fresh snow on our trunk road route to the scenic falls.
Like riding a roller coaster we wove our way from one trunk road to another and through the pristine Elk Creek Wildlife Sanctuary. Our view along the way was like the backdrop of the last scene of White Christmas; the horror frost on the bare trees were a crisp contrast to those bright shades of the interspersed evergreens weighed down with bright white tufts of snow all sparking under the clear blue of a beautiful day.
It was on this trip that I saw my first moose; as a matter of fact as we came upon the clearing we counted five of the powerful giants lying on the frozen ground, resting under the warmth of the mid-day sun. And it was a lucky bonus that a little further on we also got an all too rare glimpse of a weary group of wild horses grazing in a clear-cut area with one ear perked to ensure they knew what we were up to. Winter’s cold breath had frozen the 50 feet of falls into a tall solid wall of ice.
It was eight months later when we returned to the provincial park again to witness the powerful force of the water in summer as it rushed over the steep riverbank into the canyon of eroded shale and sandstone carved out by the raging Ram River in the eastern slopes of the Rockies.
Standing at the top of exactly 133 very well manicured steps, yes, I counted them, which even in the middle of winter, were cleared very precisely and lead visitors down to the edge of the ravine to a viewing platform that provides the spectacular view of the falls and the rugged terrain of the Ram River valley.
On our summer visit this vantage point revealed the awe-inspiring shades of blue and green of the river and the water was clean and clear through to the rocks on the bottom. The power of the falls was forcing spray back up on itself and created a gorgeous rainbow that bridged the two sides of the valley.
Back to the top of the man made stairs; we took the path in the opposite direction from where we approached the falls and followed the river downstream. Almost as engaging as the falls themselves was the scenery along the top of the canyon, which is considered by many visitors to be one of the best wilderness adventure destinations in the world.
We were honored to get to watch the bald eagles as they hovered over their hunting ground along these eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.
The Bighorn Sheep we watched grazing above the falls on the oppose side is a common site and although we did not run into other wildlife that day, elk, grizzly and black bears and white-tailed deer also make the Rocky Mountain Forest Reserve their home.