Exploring the Waterfalls of Wells Gray

Helmcken Falls

Helmcken Falls

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?

Deer in Wells Gray

Lots of deer around the park

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!

Going behind the Moul Falls

Going behind Moul Falls

Here’s Ryan soaking wet behind the falls.

Ryan behind Moul Falls

Ryan 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.


Soapberry, bears like it. Ryan does too, it seems.

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.

Wild strawberry

Wild strawberries

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.

Bear claw marking on a tree

Bear claw marks on a tree

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.

Some flowers:

Some wild flowers of Wells Gray

Some flowers of Wells Gray

Pink flowers

Pink flowers

We also visited Spahats Falls.

Spahats Falls

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.

Baileys Chute

Bailey’s Chute

Some other spots.

A swamp in Wells Gray

Spotting small creatures in the wetland

A raven

A raven

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.

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7 Responses to “Exploring the Waterfalls of Wells Gray”

  1. Leigh
    12 July 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    We’re heading to Wells Gray in a few weeks – for some kayaking on the Murtle Lakes plus we’ll do a one day rafting trip with Interior Whitewater Expeditions – then off to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park to explore for another week. I’m hoping to see those Helmcken Falls too and would be very happy not to see a bear when we’re camping!
    Leigh´s last post…Kayaking Majestic Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park

  2. Gy
    15 July 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Thanks for sharing guys. You took some great photos – the flowers are (clockwise from top left) Columbia lily, Twinflower, Indian Paintbrush and Spiarea. Happy and safe travelling.

  3. Carl Watson
    25 July 2012 at 3:58 am #

    Wow, I am speechless. Amazing place and amazing pictures that you have posted in this article. Spahats falls looks like to a fascinating place to me. I will definitely someday will go their.
    Carl Watson´s last post…Are Bats Sharing Your House With You?

  4. Daniel
    28 January 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    I like the picture of the Raven ;-)

  5. Andy
    12 May 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    amazing waterfall, and the environment is very beautiful. I wish I can visit this place someday

  6. Escape Hunter
    7 April 2014 at 7:30 am #

    Just make sure you wear protective gear, so that you don’t soak up the cold water. It must be almost like having a shower!

  7. Muhammad Abdullah
    9 October 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    your post reminded me of Niagara Falls, also in Canada, Ahhh! GOD i want to go there! Thanks for sharing!

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