There’s something about the continuous stream of rushing water tumbling over the edge, cascading across rocks and plunging into a canyon below that make waterfalls an incredible sight to see. With acres of temperate rainforest, tons of glacier-fed rushing water and mountains aplenty, British Columbia features an impressive list of must-see waterfalls. We’ve rounded up a list of our 7 favourite waterfalls in British Columbia to explore this summer, all with easy accessibility.
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Located in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, just a 30 minute drive from Golden lies the largest waterfall on the Kicking Horse River – Wapta Falls. From the parking lot, it’s only a short 2.3km hike to the top of the falls, making it a great day trip for the whole family. Wander through pine trees while following the sounds of rushing water and you’ll soon arrive at the top. Enjoy the breathtaking bird’s eye view of Wapta Falls set against a jagged Ottertail Range backdrop. If you have a little more time, the trail to the bottom of the falls offers a completely different perspective. And, if the water is low enough, you can stand on the rocks below and feel that cool water spray – the perfect way to refresh after your hike.
Located in Mission, British Columbia, Cascade Falls is popular waterfall among Vancouver locals looking to escape the city. The falls are an easy 0.75km hike to access, so you only need about 30 minutes for the roundtrip. From the parking lot, walk towards the metal gate by the hill and you’ll discover a trail that begins on the right. Follow the trail and then climb the stairs to reach the suspension bridge. The waterfall is best viewed from this suspension bridge, as you can watch the water rapidly descend 30 metres into the canyon below. Across the bridge, there is a wooden platform, which allows you to get even closer to the waterfall and feel the fresh mist on your face.
Helmcken Falls is the fourth largest waterfall in Canada and protecting its natural beauty was a huge factor in creating Wells Gray Provincial Park, British Columbia in 1939. There are two ways to view the falls: up close via an 8km round trip hike (Helmcken Falls Rim Trail) or from the viewing platform that you can drive to and park. The viewing platform offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the 141 metre Helmcken Falls, fed from Murtle River, dropping into the canyon below.
Alexander Falls is located just 40 minutes south of Whistler in the Callaghan Valley, British Columbia. Tumbling over from Madelay Creek, this impressive 43 metre waterfall descends over three sections and can get as wide as 12 metres in some places. Alexander Falls is easily accessible via car and the viewing platform is conveniently located right next to the parking lot, so no hiking is necessary. Instead, enjoy lunch with a view at the nearby picnic benches. If you’re lucky, you might get to experience Alexander Falls without the crowds, as this waterfall is a relatively well-kept secret of the area!
Located in Yoho National Park 17km north east of Field, British Columbia lies the majestic Takakkaw Falls. Standing 302 metres high, the glacier-fed water thunders powerfully into the rocks below. Whether you’re watching from afar (you can see the waterfall from the drive in) or up-close-and-personal, this waterfall will leave you awestruck. As soon as you step out of your car, you will hear Takakkaw Falls roaring in the distance. From the parking lot, there is a well-signed, easy 30 minute trail to the base of the falls. For more adventurous hikers, the 13km Iceline Trail day hike offers incredible views of numerous glaciers, waterfalls and breathtaking mountain peaks.
Located adjacent to BC Highway 99 between Whistler and Squamish, Brandywine Falls is perfect for those travelling the sea-to-sky highway looking for a short pit stop to break up the drive. The hike to the waterfalls is an easy 1km round trip. From the parking lot, the trail begins at a wooden bridge. Cross the bridge, and take a right turn over some train tracks where you’ll reach the viewing platform. The viewing platform provides beautiful views of the 70 metre waterfall, Daisy Lake and the surrounding mountains.
Bridal Veil Falls
Just an hour and a half drive from Vancouver, Bridal Veil Falls is one of the more popular waterfalls in coastal British Columbia. The falls are easily accessible – from the parking lot, it is only a short 15 minute walk through temperate rainforest to the viewing platform. The viewing platform is at the base of the falls, so you can truly stand in awe of this magnificent tumbling waterfall. Bridal Veil Falls gets its name from the ‘veil like’ effect that comes from the water cascading 60 metres over the smooth rock. There is a great day-use area too, perfect for picnicking, hiking and taking in nature.
PLANNING A SUMMER ROAD TRIP?
Make sure that some of these waterfalls are on your route so that you can really explore the natural wonders British Columbia has to offer. We have a great selection of accommodations all over BC to suit every travellers needs. Call our Destination Experts who can help you find your ideal BC getaway. They can be reached at 1.877.902.1616, 7 days a week! Alternatively, check out our wide selection of vacation rentals online.