Helmcken Falls in Wells Gray Park is a British Columbia must-see any time of the year. This region of BC has four seasons—in the spring and summer, you will experience the gorgeous, green scenery and warmth of the sun, in the fall you can see the gorgeous autumn leaves in bright oranges, reds, and yellows, and in the winter you’ll find a partially frozen waterfall but the powerful water does not stop flowing.
To reach Helmcken Falls, just follow the signs from Clearwater, BC, and if you’re fortunate, you may also see some Canadian wildlife on your drive. Depending on the time of day and year, you may see black bears, grizzly bears, moose, and deer. I don’t need to say this, but I will, that these are wild animals and can be dangerous if provoked. Years ago a friend visiting from another country approached a black bear cub with the hopes of taking a close-up photo. Needless to say, that is not a good idea as the mother is nearby…it’s best to use a telephoto lens! We still laugh about it today and he realizes now that it was not a smart move.
There are stops along the way for those who choose to hike into the Falls and different hiking distances. For those who choose not to experience a hike, you can park fairly close to the viewpoint and walk a short distance. This is also where tour buses park and can get a bit busy at certain times of the year.
Things to Do
For the adventurous, or those who want a longer wilderness experience, there are accommodations, campsites, and activities for all ages. Some adventures consist of whitewater rafting, mountain biking, canoeing, cross-country and downhill skiing, paragliding, horseback riding, and guided hiking tours, just to name a few.
There are 39 named waterfalls in Wells Gray Park (and many more yet to discover) so it looks like I have more adventuring to do!
Read more about Wells Gray Park and all it offers at wellsgray.ca