Moul Falls, British Columbia

Moul Falls in August 2010

I’m sure there are a number of more isolated waterfalls in Wells Gray Provincial Park, but of the most widely known falls near Clearwater Valley Road, Moul Falls might take the most effort to get to. Compared to Helmcken, Dawson, or Spahats Creek Falls, you do actually have to hike to get to the falls. It’s an almost 4 mile round-trip hike.

I don’t remember it being a difficult hike (which I usually remember if I suffered!). The bear signs at the beginning of the hike did freak me out for a second, but there were a number of other people on the trail, that I would have been surprised to see any bears. I do remember that as you get very close to your destination, you will have to climb down some rickety-looking stairs to get to the base, but it’s well worth it for the final view.

When I showed up, it was very sunny, so the falls were very bright. The spray from the falls created a rainbow near the base, but when I tried to capture it in the photograph, the falls became extremely bright. I think there’s a mild hint of the rainbow in this picture. It was really an enjoyable hike, and it is nice to be able to get closer to this waterfall than the others in the park.

Directions:

  1. From Clearwater, head north on Clearwater Valley Road for 13 miles.
  2. On your left, you will see the parking area for Moul Falls.  The parking areas not huge, but there’s probably enough room except on the busiest of days.  From there, follow the trail to the falls.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Height: 115′
Length of Hike: 3.6 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Moul Falls?

The Mushbowl, British Columbia

Well, the Mushbowl at least goes down as having one of the more interesting names for a waterfall. As with many of the other more popular waterfalls in Wells Gray Provincial Park, it’s also really easy to view. It’s very obvious from certain viewpoints and even as your crossing over the bridge just feet from the falls. It’s just not anywhere near as large as Helmcken or Dawson Falls. So it probably doesn’t get paid as much attention.

It’s still a pretty waterfall, and it other places, it would probably rank higher. Its redeeming quality is that it is so easily accessible. It’s pretty impressive at high flows too, and even in late August it was still flowing intensely. Stop by and visit it just because you can without much effort.

Directions:

  1. From Clearwater, head north on Clearwater Valley Road for about 40 km/25 miles to the parking area for Dawson Falls. Along the way, you will have passed parking areas for Spahat’s Creek Falls and Moul Falls. Once you reach the bridge over the Mushbowl, pass over the bridge and park on your right. That’s where the most “parking” seems to be available. I found it easier to stop on the way back, as you’ll pass by it again after visiting Helmcken Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: roadside

The Mushbowl in August 2010

Where in the World is the Mushbowl?

Spahats Creek Falls, British Columbia

Spahats Creek Falls in August 2010

Spahats Creek Falls is an impressive waterfall in Wells Gray Provincial Park.  Though not as tall as Helmcken Falls or as wide as Dawson Falls, it keeps up with its relatives. Spahat Creek has eroded a significant portion of the rock above the crest of the falls. It then plunges over 200 feet to the bottom of the gorge below. It’s a geologically impressive place. Even more impressive are the trees growing on the side of the canyon.

Photographing the falls can be rather difficult. I’m a traveler who doesn’t always have the ability to show up at a waterfall only in the morning or in the evening (at least not without sacrificing time). Those are the best times of the day to photograph Spahats Falls, so you’ll likely have to deal with the sun. If you can get the right angle, you’ll be able to limit the effects of the sun. You’ll also have to walk along the paths at the edges of the cliffs to get various shots. You might be able to get the whole falls, but the sunlight was too intense at that specific angle.

Directions:

  1. From Clearwater, head north on Clearwater Valley Road for 10 km (6 miles).
  2. On the left, there will be the parking area for Spahats Creek Falls.  It’s pretty clearly marked.  Park here and head to the falls, a short distance away.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 240′
Length of Hike: 0.3 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Spahats Creek Falls?

Helmcken Falls, British Columbia

Helmcken

Helmcken Falls in August 2010

My gosh, is Helmcken Falls cool. At 463′ tall, it’s nowhere near the tallest waterfall. And yet, I find that Helmcken Falls is an extremely impressive waterfall. There is something truly amazing about it.

First, the flow of this falls is very strong, and that was visiting in August. I can only imagine the flow in May or early June. Second, the geology here is truly cool. The rock walls behind the falls only enhance the beauty. As I was standing there, I realized that there were extremely sharp drops. Even at the viewpoint I was standing at, you have to be very careful. It’s hard to explain Helmcken Falls in a way that appropriately creates the amazing picture that you see in front of you, so just go and check it out!

To check it out, there are different viewpoints. One of them is the viewpoint I was standing at, which is pretty far from the crest of the falls, but leads to impressive views nonetheless. You can walk along the trail closer to the crest, and some people seem to suggest it’s even cooler.

Directions:

  1. From Clearwater, head north on Clearwater Valley Road for about 40 km/25 miles to the parking area for Dawson Falls. Along the way, you will have passed parking areas for Spahats Creek Falls and Moul Falls.  Once you reach the bridge over the Mushbowl, keep going to the parking area for Helmcken Falls.  From there it’s a short walk to the viewing area.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 463′
Length of Hike: N/A (very short)

Where in the World is Helmcken Falls?

Dawson Falls, British Columbia

In the Wells Gray Provincial Park area, there are a number of tall waterfalls. None of them are considerably wide. Dawson Falls is the opposite. While over 60′ tall, it’s much wider than the other falls, such as Helmcken or Spahats Creek Falls.

Dawson Falls is a very easy falls to visit, though I remember it being less than simple to find the best viewpoint for the falls. I think the viewpoint that is closest to the falls is not the viewpoint, if I remember correctly. I found that the viewpoint nearest the parking lot actually allowed for better pictures of the whole falls.

Directions:

  1. From Clearwater, head north on Clearwater Valley Road for about 40 km/25 miles to the parking area for Dawson Falls. Along the way, you will have passed parking areas for Spahat’s Creek Falls and Moul Falls. If you reach the bridge over the Mushbowl, you’ve gone to far, though you’ll be able to re-encounter Dawson Falls on the return drive.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 66′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

DSC_3263

Dawson Falls in August 2010

Where in the World is Dawson Falls?