Views of Osprey Falls and Clearwater Lake, Wells Gray Park

May 29, 2012 — Leave a comment

Wells Gray Provincial Park, in central British Columbia, Canada, is known for its magnificent scenery featuring waterfalls such as Helmcken, Spahats, and Duncan. These are all accessible from the main road, but the park has an amazing 39 waterfalls. Many of those are accessible only from lakes on a boat or canoe, or along a hiking trail. The park has vast wilderness, and if you’re more adventurous, you can visit areas that few people ever see.

On a recent weekend, I made my second trip to Wells Gray, with the objective to see some of the waterfalls at, or near, their peak water flow. Tenting in May was the most adventurous our group would get, and I must admit, the mornings were rather chilly. Next time, I’ll certainly bring another sleeping bag or two. The Falls Creek and Clearwater Lake Campgrounds are 68 kilometers along the Clearwater Valley Road, from the Wells Gray Information Center in Clearwater, B.C. Clearwater is about an hour and a half drive north of Kamloops, which itself is about a three hour drive from Vancouver.

If you’re planning to car camp along the main Wells Gray Corridor, I would recommend staying at the Clearwater Lake Campground, next to Osprey Falls. Currently, the best camping spots next to the lake and falls are non-reservable. You need to get there early to obtain the best ones, but it’s more difficult in summer than in May. The Falls Creek Campground serves those who can’t get a spot at Clearwater Lake, or who would prefer a more quiet place (besides the rushing water). There are also numerous lodgings along the Wells Gray Corridor, and the Clearwater Lake Campground has two cabins available for rent.

This is the classic B.C. Parks sign at the Wells Gray Information Center in Clearwater.


The Clearwater River, looking downstream from the Falls Creek Campground.


Osprey Falls are short compared to other waterfalls in Wells Gray. They are still worth seeing, and easily accessible from the Clearwater Lake Campground. This is Osprey Falls from Clearwater Lake on a warm summer day.


  Osprey Falls on my recent visit.



A close-up of the falls from the viewing platform.


Osprey Falls from the lookout above.


The Clearwater River and Valley.


Clearwater Lake reflection on a spring morning.


A boat ready for a day on the lake.


The old storage shed near the wharf and the trailhead to the lakeshore trail.


 Looking back at Osprey Falls.


The lakeshore trail is very pleasant. If you’re there at the proper time in July, there are tasty treats—wild blueberries and strawberries. Just watch out for bears.


Clearwater Lake in summer.


 A beautiful reflection on an afternoon in May.


 Due to the proximity of the falls, this is about as still as the lake gets here.

Looking north from the Clearwater Lake lookout. One day, I’ll explore more of Clearwater Lake. Too bad the peak isn’t showing here.


I hope you enjoyed this post, as I looked back at my visits to Wells Gray Provincial Park. There will be more post to come featuring waterfalls including Helmcken, Spahats, and Duncan.

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About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.


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