The Falls

Misty Horseshoe Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is a young waterfall.  Around 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, glacial melt water filled the five great lakes.  Four of these lakes- Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake Erie, drain through the Niagara River into the fifth lake- Lake Ontario, then the water flows through the Saint Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean.  The Niagara River is only 58 km (36 miles) long, connecting Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.  Lake Erie is 99 meters (326 feet) higher in elevation than Lake Ontario.  The combination of the large volume of water flowing through the river, together with a high drop in elevation has caused the erosion of the Niagara River Gorge and resulted in Niagara Falls.

With the Niagara River acting as the border between the USA and Canada, the waterfalls are divided.  The American falls are smaller while the larger Canadian Horseshoe Falls have more than 90% of the river water flowing over them at 57 meters (188 ft) in height.  Their combined volume flowing over both falls is 28,000 cu. M (100,000 cu. Ft.) or over half a million gallons of water per second, enough to fill a million bathtubs per minute.

On your Niagara Falls tour ride With Chariots of Fire tours, you will see the Niagara River flowing over both the American and Canadian waterfalls into the Great Gorge.