Welcome to the Land of 41 Waterfalls
Canada’s Waterfall Park
Uncover the mystical places that romantics, adventurers and photographers come here to find. With 41 named waterfalls and counting, discover why Wells Gray is known as ‘Canada’s Waterfall Park’. Ancient volcanoes and slow-moving glaciers carved the rivers and lakes that fuel the Park’s waterfalls. You’ll hear the roar of the waterfalls long before you can see cascading water tumbling over lichen-drenched boulders, making its way downstream. Almost half of the named waterfalls are found mere minutes from the main road through Wells Gray Park – Clearwater Valley Road.
Top 15 Waterfalls
1. Helmcken Falls
Home to the iconic Helmcken Falls which plunges 141 metres into the canyon below, it’s the fourth highest waterfall in Canada. An impressive sight in any season, Helmcken Falls is only a short walk from the parking lot to the viewing platform which is also wheelchair accessible. The viewing platform hangs over the lip of the canyon providing a panoramic view of the Murtle River tumbling in the distance. Access is 49km up the park road (Clearwater Valley Road).
Get up close and personal with Helmcken Falls with an 8km return hike along the South Rim Trail that follows the Murtle River until it plunges over the falls. There you’ll feel the roar of the river and get a birds-eye view of the water cascading over the falls deep into the canyon below.
2. Spahats Creek Falls
Another must-see waterfall in Wells Gray include Spahats Creek Falls which can be found only a short 13kms up the park road (Clearwater Valley Road). An easy stroll through the cool hemlock and cedar forest takes you from the parking lot to see volcanic rock deposits formed centuries ago. Watch from the viewing platform as Spahats Falls plunges through a keyhole in the rock face 80 metres into the Clearwater River.
From the Spahats Creek Falls area you can continue on foot to the Shaden viewpoint, or access it by vehicle following the signs at entrance area.
3. Dawson Falls
Driving further along the Clearwater Valley Road up into the park you’ll find Dawson Falls. A 10 minute walk through an old growth forest lets you watch water cascade over 200,000 year old lava beds.
This is an impressive terraced waterfall which cascades across ancient lava beds creating a shallow veil of water which spans the 90 metres (295ft) across the width of the Murtle River. With two vantage points to snap the perfect picture, you can get up close to the roaring river cascading down Dawson Falls or take in the striking view a little further downstream of the entire waterfall.
For an off-the-beaten path view, try accessing the falls from the Pyramid Campground Access. This quiet 2.3km hike provides a more secluded experience.
4. Mushbowl Falls
Just downstream from Dawson Falls, watch the Murtle River split in two as it makes its way around Cambrian rock formations. There is a pull-off for vehicles after crossing the one-lane wooden bridge that straddles the river. Access is approximately 40 kms up the Park road.
5. Moul Falls and 6. McDiarmid Falls
If you’ve ever wondered what lies behind the veil of a waterfall, you’ll want to explore Moul Falls. An easy one-hour hike through the forest delivers you to the top of the falls where you can enjoy the view from above or continue down to the base of the falls. From there you can experience the cool mist of Moul Falls’ rushing waters as you walk in between the veil of the falls and the canyon wall. Access to the parking area is 25km up the park road.
Looking for more? There is a difficult level hike from the Moul Falls trail that will take you to McDiarmid Falls.
7. Osprey Falls
The eruption of lava from Kostal Volcano 6,000 years ago damned the Clearwater River, creating the 25km long Clearwater Lake we see today. The cascade of water from Clearwater Lake to the Clearwater River is Osprey Falls. You can hike around the cascade and see the pools of lava, now hardened to rock.
8. Silvertip Falls
At 168 metres, this is one of the tallest falls in Wells Gray Park, hidden under Trophy Mountain. A 2.1km return hike over roots, rocks and streams takes you to the base of the veil of this spectacular falls.
Accessible from the Trophy Mountain road turnoff, this is an active logging road and caution must be taken. This road is not suitable for low clearance or RVs. Stop at the Wells Gray Park Visitor Information Centre for directions and road condition report.
9. Triple Decker and 10. Candle Creek Falls
Triple Decker Falls is a stunning three -tiered waterfall only a short but steep hike down the short 0.8km return trail. This access marks on end of the 7km one-way hike down along the Clearwater River trail, back to town. Access is 4km up the park road at sign marked Woodlot 301.
Candle Creek Falls is a 4km return hike down the same trail past Triple Decker Falls. It follows the Clearwater River down stream as you hike past lava columns and boulder through the lichen-filled interior rain forest. This waterfall is also accessible by river as a part of some of the guided whitewater rafting trips.
11. Rainbow Falls
This boat access waterfall stuns in terms of its remote access and undeniable beauty. Located deep in the heart of Wells Gray Park, Rainbow Falls is found at the far end of Azure Lake. It’s here that you will find some of the oldest and largest ancient cedar trees in Wells Gray Park.
From Rainbow Falls campground, follow signs through old growth forest to see as the falls cascade into Azure Lake. Canoe, boat or take a private boat tour with Clearwater Lake tours to marvel at this waterfall.
12. Marcus Falls and 13. Myanth Falls
After watching salmon jump at Bailey’s Chute, complete the 5 km, flat West Lake Loop trail through the old growth rainforest forest and berry patches to visit these falls along the Clearwater River. Access is 59 kms up the park road.
14. Mahood Falls and 15. Canim Falls
Accessible from Highway 24 in the Land of Hidden Waters in the Cariboo, Canim and Mahood Falls lie just before the access to Mahood Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park. A flat 1 km hike will take you to these falls. The trail
ends at Mahood Falls, which is a curtain of several waterfalls that fall over lava beds and often spray rainbows throughout the canyon. Please note the access to these falls is about a 1 hour and 20 minute drive from Clearwater in one direction.