Finding some of the best waterfalls in BC is definitely worth the adventure. There is nothing better than getting out into the wilderness to enjoy the breathtaking natural surroundings of spectacular BC. Experience the stillness of the forest and hear the soothing sounds of rushing water tumbling down the mountainside as it carves its pathway through volcanic lava rock or limestone.
Here is our list of 15 of the best waterfalls in BC that are easily accessible by a short, relatively easy hike or has a viewpoint near a road. Always check on current trail conditions before planning your visit. There are actually 20 waterfalls on this list. I did not want you to miss out on another waterfall that might be close to the same area.
Nairn Falls Provincial Park is 25 minutes north of Whistler on Highway 99. From the parking lot follow the 1.5 km trail to the view the 40-metre-high falls. Watch your footing as there are many steep banks above the fast flowing Green River. The trail has lots of raised tree roots. Hike through western red cedar, western hemlock, paper birch and coastal Douglas-fir. Watch for western flowering dogwood during bloom time in April and May, BC’s official flower emblem.
The area is rich in geological history as it transitioned from a seashore to a mountainous area. Water, glaciers and volcanic islands have formed the land through the ages. At the falls look for pothole erosion made by rushing waters moving in a circular motion.
Learn more about the top things to see along one of the most scenic roads in North America, the Sea-to-Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler. Remember to subscribe so you won’t miss the next article. Get the latest travel tips and learn about destinations from near and far or ask a question.
Alexander Falls is located just south of Whistler on Callaghan Valley Road not far from Whistler Olympic Park. The 43-metre-high waterfall can be easily seen from the viewing area.
Take a short walk along the trail to the falls viewpoint to see the spectacular 70-metre-high Brandywine Falls. The park was formed after a volcano erupted more than 13,000 years ago. The falls are located 114 kms north of Vancouver and 17 kms south of Whistler.
Shannon Falls is the third highest waterfall in British Columbia. The impressive falls drop 335 meters. Located 59.3 kms north of Vancouver the drive to Shannon Falls Provincial Park takes about 50 mins on the spectacular Sea-to-Sky Highway BC-99 on the route to Whistler.
Take the short trail through the forest along the river to the falls from the parking lot. This is always a favourite picnic stop. The park is open year-round, but use extra caution on wet days as the trails and other surface can be extremely slippery.
Carling O’Keefe Brewery owned the area in 1976 and used the mountain water to make its beer. The land was later donated to BC Parks in 1982. Find out more about the park.
Englishman River Falls
Take a hike through lushly forested area of Douglas fir trees to discover two waterfalls at Englishman River Falls Provincial Park. One of the waterfalls drops down into the narrowest BC canyon related to a waterfall. Mist from the waterfall provides a perfect spot for maidenhair ferns to thrive. Download a map of the park. The park is located about 20 minutes from Parksville on Vancouver Island.
Little Qualicum Falls
Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park has many short easy hikes through the old growth Douglas fir forest to view the upper and lower falls, as well as the river. Download a park map.The park is located about 25 minutes from Parksville on Vancouver Island on the road to Pacific Rim National Park.
Lower Myra Falls
Lower Myra Falls is located in Strathcona Provincial Park and is more than a 3 1/2 hour drive north of Nanaimo. The trail to reach the falls is just over a 1 km but has some very steep sections and caution is advised. The water cascades over limestone and basalt rocks.
While in the area check out two other waterfalls. Lupine Falls and Lady Falls are both close to the road and about a 20-minute walk each to the viewing platform.
Helmcken Falls is Canada’s fourth largest waterfall and one of the highest in BC. The rushing waters tumble 141 metres into the canyon below. These falls are close to the road and located in Wells Gray Provincial Park.
Wells Gray Provincial Park has 41 named waterfalls.
Spahats Falls flows through layers of volcanic rock and plunges 80 metres into Clearwater River. Stunning views of the falls are accessed by a short walk to the viewing platform. The falls are located in Wells Gray Provincial Park. To get there take Highway 5, 10 kms north of Clearwater and then take Clearwater Valley Road. Stop at the Wells Gray Information Centre for more information.
This rushing waterfall is 90-metres-wide flowing over ancient lava beds. Dawson Falls are easily accessible after following a trail for about 10 minutes. The trail is just off Clearwater Valley Road in Well Gray Provincial Park.
Moul Falls is further off the road and you need to hike in about one hour. It is 6 kms roundtrip. Check at the visitors centre to make sure about the changing conditions on the trail and regarding access behind the waterfall. Last year you were able to go behind the falls as you can see from the the photo below. Moul Falls is in Wells Gray Provincial Park. See map above.
There are actually three beautiful waterfalls in this area, Canim, Mahood and Deception. The falls are located in Wells Gray Provincial Park and can be found on short 30 minute trails off of Mahood Lake Road, between Clearwater and 100 Mile House.
Twin Falls is on a short 45 minute loop trail in Lynn Canyon Park. The route takes you through the rainforest, over the suspension bridge and Twin Falls Bridge. Lynn Canyon Park is located in North Vancouver. Find out more about other trails in the park.
Bridal Veil Falls
Delicate cascading Bridal Veil Falls tumbles down 60-metres. Walk through a forest of western red cedar, western hemlock and broadleaf maple. Many of the trees have thick moss dripping from their branches. The forest floor is covered with ferns. Listen for songbirds. The park is located just east of Chilliwack and about 117 kms from Vancouver. Find out more about Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park.
Cascades Falls, Mission
Cascades Falls is 30-metres-high and is accessed by a 1 km trail. The falls are found in Cascade Falls Regional Park is located 90.2 kms from Vancouver in Deroche.
Takakkaw Falls is one of the highest falls in Canada rushing 384 metres to the canyon floor below. The falls are located in Yoho National Park. Take the scenic Yoho Valley Road turnoff 3.5 kms east of Field. It is a 13-km drive to falls. Be sure to stop at Spiral Tunnels viewpoint. Download a map of Yoho National Park. Check for seasonal road closures. The road can open late in the season due to the high elevation.
If you have a favourite waterfall please comment below or list any others that should not be missed. British Columbia is as a wealth of beautiful waterfalls to explore.
We are working on producing other guides to waterfalls on Vancouver Island and other areas of BC, as well as across Canada. We are happy to add your favourites. Remember to subscribe so you won’t miss the next article. Get the latest travel tips and learn about destinations from near and far or ask a question. If you have a photo you have taken of a waterfall please send it to me along with details through email to:
Brian R. says Bergeron Falls outside Tumbler Ridge is a grueling hike but well worth the pay-off. It is a 8.8 km moderate hike to reach the falls taking about 3-4 hours. The falls are one of the highest in Canada and drop 100 metres.
Marlene Z. likes Elk Falls near Campbell River, the “Salmon Capital of the World.” The falls are accessed by an easy 800 metre walk to the suspension bridge and viewing area.
Wayne L. recommends Elk Falls as well.
John N. suggests Kinuseo Falls near Tumbler Ridge and Sikanni Chief Falls just off the Alaska Highway. The 70-metre-high Kinuseco Falls is in Monkman Provincial Park. You can drive to the viewpoints or take a jet boat trip.
Sikanni Chief Falls cascades 40 metres. To access these falls you need a 4×4 to drive 15 kms west along the gravel/dirt petroleum road. The 1.5 km trail to the viewpoint is well marked.
William D. suggests Della Falls in Strathcona Provincial Park. The hike to the falls is about 16.6 kms. Della Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the world. It tumbles 440 metres.
Linda H. likes Nymph Falls near Comox is in Nymph Falls Nature Park. It is easy to get to following a 1/2 km walk.
Looking for more incredible adventures of a lifetime in BC? Be sure to check out these articles to help start planning your trip:
– Road Trip – Top things to do driving from Victoria to Pacific Rim National Park
– Discover some of the best prehistoric rock carvings found in BC
– Explore the Sea-to-Sky Highway, one of the most scenic drives in North America
– BC Travel Guide: 21-day road trip Part 1 – Vancouver, Jasper, Banff and Okanagan wine country
– BC Travel Guide: 21-day road trip Part 2 – Vancouver, Jasper, Banff and Okanagan wine country
– Top 10 things to see and do in Victoria, BC – a city guide