Hiking in Wells Gray Park & Clearwater
There are so many opportunities for hiking in Wells Gray Park and Clearwater. Options range from 40 min round trips to several days. Here are a few of our favourites; remember to drop by the Information Center for your FREE Park map:
Trophy Mountain Flower Meadows:
Taking road 80 (on the right side of the road after Spahats Falls), following the signs to Trophy Mountain Alpine Meadows for about 23 km until you arrive at the trail head. The trail will take you through old growth forest until you reach the alpine. The whole landscape opens revealing the alpine meadows with the backdrop of Trophy Mountain and Raft Mountain. Once in the meadows you can keep hiking towards Sheila Lake or head to summit Trophy Mountain. Please keep in mind that to summit Trophy will take the average hiker approximately 6 hours from the trail head one way. There are areas where hikers are exposed to steep drops. Prepare well and be cautious.
Wild Flowers: This is what hiking in Wells Gray is all about! There are two blooms during the year. The first is in early June, and it consists mostly of the yellow Glacier Lilly and the tiny white Spring Beauty. The Glacier Lilies are so plentiful that their colour overwhelms the entire landscape.
The second bloom occurs in August, and here you are treated to a full flush of colour. The most common flowers are the red Indian Paint Brush, the purple Lupin and Alpine Daisy. Spending a day in the meadows is a real treat.
The spectacular cascade of Silvertip Falls has a total height of 200 metres. Especially in high water, the creek swiftly flows over the edge and meets a protruding section of cliff that sends the water shooting into the air. To get to the trailhead, turn off of the Clearwater Valley Road just after Spahats Falls onto the road which is signed for Trophy Mountain. Follow this road until the intersection at 4.3km, where you will angle right on the road signed to the Falls. After only a short while, you will get your first view of Silvertip Falls through the trees. In a few hundred metres, you will see a road signed for Silvertip, just before a bridge which goes to the right. Park on the road here. The trail itself requires crossing several creeks, sometimes by walking on small log bridges which may be slippery. The first viewpoint is a 20 minute walk, and the second viewpoint requires a further 15 minutes.
What is so appealing about hiking in Wells Gray Park is the ability to connect with the surroundings. Moul Falls is a great example as you get really close to the base of the falls. It is also part of the “Waterfall Tour”, and makes a great hour and a half round trip hike. Approximately 21km along the Clearwater Valley Road, you will find the Moul Falls car park. Hiking through a cut block for the first 10 minutes, the path then re-enters Wells Gray Park and winds through Birch and Douglas Fir forest until a steep stair case leads to the base of the 70ft waterfall. Caution: Take care when near the falls, the rocks are slippery and the water powerful.
West Lake Loop:
Many rate the West Lake Loop their favourite short hiking trail in Wells Gray Park. The trail hugs the Clearwater River then loops around West Lake to rejoin the trail at Bailey’s Chute. In late August and Early September visitors can watch Chinook Salmon attempt to jump the impressive rapid. The trail is unique as it’s one of the few trails that hugs the Clearwater River, exposing pebble beaches, rocky outcrops and some of the Oldest Growth Forests in Wells Gray Park.
Ray Farm Loop:
Ray Farm was one of the first homesteads in the area. Settled by John Ray and his wife Alice, the couple raised their family there until 1942. The remnants of the house are still visible, and it’s a fantastic place to visit to spot wildlife early in the morning or at dusk.
You can also find maps of hiking in Wells Gray Park at BC Parks
If you truly wish to experience the very best of Wells Gray Park signing up to one of our outfitters is the best way to go.
Wells Gray Adventures: From one day to seven day hut-to-hut hiking trips. Food, guides, equipment all included. There are family orientated trips, great for kids for a truly remarkable summer holiday experience.
Discover Wells Gray: If you want to learn about the fauna, flora and history of Wells Gray Park and only have a day to spare. Tours are half day or full day trips!