Last weekend, we went to a family reunion in Clearwater, BC. Clearwater is a small town: it’s so small that it’s not even a town, but a “district municipality” about an hour and a half outside of Kamloops. What Clearwater lacks in size, it makes up for with beauty. It’s close to Wells Grey Provincial Park, which is just… Oh, wow. There are some places that show why our license plates say “Beautiful British Columbia” on them. Wells Grey Provincial Park is one of them.
When it was determined that our reunion was going to be in Clearwater, the first thing I did was look to see where it was. It was a six hour trip, which didn’t thrill me. The next thing I did was start looking for suitable accomodations. Then I started poking around to see what was in the area. (My mother-in-law’s side of the family is filled with golfers. I do not play golf. Ever. So when the family is doing their golf game, the husband and I try to find something else to be doing.) Whenever we go to a reunion that requires a trip, I try to find something that takes advantage of the scenery of Beautiful British Columbia. My husband is not exactly an avid outdoorsman, and the only shot I have of getting him to do something with me is if it’s something we won’t see at home.
I found out about Helmcken Falls. It’s the fourth highest falls in Canada, and it’s located in Wells Grey Park. Now that’s the kind of thing that defines Beautiful British Columbia. Since we were expecting a hike (and I wasn’t particularly interested in babywearing in that heat), we left the kids with the in-laws. (They had skipped golfing.)
The road was long and winding. It was actually around 40 clicks (25 miles) to the trail for the falls, and we weren’t sure how much of a hike it would be. Maybe a little over an hour if I’d read properly. Along the way, we crossed several bridges over canyons and the river that winds through the park. This spot was so lovely that several cars pulled over to the side to take pictures.
We stood around for a bit, feeling the mist of the water, listening to the roar of the rushing water, and just drinking in the beauty. I was so happy that I told the husband that if he really wanted to, we could skip the falls. I could be happy with this bit of beautiful British Columbia that he’d captured on his phone.
He said that we could press on. We finally got to the trailhead for Helmcken Falls and found that it was actually not a trail so much as an “interpretive tour.” (That’s what they call it when there are permanent signs giving information about the area.) It turned out that we’d gone to the viewing area, and it was only a short walk to the viewpoint.
This panorama is what we saw:
Helmcken Falls was just beautiful. The sound of the water roaring down the falls was best described as pure bliss. Here’s a better shot of just the waterfall:
I could have stayed and basked in the scenery of Beautiful British Columbia forever. If our reunion is in Clearwater again next year, I’d like to spend more time at Wells Grey and enjoy the hiking. And I’ll bring my camera instead of relying on an iPhone.
Have you ever seen any natural beauty that just overwhelmed you?