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Spring into Action: 7 Must-See Waterfalls During Melt Season

There are plenty of great places to visit once winter has melted away, and none more majestic than the waterfalls of Wells Gray Provincial Park. This time of year, snowmelt is in full effect and our favourite rivers and waterfalls are flowing at their fullest capacity. Springtime transforms BC’s Land of Hidden Waters into a breathtaking display of raw power and indescribable beauty, unmatched by the other seasons. Listed from the closest to the town of Clearwater to the furthest, here’s your guide to seven must-see waterfalls in Wells Gray during melt season:

Please note that with spring runoff comes slippery and unstable stream banks as well as extremely cold water temperatures. All of the hikes and adventures mentioned in this article are done at your own risk but please visit our Responsible Travel page to learn how you can best be safe and prepared.

1. Triple Decker Falls

Highlights: 3 levels of cascading water. Not many people visit it. Great photo ops! 

Trail Conditions: Short but very steep and slippery

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Time Required: 30-45 mins

Parking: Here (look for a sign that says “Woodlot 301”)

Learn more here.

Triple Decker Falls │ Holly Louwerse

2. Spahats Creek Falls

Highlights: The falls cascade into the huge lava and ice-carved canyon and down into the Clearwater River. People that are afraid of heights might be uneasy by the sheer grandeur of the canyon. 

Trail Conditions: Short, wide, and well-signed.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Time Required: 30-45 mins

Parking: Here

Learn more here.

3. Moul Falls

Highlights: 3rd highest waterfall in Wells Gray. You get a 360-degree view of the falls if you walk behind the curtain of falling water (please be very careful doing this during spring as the power of the water is at its strongest).

Trail Conditions: First half of the out-and-back trail is wide and flat. The second section can get slippery and steep, however, there are stairs to guide you.

Difficulty Level: Medium

Time Required: 1+ hours

Parking: Here

Moul Falls │ Holly Louwerse

4. McDiarmid Falls

Highlights: The often-forgotten downriver cousin of Moul Falls. Can be paired with the hike to Moul Falls. 

Trail Conditions: The first 2km follows the same trail as the one to Moul Falls. On the right, you’ll see a wooden bridge over a creek. If you hit the Moul Falls viewing platform, you’ve gone too far. At the creek, you’ll follow signs to McDiarmid Falls. The end of the trail is very narrow, and steep, and has sliding gravel so be careful.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Time Required: 1.5 hours or 2+ hours if done in conjunction with Moul Falls

Parking: Here

Waterfall during spring.
McDiarmid Falls │ Holly Louwerse

5. Dawson Falls

Highlights: Nicknamed ‘Mini Niagara Falls’ as it is wider than it is tall. You can get quite close to the crest of the falls and really feel its power. Two separate easy-to-access viewpoints.

Trail Conditions: Follows the road and is short and mostly flat.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Time Required: 30-45 mins

Parking: Here

Dawson Falls │ Tia Davison

6. Helmcken Falls

Helmcken Falls Viewpoint:

(Please note that the Helmcken Falls viewing platform is closed until mid-June 2024)

Highlights: 4th tallest waterfall in Canada. The ice funnel might still be intact. Awesome viewpoints. Lots of informational signage.

Trail Conditions: Short and flat. 

Difficulty Level: Easy

Time Required: 30-45 mins

Parking: Here

Helmcken Falls.
Helmcken Falls │ Holly Louwerse

Helmcken Falls Rim Trail:

Highlights: Many different unique views of the falls as you hike around the whole rim of the waterfall and epic lava-carved canyon. Fewer people than at the viewpoint. 

Trail Conditions: Single-track forest trail. The viewpoint at the end of the trail has no safety railings so be careful.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Time Required: 2 hours

Parking: Here

Learn more here.

Helmcken Falls / Tamra Jaeger/Tourism Wells Gray
Helmcken Falls / Tamra Jaeger/Tourism Wells Gray

7. Rainbow Falls

Highlights: Wild and hidden! Only accessible by boat via Azure Lake. We recommend booking a tour with Clearwater Lake Tours. Not only do they take you to the waterfall but they provide expert guidance on the history of the area, as well as the local flora and fauna. Well worth the trip if you have an extra day to spend in Wells Gray.

Trail Conditions: Steep and slippery but guided

Difficulty Level: Difficult (just because of the boat tour required to access)

Time Required: Full day

Parking: Here

Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls │ Holly Louwerse

Learn more about these waterfalls and more by reading our ‘The 10+ Best Waterfalls in Wells Gray and on the way!’ story.

© 2024 Land of Hidden Waters. All Rights Reserved.

Handcrafted by Eco Escape Travel & BLKWTR.

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