Exploring BC’s Wells Gray Park – Pt. I

davidniddrie_wellsgray2015-3522Every year our extended family gathers for a week in the woods — camping, fishing, hiking, storytelling, swimming, making fires…all that good stuff. It’s the highlight of the summer. We’ve been exploring BC’s amazing Wells Gray Provincial Park for the last few outings, making a base camp at Mahood Lake and following footpaths to waterfalls and swimming holes in that immediate area. The lake is warm, the Rainbow Trout bite (and taste great on the fire!), the Barred Owls hoot and holler all night and the forest is perfect for exploration. Last year, we welcomed my folks with their new Westie and decided to see more of this grand park over the course of a week in August.

This time, we met at Clearwater Lake, our caravans coming in from Vancouver, Calgary and Canmore. With a couple sites setup for fireside chats, a hammock-village quickly established among the trees and we found the fish bite here very quickly, too! It was hot as usual, and while the water of Clearwater Lake is glacier-fed, it was easy to wade in and splash around – the kids chucking rocks while the adults got some casts in. Waterfalls right in the campground were a treat, but didn’t prepare us for the true highlights — Spahats Falls, Bailey’s Chute, Dawson Falls, the Mushbowl and the big one, Helmcken Falls. At 141 metres, this is Canada’s fourth highest waterfall. It didn’t disappoint, plunging into a huge bowl-shaped canyon far below.

This first batch of images features Clearwater Lake, followed by some images from the above-mentioned falls as we made our way back down from the Lake to the town of Clearwater along Wells Gray Road. The park was established in 1939 and covers more than 540,000 hectares. There is a LOT more to this park, including some supreme backcountry routes and even more waterfalls. In the next post, we’ll travel the forestry roads to Mahood Lake, Canim Falls and more.

Wells Gray Park, British Columbia, 2015.

<click the first image to view larger – recommended!>

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