Our second day on the road saw us getting completely lost as we drove an hour up a winding gravel road that did not lead to the waterfalls we were seeking out, but rather a shambled campsite with a couple fisherman. Ah well.
We woke up with the sun – and also the piercingly loud trains running a few hundred metres from our campsite – to make our way out of Kamloops and up towards Wells Gray Provincial Park just outside of Clearwater. The park is well sign-posted at the roundabout in the centre of town and offers a number of pit stops and hikes and waterfalls that are well worth a day.
We ended our day in Mount Robson with the loveliest campsite right at the edge of a rushing clear blue river. Day 2 saw us driving 481km in 12 hours.
Mahood Trail, Wells Gray Provincial Park
We didn’t intend to drive this one, as it turned out to be an hour up and down a pothole-filled gravel road. The patrol we encountered on the way back down told us there were a few lovely waterfalls right where we had parked…which of course we hadn’t seen. We still enjoyed our lunch at the water’s edge, alone except for a fisherman and his dog.
Spahats Creek Falls, Wells Gray Provincial Park
Wells Gray turned out to be bursting with roadside pit stops, short hikes, and impressive waterfalls. We pulled into the first lot we saw and took a brief walk down to the massive Spahats Falls. It reminded me a bit of Brandywine – and I’m sure the locals know the secret way to the bottom.
Shaden Viewpoint, Wells Gray Provincial Park
Heading back out of the Spahats lot and onto the main road into the park, we came upon a viewpoint offering breathtaking views as far as the eye could see all across the park. It was one of those “everything the light touches” moments.
Helmcken Falls, Wells Gray Provincial Park
This one is insta-famous, so of course we had to make a stop. The water has carved a huge bowl out of the ground and it is simply massive. Head past the fence on the far right to get a bit of a risque walk on the cliffs edge.
Murtle River Bridge, Wells Gray Provincial Park
This single lane bridge tends to be full more of people than of cars. There’s a little shoulder where you can pull over and wander back down to the bridge to take in the spray and falls. A little gap in the trees allows the more adventurous souls to scramble down under to find the trolls that may be lurking below.
Dawson Falls, Wells Gray Provincial Park
Hands down one of the most impressive waterfalls I’ve seen, this one stretches wide across the river and cascades down in multi-tiered falls. There are a few hidden trails down to the edge of the falls, where one can feel quite small standing next to such a powerful feat of nature.
We pulled into the campground just past Valemount as the already-grey skies were getting darker. This campground was easily the nicest one we stayed at on the whole trip – our lot sat right on the waters edge and we awoke to clear glacial runoff.
*Including photos by Sam