Wells Gray Provincial Park is one of the largest provincial parks in British Columbia, Canada. It’s the home of many spectacular waterfalls, with wilderness and natural beauty everywhere. It’s rugged, remote, and little-known, making it very easy to get off the beaten path. Above is the 141 meter Helmcken Falls, the tallest and most famous in the park. It looks gorgeous, but too bad we can’t get closer (easily) to get a more majestic view. Can you imagine standing up near the bottom of this falls?
Ryan and I usually like to roam around free in the forest paths, but we were glad that this time we were accompanied by Gy Ovenden, wildlife lover and biologist, in Discover Wells Gray’s interpretive hiking tour.
First, we hiked to Moul Falls. Gy even led the group to a path behind the falls! In late summer, when the water flow is thinner, it’s possible to walk all the way behind the falls, where there’s a cave to explore, without getting too wet. As for early summer, especially after a lot of rain like this, the water flow is really high, so the group can’t go that far. But we are not disappointed at all, the waterfalls looked much more impressive this way!
Here’s Ryan soaking wet behind the falls.
Hiking to the falls was a lot of fun. But this journey is more than just visiting falls. Gy shared his knowledge on the nature and wildlife here with us. First, bear food. Soapberries. Ryan decided to try them, after being warned that they’re going to taste like ummhh… soap.
I chose to try the wild strawberries instead. They are tiny but delicious. Bears don’t really eat these because they’re not clumpy enough to make a rewarding eating experience.
They’re delicious, but I agree with the bears: too small and scarce to be satisfying. (We bought a pint of big sized strawberries at a farmer’s market the next day).
And yes, there are bears around, but they’re shy and not easy to spot. Here’s some claw marks on a tree, showing that a bear climbed here.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?) we didn’t see a wild bear that day. That’s has been my dream, to meet up with one not too far away.
We also visited Spahats Falls.
And Bailey’s Chute, a rather low waterfall but with great power because the water is forced to pass through a narrow channel. Here’s where the salmon’s long upstream journey end, as they are never able to climb up through the roaring water. I hope to go back during the salmon run to observe it.
Some other spots.
We had a great time in Wells Gray. Hopefully in the future, we can make time to take a campervan and really submerge ourselves in nature for a good long visit. Wells Gray is rugged, remote, and packed with interesting plant and wildlife. It would really reward an extended stay – our one day’s exploration was nowhere near enough.