Wells Gray Provincial Park

Tucked away in the coastal rainforest of British Columbia is one of the province’s hidden gems – Crystal Falls. Located in Wells Gray Provincial Park, Crystal Falls is a breathtaking series of waterfalls that cascade through a granite canyon lined with old-growth cedar and Douglas fir trees. The short hike to reach the falls leads to jaw-dropping views that make this natural wonder well worth exploring.

To access the trail to Crystal Falls, head north from Clearwater on Clearwater Valley Road for about 27 kilometers. The parking area and trailhead will be on your right. The trail begins by following Berman Creek, crossing two bridges before reaching the falls. The easy 1.2 kilometer hike should only take about 30 minutes round trip.

Upon first glimpse of Crystal Falls, you’ll see why it bears that name. The wide falls consists of a series of crystalline drops that reflect the green hues of the canyon. Massive slabs of granite lie under the translucent turquoise waters, their smooth surfaces worn over centuries of flowing water. The thundering yet soothing sounds of the falls echo off the canyon walls. On a sunny day, rainbows dance in the misty spray.

Though the falls are best viewed during the spring snowmelt from May to June, they remain spectacular throughout the summer. By July and August, the temperatures are warm and wildflowers bloom along the trail, though the falls may be reduced in volume. The autumn colors emerge in September and October, a stunning contrast against the steady flow of the falls.

While the falls themselves are mesmerizing, it’s worth taking in the ancient rainforest surrounding them. Massive western redcedar and Douglas firs tower all around, some over 600 years old. These gentle giants have stood for centuries, witnessing the constant flow of the falls. Moss-covered boulders and fallen logs dot the forest floor. Keep an eye out for wildlife like black bears, deer, and birdlife that inhabit the area.

After marveling at the views, enjoy a picnic in a clearing by the creek or just find a spot to sit and soak in the serenity of nature. For the more adventurous, there are additional hiking trails to explore in Wells Gray Provincial Park. But the spectacular beauty of Crystal Falls is reward enough, an oasis of cliffs and water in the heart of the coastal rainforest.

No words or photographs can quite capture the magnificence of Crystal Falls. Its crystalline waters cascading through the emerald canyon create an almost surreal scene of natural wonder. If you’re looking to be awestruck by one of British Columbia’s scenic highlights, plan a trip to discover the falls for yourself. The inspiring beauty will stay with you long after leaving Wells Gray Provincial Park.

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