Located at the confluence of the Clearwater and North Thompson rivers, Clearwater, BC is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the North Thompson River valley. Situated over 130km north of Kamloops, Clearwater is ringed by the Trophy Mountains, amid rushing rivers and lush wildlife. With a plethora of wilderness adventures, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Clearwater, BC

How Big is Clearwater, BC?

Clearwater, BC is a small town with just over 3,000 residents. Less crowded than popular destinations like Kelowna and Kamloops, Clearwater is a great spot to check out if you want to experience the nature of British Columbia. 

Visiting the Waterfalls of Wells Gray Provincial Park

One of the most popular attractions in the region is Wells Gray Provincial Park and the Clearwater, BC waterfalls. The only inland, temperate rainforest in the world, Wells Gray Provincial Park is home to over named 40 waterfalls, including the iconic Helmcken Falls, the fourth tallest waterfall in Canada. Nicknamed Canada’s Waterfall Park,” the smooth walls of the area’s vertical cliff faces were carved by glaciers and volcanic activity millions of years ago, leaving a truly unique landscape in their wake.

If you’ve ever wanted to take a peek behind a waterfall, Moul Falls features a path leading behind the rushing waters and to the canyon wall behind it. The nearby McDiarmid Falls offers a more challenging hike and the trail passes by a nearby farm. True to its name, Triple Decker Falls is a three-tiered waterfall nestled into the park’s backcountry. Popular with birders, the Triple Decker Falls trail is one of the more difficult hikes in Wells-Gray, but the views are well-worth the effort. 

Rainbow Falls is one of the most secluded of Wells Gray Provincial Park’s waterfalls on the far end of Azure Lake. Surrounded by old growth cedar trees, the shore is all but untouched by human hands. The easiest way to visit this end of Azure Lake and other waterfalls is through chartered boat tours. 

White Water Rafting

Along with its plethora of waterfalls, Wells Gray Provincial Park also features some of the best whitewater rafting in the interior of British Columbia. The Clearwater River features a variety of twists and turns as it flows through volcanic canyons and swift chutes.

There is also whitewater kayaking, offering the chance to traverse the rushing rapids and hidden creeks of the Clearwater River aboard a single-person craft. Every summer, the park also welcomes the Clearwater Kayak Festival where kayakers from across the country descend on Wells Gray Provincial Park for a variety of events including races, parties and concerts. It’s a must-attend event for experienced kayakers while others can simply enjoy the sights and sounds of the festival. 

Tandem Paragliding

Take to the skies on a Tandem Paragliding excursion at Wells Gray Provincial Park. X‑Sky Paragliding offers paragliding sessions with an experienced guide and pilot over the North Thompson Valley. Enjoy stunning views of the rivers and mountains and even snap a selfie from mid-air. In addition to the 2‑hour tandem paragliding course, they also offer multi-day P1 and P2 training regimens so you can learn how to take to the skies by yourself safely.

Volcano Country

While you wouldn’t guess from its green and verdant landscape, Wells Gray Provincial Park was formed by countless volcanic eruptions and the retreat of glaciers several thousand years ago. There are more than 20 dormant volcanoes strewn across the breadth of Wells Gray including Pyramid Mountain and Kostal Cone, whose eruption 6,000 years ago is responsible for the formation of Clearwater Lake. In addition to hiking up the slopes of the park’s inactive volcanoes, climb to the summit of Green Mountain Tower Lookout to get a birds eye view of the park’s many volcanic features. 

Trophy Mountain Flower Meadows

The slopes of Trophy Mountain are home to beautiful sub-alpine flower meadows filled with colourful wildflowers, including vast fields of bright yellow Glacier lilies and violet Alpine lupines. The path to reach the flower meadows extends through several kilometers of vibrant old growth rainforest. The verdant backcountry features a gentle slope with several lookout points across the mountains. The Trophy Mountain flower meadows bloom twice a year, once during the summer months and again in the early spring when the eponymous Glacier lilies spring up as the snows melt.

Winter Activities in Wells Gray Provincial Park

There are many fun things to do in clearwater, BC in the winter. During the winter months, many of the parks’ many waterfalls freeze over into jagged, crystalline sculptures. While Helmcken Falls, the park’s crown jewel, doesn’t freeze over, its canyon walls become lined with icicles giving it a stunning backdrop. The park’s snowshoeing trails offer access to many of the frozen waterfalls making for an excellent mid-winter adventure. You can also checking out the best Clearwater, B.C. Skiing. Skiiers can enjoy both cross-country excursions across Wells Gray’s extensive backcountry trails or take a few runs down the Clearwater Ski Hill, a casual downhill ski area for runs suitable for the whole family. 

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