The Valley Tourist K.A.Pendergast crossing a small log bridge along the hike to Silvertip Falls. Submitted photo

The Valley Tourist checks out Silvertip Falls in Wells Gray Park


  • Sep. 16, 2019 1:30 a.m.

Hi everyone! This is your Valley Tourist heading on another adventure. My mission for those who don’t know is to look for and experience all that our beautiful North Thompson Valley has to offer.

That may include some amazing sights, possibly a few interesting jaunts to little known areas, maybe even just a quiet peaceful stop with a yummy snack to unwind after a long day of excitement. All of these things that make for a special journey. Come along and join me for another day filled with fun. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Today’s excursion will take us to a lesser-known waterfall in Wells Gray Park called Silvertip Falls. After beginning at the round-a-bout in Clearwater we headed up the Clearwater Valley road towards Wells Gray Park. With our truck, or maybe an all-terrain type of vehicle, for those who want a smoother journey, we got to kilometre 11.3 and then turned to the right on Spahats creek road.

This road is the same one that can take you on a trip up to the Trophy Meadows. Up the road, we got to a fork at a bit over four km and took the right-hand path. This does not really seem to be as well-travelled but that is the fun of it. Then down this road for a few kilometres, according to Roland Neave’s book on the Wells Gray Park, it was to just more than six km and we took a quick look at the falls (that is our go-to reference). Then slightly farther just before the bridge, we turned to the left and shortly got in a small forestry campsite with a few picnic tables.

Once you get there you will wonder a bit if you are in the right place. It is the right spot for sure!

We could see a path heading up towards the falls that we could hear slightly already! This jaunt is easier if you have proper shoes and no leg or walking problems. I personally always make sure to never hike alone as some dangers are always out there even for the experienced traveller. You never know when you may just slip and fall right? The hike was really only around a half-hour, or so, depending on how many stops you make. However, it is not always an easy walk but a scramble occasionally, over logs as well as rocks. As we went along upwards we saw peeks of the water heading on down the mountain.

There are a few stops, well, there were for me, along the way to look at all the cool flora and fauna growing in this paradise, huge trees and lush greenery. But be careful, as some of it is not fun to the touch, just look okay? Although the water seems beautiful it is extra refreshing, or chilly if you will, so you may not want to take a dip. I know even though it was warm out, I did not haha. I guess that depends on your individual taste for adventure. Please be extra careful as this is rushing water after all.

When you get to the falls itself you will want to take many shots from different angles and even heights, as this spectacular scene is worthy of the effort. Be sure of your footing during this. There is some spray from the water, so also beware of your cameras.

Silvertip Falls is actually higher than Helmcken Falls, but because it is not just in one drop, but goes down across the rocks and drops a few times, it is not as highly ranked. I personally, found it one of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen. Seriously. The sight of it flowing across all those rocks down the side of the mountain is truly breathtaking. It’s definitely not something you would want to miss out on.

The hike into the falls being a bit more difficult for your average sight-seer makes it less travelled and so much more interesting in my books! If there are no campers at the campsite then you may want to have a nice picnic after your return, as we did. The quiet nature-filled area makes for a wonderfully calming pit stop in the usual routine of day to day activities. The peace stayed with me for a long while.

I hope you have enjoyed this journey along with me, the Valley Tourist. It was just one of the many stunning places to see in our beautiful North Thompson Valley. I hope you will come along on my next adventure and enjoy some fun as I explore this gorgeous valley. See ya next time!

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