Rearguard Falls & Chun T'oh Whudujut Ancient Forest

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands • Tags: waterfallsforestsstate parksold growthmossy treeslakesconservation success stories • Places: Rearguard Falls Provincial Park Ancient Forest/Chun T'oh Whudujut Provincial Park Purden Lake Provincial Park

I tried to sleep in, believe me, but the morning sun just didn't cooperate.

Take a tent with light-colored walls, add a 5 AM sunrise, and what you get are conditions where sleeping past 6 AM is a struggle. So, out of the tent I went.

This was the fourth of four consecutive nights' camping, and of course, the only one when it rained. I packed up my tent and laid in a course for the city of Prince George. But as I drove north, between the Rocky & Cariboo mountain ranges, I still had a few special stops to make.

So read on for old growth trees, a gorgeous lakefront picnic, and some salmon-stopping falls!

A Jaunt to Japser

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands • Tags: rocky mountainsnational parksJasper National Parkcanadian rockieslakeseaglessquirrels • Places: Jasper, AB Maligne Lake Maligne Canyon Lookout Valley of the Five Lakes

A bird poses on a directional sign.
A bird poses on a directional sign. open_in_full   info

My goals for the day were simple: visit Jasper National Park, and hike some trails. I visited the Canadian Rockies with my dad in 2018, after a memorable concert, and I figured it would be nice to try to visit spots that I didn't remember visiting back then. 😉

The Road to Robson

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands • Tags: waterfallslakesrocky mountainsState/Provincial ParksWells Gray Provincial ParkMt. Robson Provincial Park • Places: Green Mountain Overlook Moul Falls Triple Decker Falls Mt. Robson Visitor Center Lucerne Campground

It was Victoria Day. Canada's May Long Weekend was drawing to a close, and so too was my exploration of Wells Gray Provincial Park.

Every road into Wells Gray dead ends somewhere, so it was my opportunity to continue reversing my path, southwards from the Pyramid Campground towards the town of Clearwater. Along my route, I'd visit a few scenic spots and waterfalls that I passed up on my drive into town. And, I'd find lighting conditions far more friendly to good waterfall pictures than I had for most of the previous day.

After that, I planned to embark upon one more detour on my way to Haida Gwaii. In Wells Gray Provincial Park, I was looking at the Cariboo Mountains, a subrange of the Columbia Mountains. I was not amongst the more scenic and famous Canadian Rockies, but they were so close by that I couldn't help but head towards them as well.

So, I was taking my time, enjoying myself, and doing roughly four hours of driving around my stops.

My final destination for the day: the Lucerne Campground at Mt. Robson Provincial Park.

The Helmcken Falls Rim Trail (A Great Day's Conclusion)

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands • Tags: riverswaterfallsState/Provincial ParksWells Gray Provincial Parksunsets • Places: Helmcken Falls Rim Trailhead

I had already been seeing lots of waterfalls & walking lots of miles at Wells Grey. I was having a great day.

But every great day has an ending, a sunset marking the boundary between day and night.

And that was precisely when I was going to try to visit the Western Rim of Helmcken Falls.

Even though I heard it still had a bit of snow & ice...

Heed these warnings, for they are accurate
Heed these warnings, for they are accurate open_in_full   info

A Great Day at Wells Gray!

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Towards the Beautiful Islands • Tags: frogslakeswaterfallsriversrapidsState/Provincial Parksvolcanic rockWells Gray Provincial Park • Places: Spahats Creek Falls Helmcken Falls Bailey's Chute Chain Meadows Trailhead Dawson Falls Upper Viewpoint

After a lousy, loud night's sleep, I was glad to pack up my tent and leave the campground behind. Some of my neighbors were only then starting to sleep.

A glimpse of the Cariboo Mountains on my way from the Mahood Lake area to Clearwater, B.C. -- shot through my filthy windshield
A glimpse of the Cariboo Mountains on my way from the Mahood Lake area to Clearwater, B.C. -- shot through my filthy windshield open_in_full   info

I was even gladder when the dirt roads turned to pavement once more and I spied a much needed gas station in the town of Clearwater, B.C.

From there, I would head into the main, popular section of Wells Gray Provincial Park, home to many waterfalls, some of them among Canada's most iconic.

And from that moment onwards, my day became increasingly magical. Increasingly full of peace and solitude, geological marvels and marvelous frogs. I would soak up solitude, and I would love almost every minute of it.