Chasing Waterfalls While Camping At Wells Gray Provincial Park

This summer has become a summer full of camping trips and outdoor adventures, including our latest camping adventure to Wells Gray Provincial Park. I thought this summer would pale in comparison to what it was meant to be, after cancelling so many travel plans. After some fabulous adventures, day trips, road trips and camping, we can safely say that exploring more of our own backyard this summer really has not been bad, at all. In fact, this summer has really shown us how blessed we are to call British Columbia home. Guys, BC is freaking incredible.

The main attraction that gravitated us towards Wells Gray Provincial Park is the amount of waterfalls. The most well-known is Helmcken Falls,  a 141 m (463 ft) waterfall; it is a beauty! Our favourite was Moul Falls, where you can slip between the canyon and the falls for a refreshing mist — you’ll get soaked!  There was so much to see with Wells Gray boasting a named 41 waterfalls, that we would need another trip or two in order to take it all in. Wells Gray Provincial Park was glorious!

The Clearwater Lake campground was nice and quiet, had a great view of the stars in the middle of the night, and had a great lake for a swim. There wasn’t much beach area to play in at Clearwater Lake, but the kids loved jumping off the dock and though the water was cold, the kids sure did not seem to mind.

It seriously feels so good to sit around a camp fire, laughing with the kids, as we roast marshmallows and make a variety of delicious s’mores, or putting on a small light and huddling together in the tent for a story before bedtime. Life lived outdoors is the best life.

Take a look at all the fun and stunning scenery:

A long dirt road at Wells Gray Provincial park
Up the service road to the campground
Aerial views of mountain, trees, a river and dirt road at Wells Gray Provincial park
The views are always so pretty from service roads
An aerial view of Wells Gray Provincial park
It is a bumpy ride, but the views are spectacular
An aerial view of a dirt road at Wells Gray Provincial park
Up the service road to the campground
Scenery at Wells Gray Provincial park
Rushing river by the campground – it looks a lot more calm here than it was!
Scenery at Wells Gray Provincial park
It was so nice to listen to the rushing river as we slept, but it was not somewhere you would want to try to go for a swim. If you look into the distance of this photo, you may be able to see where the water gets rough. If you continue up the service road past the campsite entrance, in a few minutes you will find yourself in the parking area for Clearwater Lake.
Rushing river at Wells Gray Provincial park
Bailey’s Chute
Mushbowl at Wells Gray Provincial park
Mushbowl — Just downstream from Dawson Falls, watch the Murtle River split in two. Pull over after crossing the one-lane wooden bridge that straddles the river to get a closer look; 40 kms up the Clearwater Valley Road.
Kids smiling on a dock at Clearwater Lake at Wells Gray Provincial park
The kids were living their best lives jumping off the dock into the cold, cold water.
Kids smiling and colouring, camping at Wells Gray Provincial park
Keeping busy at the campsite. Colouring and drawing is a big deal around here.
Father and son roasting a hot dog over a campfire
We love roasting hotdogs and marshmallows. Everything tastes better when it is made over a campfire.

Kids roasting hotdogs while camping at Wells Gray Provincial park

Family roasting hot dogs while camping at Wells Gray Provincial park
Such fabulous memories made with each camping trip

Kids roasting hot dogs while camping at Wells Gray Provincial park

Everything you need for s'mores
You can never have too many s’mores. Amiright?

Kid picking what they want for their s'mores

A yummy s'more made with a Caramilk bar

A young girl enjoying a s'more while camping

A young girl enjoying a s'more while camping at Wells Gray Provincial park

A little boy eating a s'more at Wells Gray Provincial park

Happy sisters in a tent at Wells Gray Provincial park
So many special memories playing in the tent
Happy baby camping in a tent at Wells Gray Provincial park
Olivia is such a happy camper

Roasting marshmallows over a campfire at Wells Gray Provincial park

A campfire at Wells Gray Provincial park
Nothing like a good campfire after dark
A starry sky at Wells Gray Provincial park
We woke up at 1am to see the night sky, two nights. Madison asked to get up the second night to see, after showing her some photos from the night before.

A starry sky at Wells Gray Provincial park

Green Mountain Lookout at Wells Gray Provincial park
Green Mountain Lookout – We did not find this lookout too impressive. Pretty views, but something we could have skipped after all the other hiking we did.
Views from Green Mountain Lookout at Wells Gray Provincial park
Green Mountain Lookout view
Views from Green Mountain Lookout at Wells Gray Provincial park
Pretty scenery from the Green Mountain Lookout
Views from Green Mountain Lookout at Wells Gray Provincial park
A view from Green Mountain Lookout
Views hiking Trophy Mountain at Wells Gray Provincial park
Hiking Trophy Mountain — we were too late for the first wildflower bloom and a couple weeks early for the second bloom. The scenery was still stunning though, so it was worth the hike for views like these!
Spahats Creek Falls at Wells Gray Provincial park
Spahats Creek Falls – The first waterfall we stopped at. It is an easy five-minute wander to the viewing platform. You’ll find the falls cascading from a keyhole in the rock face, 80 metres above the Clearwater River.
Moul Falls at Wells Gray Provincial park
Moul Falls – You can really feel the mist off of this one! You’re also able to climb behind the falls — you get soaked,but it was SO cool!
Helmcken Falls aerial view at Wells Gray Provincial park
Cascading 141m to the canyon below, Helmcken Falls is the fourth largest waterfall in Canada. You can access it just a short walk from the parking lot too!
Dawson Falls at Wells Gray Provincial park
Dawson Falls stretches 90 m (295 ft) across ancient lava beds. There are two different viewpoints.

There are still so many waterfalls left for us to discover and so much backroad beauty to explore. I can totally see us going back again to Wells Gray Provincial Park to experience more of the beauty that is waiting around every corner.

Stop in at the visitor center in Clearwater before you head into Wells Gray. You will pass by it at the roundabout where Clearwater Valley Road leaves Highway 5. Their staff is very knowledgeable and a detailed park map will help you better plan your adventure.

Where To Stay

We stayed at the Clearwater Lake campground. It was a quiet campground and a short drive from our campsite to Clearwater Lake. There were also two other campgrounds: Falls Creek and Pyramid. Clearwater Lake had some river-view campsites and you could hear the rushing water all night; it was amazing to fall asleep and wake up to. You can make your reservation using BC’s Discover Camping website.

There are also several RV parks and lodges just outside the main entrance to Wells Gray. Plus, there are some great options on airbnb if that is more your style!

How To Get There

Clearwater, BC is a five hour drive from Vancouver. We started out on Highway 1, and then took the Coquihalla (Highway 5) to Kamloops, and continued on north to Clearwater.

Note: If you’re staying at Clearwater Lake campground, expect it to take an extra hour and a half  to get to your campsite once you are in Clearwater. Don’t say that we did not warn you about how HUGE Wells Gray Provincial Park is!

 

 

What are some great memories you have camping with family growing up?