HomeRoadtrip12 of the Finest Wells Grey Waterfalls: Journey Planning Information + Map

12 of the Finest Wells Grey Waterfalls: Journey Planning Information + Map

Boasting as many as 41 spectacular waterfalls, Wells Grey Provincial Park is a must-see vacation spot for waterfall chasers, nature lovers and journey seekers in all places.

From the long-lasting Helmcken Falls and large Dawson Falls to lesser-known gems, every cascade is uniquely lovely.

141m Helmckcen Falls plunging into a lush canyon in Wells Gray Provincial Park. The canyon is surrounded by forest
Helmcken Falls in summer time

As BC locals, we’re common guests to Wells Grey and have skilled the park in three totally different seasons. I’m excited to share this waterfall-specific information, designed to enhance our different Wells Grey content material:

This put up options all the knowledge it’s worthwhile to know to plan a visit to British Columbia’s Wells Grey Provincial Park, from details about every of the foremost waterfalls in addition to important particulars about when to go, what to deliver and the place to remain.

Printed January 2024. Wells Grey Provincial Park is positioned on the standard territory of First Nations together with Ktunaxa, Lheidli T’enneh and Secwepemc Nation.

Screenshot of Google Map with Wells Gray Provincial Park waterfalls, campgrounds, lodgings and parking areas marked
Wells Grey waterfalls on Google Maps

The very best waterfalls in Wells Grey Provincial Park

Whereas Wells Grey has a lot to supply nature lovers, the park is finest recognized for its massive assortment of waterfalls. However are there so many? The reason being easy.

Wells Grey is located on an enormous volcanic discipline that began forming roughly 3.5 million years in the past. The waterfalls are the results of volcanic and glacial exercise carving the terrain.

And sure, volcanoes are nonetheless current within the park at present! Some are formally classed as ‘doubtlessly energetic.’ Pyramid Mountain final erupted 12,000 years in the past.

The simplest technique to go to Wells Grey’s waterfalls is to drive the Wells Grey Hall, a 68km scenic driving route by the core part of the park.

At the least 12 named waterfalls could be visited from the Hall. At the least 5 of those, together with one of many tallest, are simply accessible to most guests by way of roadside viewpoints and quick strolling trails.

This put up will deal with Wells Grey waterfalls which can be accessible from the Hall.

A tall waterfall dramatically falls from a rockface below (Spahats Creek Falls)
Spahats Creek Falls in summer time

Spahats Creek Falls

Dashing by a slender rock hole, the dramatic Spahats Creek Falls plummets 75m right into a yawning ravine.

The views are equally breathtaking within the different path, with the vertical canyon partitions offering a pure gate to a stupendous river valley.

All this and solely a ten-minute stroll from the car parking zone! There are quite a few viewing platforms on the sting of the canyon rim, some with interpretive signage to elucidate the background geology.

When you have a member in your group who has points with heights or steep drop-offs, be warned that they might battle slightly with this one. The trail is sort of large, to allow them to keep away from the fenced edge if most well-liked.

Spahats Creek is the primary main waterfall on the Wells Grey Hall Highway, positioned at kilometre 10.4. There are seasonal flush washrooms within the massive car parking zone.

Path size: 700m
Problem stage: Very straightforward
Time required: half-hour

Looking down into deep, steep rocky canyon with river running below. There is a wooden viewing platform at the top of the right hand side cliff. Forest is visible in the river valley, some trees have autumn colours
Spahats Creek Falls canyon in autumn (spot the viewing platform to the suitable)

Moul Falls

For some guests to Wells Grey, Moul Falls is essentially the most spectacular waterfall of all of them. This highly effective 35m cascade plunges straight down right into a rocky bowl.

Throughout the spring soften, the pressure of the waterfall is so robust that it may be tough to method.

Just a little extra effort is required to succeed in this Wells Grey waterfall as it’s only accessible by way of a 6km return hike (trailhead positioned at kilometre 20.8 on the Hall).

Back view of JR standing on rock in front of waterfall plunging into rocky bowl (Moul Falls)
Moul Falls in August (low movement)

The primary half of the path is an outdated street (large and flat) and is subsequently very straightforward to stroll. The second half is narrower and rockier, with the ultimate method to the waterfall that includes some quick, steep slopes and a few staircases.

An elevated view of the falls is obtainable partway down. The official path ends proper in entrance of Moul Falls. A skinny path continues beneath the (doubtlessly unstable) cliffs to the again of the waterfall.

Exploring this unofficial path is completely at your individual danger. Throughout the spring soften, the chance and hazard issue will increase.

I’d advocate visiting Moul Falls early on within the day so you’ll be able to get pleasure from some solitude. Visiting with youngsters or canine? Make sure to preserve them shut.

Path size: 6km return
Problem stage: Reasonable facet of straightforward (on account of steep closing part)
Time required: 2 hours

Looking across to waterfall cascading from rock shelf into rocky bowl, with trees visible above and moss in foreground
Moul Falls from staircase

Dawson Falls

Harking back to a small-scale Niagara Falls, Dawson Falls stretches large throughout the Murtle River.

Consisting of a number of cascades with a complete top of 20m, this waterfall is fairly majestic in its personal proper. And there are a few other ways to see it.

The preferred trailhead is positioned at kilometre 40.9 alongside the Hall. Extra of a stroll than a hike, this straightforward riverside stroll options two lovely viewpoints of this large, horseshoe-shaped waterfall.

Viewpoint view of Dawson Falls from distance, a wide waterfall with many cascades. The surrounding forest contains mostly green trees, with some yellow trees
Dawson Falls (first viewpoint) in autumn

The primary viewpoint showcases everything of Dawson Falls from a distance and is located round 450m from the car parking zone.

The second viewpoint is 250m additional alongside the identical path and contains a facet view of Dawson Falls. It is a good spot to cease and take within the energy of the fast-flowing water.

A 3rd viewpoint is accessible by way of a brief stroll from Pyramid Campground (turn-off at kilometre 42.1). The simple 2.4km loop gives entry to the ‘different’ facet of Dawson Falls.

Path size: 1.4km return for first and second viewpoints / 2.4km for third
Problem stage: Straightforward
Time required: half-hour / 50 minutes

Rainbow leading to rushing waterfall in Wells Gray Provincial Park
Rainbow at Dawson Falls (second viewpoint)

The Mushbowl

The Mushbowl is a quick, frothy and rocky waterfall, positioned proper subsequent to the street at kilometre 41.4. It’s most simply seen from the one-lane bridge that crosses simply after it. Slowing down is one of the best ways to see it however be conscious of different visitors.

There’s some area to drag off the street proper after the bridge if you wish to have one other look. Do not forget that you’ll have to cross the bridge once more to return to Clearwater, so all guests will see the Mushbowl not less than twice.

Path size: N/A – Roadside
Problem stage: Straightforward
Time required: 5 minutes

River rapids with rocks as seen from a bridge
The Mushbowl (taken from the bridge)

Helmcken Falls

Magnificent Helmcken Falls is the best-known waterfall in Wells Grey. The highly effective 141m excessive waterfall plunges right into a deep punchbowl.

The traditional view of Helmcken Falls is discovered at kilometre 42 on the Wells Grey Hall. There are a number of elevated wheelchair-accessible platforms positioned very near the big car parking zone (5 minutes stroll).

141m Helmckcen Falls plunging into a lush canyon in Wells Gray Provincial Park. The canyon is surrounded by forest, with one tree in the foreground. There is mist between the camera and the waterfall
Helmcken Falls in autumn (low movement)

For another (and fewer crowded) perspective, hike the 4km (8km return) Helmcken Falls Rim Path. Permit two hours or so to hike the virtually fully flat path alongside the Murtle River.

The reward is an up shut and private facet view of Helmcken Falls, usually accompanied by loads of mist! Watch out, there isn’t any fence right here.

Path size: 300m return (platform viewpoint) / 8km return (Rim Path)
Problem stage: Very straightforward / Reasonably straightforward (on account of size)
Time required: 20 minutes / 2 hours

Please word that the primary Helmcken Falls viewing platform will likely be changed in spring 2024 and entry to the world will likely be closed in Could and June. Helmcken Falls will nonetheless be seen from the Rim Path.

Back view of JR standing in front of Helmcken Falls in a green jacket and green backpack
Helmcken Falls Rim Path viewpoint

Baileys Chute, Marcus Falls and Myanth Falls

For one thing slightly totally different, take into account the straightforward stroll to Baileys Chute. That is the place the Clearwater River narrows and turns into a sequence of rapids and small waterfalls.

When measured by peak movement price, Baileys Chute is among the largest waterfalls in BC. The facility of this turbulent river is really astounding!

From the car parking zone (kilometre 56.8, unpaved entry), the large path first veers into the forest after which heads downhill to the river financial institution. There’s a viewing platform with interpretive signage.

Looking into the river where a spawning salmon leaps into a rapid area in Bailey's Chute
Salmon leaping at Baileys Chute in September

Baileys Chute is a well-liked place to look at the salmon run in September. Whereas an inconceivable feat for the fish, it’s fascinating (and shifting!) to look at them combat their manner by the rapids.

Spring is one other nice time to go to this Wells Grey waterfall because the river is much more highly effective with the snow soften.

In the event you’re simply after a brief stroll, flip round at Baileys Chute. In any other case, proceed alongside the riverside path to see Marcus Falls (20 minutes additional) and Myanth Falls (one other half-hour from Marcus). Select to complete the loop by the forest or return the identical manner.

Path size: 1.6km return / 6.5km return
Problem stage: Straightforward / Reasonably straightforward (on account of size)
Time required: half-hour / 2 hours

Looking upstream of Baileys Chute, a powerful series of rapids surrounded by forest. Some of the trees are yellow (autumn colours)

Osprey Falls and Stitca Falls

The final Wells Grey waterfall on this record is Osprey Falls. Located very near the top of the Hall, this waterfall is brief however extraordinarily large. It’s the results of basalt movement from a close-by volcano blocking the outlet of the river.

The very best place to see Osprey Falls is from the Clearwater Lake Campground. Park on the Chain Lake Meadows Trailhead simply previous the bridge over Falls Creek (kilometre 65.4) and observe the trail into the campground.

A brief path between websites 19 and 21 results in the riverbank and a view of the falls.

One other viewpoint could be discovered on the Chain Lake Meadows Path (2.2km return path), which additionally results in Stitca Falls (one other 600m return).

Path size: 400m return / 2.2km return
Problem stage: Straightforward / Reasonable
Time required: 20 minutes / 1 hour quarter-hour

Bonus waterfalls: Triple Decker and Silvertip Falls

Nonetheless trying to chase extra Wells Grey waterfalls? Triple Decker and Silvertip Falls are usually not within the park however are nonetheless worthy locations for adventurous guests.

Because the identify implies, Triple Decker contains a three-tiered cascade set right into a mossy canyon.

Good footwear are important to hike the 1.6km return path to the autumn. It is extremely steep at occasions with unfastened surfaces (average stage).

Triple Decker’s parking space is positioned fairly near Clearwater. Search for some concrete boundaries and a white Woodlot signal. There’s some restricted signage.

Silvertip Falls is located on the way in which to the Trophy Meadows Path, on the unpaved Spahats Creek FSR.

There’s a Recreation Website campground on the identical location. It’s, nonetheless, very small so I’d counsel parking on the street earlier than the turn-off, particularly in case you’re in a bigger automobile.

The falls are 1.6km return from the campground and have a number of cascades weaving by mossy rocks. It may be tough to inform from the bottom however the estimated top of Silvertip Falls is 168m! Please word that the path may be very slender and slippery.

Looking up to chain of mountain peaks from the Little Hill viewpoint on the Trophy Meadows Trail
Silvertip Falls drops from the Trophy Mountain plateau

Wells Grey Provincial Park: Journey planning necessities

Hold the next data in thoughts when planning your Wells Grey waterfall journey.

When to go

Wells Grey Provincial Park is often open 12 months spherical though services and street entry are restricted from October to April.

The very best time to go to to see the Wells Grey’s waterfalls is Could and June when the movement is the strongest (spring soften). It may well, nonetheless, be fairly buggy. Take precautions!

July and August are additionally nice months to go to however the waterfalls are much less robust.

The climate is usually hotter right now and the mist from the waterfalls could be refreshing. The bugs are often much less ferocious by mid-August (climate dependent)

The summer time months are additionally the busiest time for visitation, although Wells Grey isn’t practically as standard as different locations corresponding to Banff and Jasper Nationwide Parks.

September is one other good month to go. Whereas the waterfalls are often of their lowest movement in the course of the first a part of the month, they’re nonetheless spectacular to take a look at.

The salmon begin to migrate alongside Baileys Chute in September. The sight of the salmon making an attempt to leap up the rapids is a formidable spectacle to witness. The park additionally options some lovely autumn colors in the direction of the top of the the month.

Vehicle view of Wells Gray Corridor road in autumn, with road surface shiny with rain and lined with trees (some are autumnal yellow)
Fall colors alongside the Wells Grey Hall in late September

Easy methods to get to Wells Grey

Wells Grey Provincial Park is positioned in British Columbia in Western Canada.

Extra particularly, the park occupies a big wilderness space north of Clearwater, west of Valemount and east of Williams Lake.

The primary park entry is by way of the Wells Grey Hall, a 68km route offering entry to waterfalls, campgrounds, climbing trails and lakes. The Hall begins simply north of Clearwater, a small group of two,500 folks.

Not accustomed to BC? Clearwater is 480km (300 miles) northwest of Vancouver, a couple of five-hour drive.

From Calgary, the drive is slightly longer. The space is 726km (450 miles) and takes round 8 hours with out stops.

Wells Grey is a well-liked place to go to on a Canadian Rockies loop street journey or whereas travelling from Vancouver to Calgary by way of Jasper.

JR is standing on rock next to river with arms outstretched. Forest lines the river with cliffs on right hand side as well
The ‘different’ facet of Moul Falls

Organising your day

Driving the Wells Grey Hall from Clearwater to Helmcken Falls takes round 45 minutes (46km). So a return journey with none stops takes round 1.5 hours plus time on the falls.

Simply dropping into Wells Grey and never trying to hike a lot? In 3 hours (from Clearwater), most guests have time to go to:

  • Spahats Creek Falls
  • Dawson Falls (+ roadside Mushbowl)
  • Helmcken Falls

Guests with extra time (4-5 hours) will seemingly be capable of take a look at:

  • Spahats Creek Falls
  • Dawson Falls (+ roadside Mushbowl)
  • Helmcken Falls
  • Ray Farm (no waterfalls)
  • Bailey’s Chute

If climbing is an choice, my prime decide for a 4-5 hour itinerary could be (in time order):

  • Moul Falls
  • Dawson Falls (+ roadside Mushbowl)
  • Helmcken Falls
  • Bailey’s Chute
  • Spahats Creek Falls

Staying in a single day within the park? I’d counsel following this itinerary as a substitute:

Day 1

  • Moul Falls
  • Dawson Falls (+ roadside Mushbowl)
  • Helmcken Falls
  • Bailey’s Chute, Marcus Falls and Myanth Falls
  • Osprey Falls

Day 2

  • Ray Farm (no waterfalls)
  • Helmcken Falls Rim Path
  • Spahats Creek Falls

When you have a dependable, high-clearance automobile and a few additional time, take into account climbing the gorgeous Trophy Meadows Path (no waterfalls however lovely sub-alpine surroundings).

One story cabin looking out to a meadow and forest in Wells Gray Provincial Park
Ray Farm Cabin and Meadow, a part of Properly Grey’s historic farm complicated

What to deliver

  • Make sure to deliver your mosquito repellent of alternative and take into account carrying lengthy sleeves (and even pants) on forested climbing trails when visiting in spring
  • Meals and water! Wells Grey Provincial Park has just one place to purchase meals and snacks – the Osprey Cafe at Clearwater Lake (finish of the Hall). It’s open seasonally solely
  • On the longer climbing trails, I’d advocate carrying bear spray (in an simply accessible place) and understanding how you can use it. On the very least, you need to know what to do in case you see a bear
  • Applicable footwear is crucial on the longer trails, particularly after rain
  • Canine are allowed in Wells Grey however have to be on a leash always
  • Wells Grey Provincial Park is free to enter with no park go or admission required (not like Canada’s nationwide parks)

Easy methods to keep protected

There’s little or no cellphone sign in Wells Grey Provincial Park. Inform somebody the place you’re going and while you plan to be again.

Some paths could be muddy after rain, even the morning after. Put on acceptable footwear.

Keep on marked trails and stay alert for wildlife. Make noise to alert animals of your presence.

In the event you do see wildlife, make sure to give them loads of area. Don’t method, observe, scare or feed animals.

By no means get out of your automobile to get nearer to an animal! Bears, for instance, can transfer lots sooner than you most likely anticipate.

Please pack out all your trash with you to assist preserve Wells Grey Provincial Park lovely.

The side view of Helmckcen Falls, with huge stream of water plunging into canyon
Helmcken Falls as seen from the top of the Rim Path

The place to remain in Wells Grey Provincial Park

Tenting is the one technique to keep in Wells Grey Provincial Park in a single day.

There are three vehicle-accessible campgrounds on this space of the park, with websites priced at $20-23/evening.

Set in a thick forest, Pyramid Campground is located very near Helmcken Falls (paved entry).

There are 50 well-spaced unserviced campsites on this campground, all provided on a first-come, first-serve system solely. A climbing path results in another view of Dawson Falls.

Falls Creek and Clearwater Lake Campground are positioned very near the top of the Wells Grey Hall (unpaved entry), inside strolling distance of Osprey Falls.

There are 40 reservable campsites in every campground, all near the river. The campgrounds share coin-operated bathe services.

In my view, Pyramid is extra conveniently positioned for exploring waterfalls and climbing trails whereas Falls Creek and Clearwater Lake are higher for water-oriented guests.

The Wells Grey Hall is surrounded by expansive backcountry areas with quite a few tenting alternatives accessed by water or climbing trails.

The Sheila Lake backcountry campground in Trophy Meadows is among the finest wherever in BC.

White van is parked on designated campsite at Pyramid Campground in Wells Gray, with fire pit and picnic table surrounded by forest. JR is stood at the picnic table cooking on campstove
Tenting at Pyramid Campground

Different lodging choices close to Wells Grey Provincial Park

Although there will not be any non-camping lodging in Wells Grey Provincial Park itself, there are a number of lodges, inns and B&Bs positioned alongside the Wells Grey Hall.

Wolfwood Visitor Ranch boasts 4 heritage cabins, certainly one of which is almost a century outdated. Every cabin accommodates 2-5 adults and complimentary breakfast is offered.

Only a quick distance away is Battle Creek Ranch. The welcoming hosts (certainly one of whom speaks German) present lodging in two comfy suites on their farm.

Throughout the Creek Cabins is near Moul Falls. The property options a number of totally geared up particular person cabins set in a forest.

Nearer to Clearwater, there’s a fair greater alternative of B&Bs, inns and motels. One in all them, Grizzly Paw B&B, even has a waterfall in strolling distance.

As for accommodations, the Finest Western Plus Gateway to the Falls in Clearwater takes the lead. Inside every attain of the Gateway Grill and Wild Flour Bakery, this property is a wonderful alternative for a snug keep after a day of exploring the park.

Mirror like effect on alpine lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park
Murtle Lake, Wells Grey Provincial Park

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