In our line of work waterfalling (hiking, canoeing, backpacking to waterfalls) is one of the most satisfying sightseeing adventures in our repertoire of research.
There is something special about a waterfall. The feeling one gets after visiting a waterfall is very therapeutic mentally and physically. The combination of rivers crashing over cliffs falling into pools of water; the cloud of mist hanging in the air; the ground covered in a wet sheen making trails, viewpoints rainforest wet – it is all therapeutic.
In Canada we have many famous waterfalls. These are the same waterfalls which grab all the press and media spotlight like Niagara Falls in Ontario, and the Montmorency Falls in Quebec City, Quebec and Shannon Falls in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. They are beautiful falls and deserve much of the press but they also attract big crowds. What if we shared with you some magnificent waterfalls you can enjoy all by yourself at the best of times?
There are many spectacular waterfalls which get little media attention in Canada and are often viewed without a single soul in sight. The reason for their privacy and lack of crowds is that they may be harder to access or they are located off the main roads or the communities do not do a very good job at marketing their natural sightseeing attractions.
Yes, there are many waterfalls in Canada which you can enjoy all by yourself for hours on end. They may not all be big but the surrounding scenery of cliffs, forests & wildlife more than makes up for it. The journey is sometimes just as satisfying as the destination. Some waterfalls involve hiking, backpacking and/or canoeing and boating.
Here is a list of our TOP 10 Waterfalls You Do Not Hear About in Western and Northern Canada:
Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, Canada : Kinuseo Falls : Kinuseo Falls is a 60 metre high waterfall situated on the Murray River in the Hart Ranges of the Rocky Mountains in the Monkman Provincial Park. The park is located 65 kilometres south of the community of Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, Canada. Tumbler Ridge enjoys over 8 waterfall hiking trails and could easily go by the name the “Waterfall Capital of Canada.” There is an upper and lower viewing deck located at the end of a short hiking trail. The falls are thunderous and massive in size. One lookout looks down the throat of the falls.
Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada : Little Qualicum Falls : High above the Qualicum River, in the Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park, is a boardwalk pathway with a series of steps and bridges leading to waterfall viewing decks in the trees. The viewing platforms provide views of the lower and upper falls. From the bridge viewpoints one can see the waterfalls and the powerful currents throwing fallen trees and large boulders over cascading falls. There are over 6 kilometres of walking trails throughout the 440 hectare Little Qualicum Falls Park.
Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada : Della Falls : A 16 kilometre one-way backpacking trail accessed via canoeing (or boating) across the 45 km long Great Central Lake leads to Della Falls. On the far side of the wilderness lake is the trail leading to Canada’s highest waterfall measuring at 440 metres (1443 feet). The adventure can take anywhere from 4 – 8 days.
Northwest Territories, Canada : Twin Falls : The Waterfall Highway is a smorgasbord of waterfalls, one after another. The first waterfall park is called the Twin Falls Gorge Territorial Park. It is located at the kilometre 72 (mile 45). There is a 2 kilometre boardwalk path connecting to two large waterfalls – the Alexandra Waterfall and the Louise Waterfall. There are viewing decks and opportunities to walk to the top of both falls.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada : Cameron Falls : The Cameron Falls Trail is a year round hiking trail leading to a waterfall and suspension bridge in the Hidden Lakes Territorial Park. A 1.2 kilometre return hiking trail leads you to a lookout overlooking a 17 metre waterfall, river and canyon.
Waterton, Alberta, Canada : Cameron Falls : Located in the Waterton Lakes National Park – the falls require no hiking and are easily accessible. Cameron Falls is one of the most visited natural attractions in the park and one of the most photographed, yet is relative unknown. Next to the Cameron Falls is a trailhead entrance to the Carthew-Alderson Trail. Explore up the trail a few hundred metres and there are some good vantage points of the upper falls.
Jasper, Alberta, Canada : Athabasca Falls : The Athabasca Falls is a sightseeing hiking destination leading to a viewpoint over looking the waterfall measuring 23 metres. The falls are not known for their height but are best known for being very powerful, frothing with white water. The main trail from the parking lot leading to the lookout of the falls is paved, wheelchair friendly and short.
Smithers, British Columbia, Canada : Twin Falls : The Twin Falls attracts people of all ages to the area every year so they can get a glimpse of the side-by-side waterfalls. Yes, there are two waterfalls cascading over rock bluffs and crashing to the ground. All in plain sight from the viewing platform located at the end of a very short trail. The trail, although short, is uphill and can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to reach the platform.
Kaslo, British Columbia, Canada : Fletcher Falls : Located on the shores of Kootenay Lake. The highlights of the Fletcher Falls is the small, but powerful waterfall, a fine elongated sandy beach and a wilderness hiking trail. Fletcher Falls is best known as a marine wilderness campground site created for boaters and canoers who are exploring on Kootenay Lake. The recreation trail leading to the 50 foot waterfall is an easy grade, downhill trail following along an old access road and then onto a single track hiking trail. It is considered an easy hike downhill following alongside a creek leading to the falls.
100 Mile House, British Columbia, Canada : Canim – Mahood Waterfall : The hiking trail is a short, leisurely 1 kilometre hike along a very well maintained wheelchair access hiking trail leading to two, yes two, spectacular waterfalls. The easy grade hiking trail begins near Canim Lake just down from Wells Gray Provincial Park located east of the community of 100 Mile House. From the trailhead it is a short 0.5 kilometre hike to the first falls – Mahood Falls – which is a 15 metre (49 feet) waterfall . Continue hiking along the same trail for a few more hundred metres and you will come across another fenced lookout area overlooking Canim Falls which is a 20 metre (66 feet) waterfall.
How many have you visited?