Clearwater / Wells Gray
The Canada You Imagined
Explore wide open spaces, where the largest crowds you’ll find are of the wild kind. Stand in awe as you gaze at Helmcken Falls, Canada’s fourth highest waterfall, one of over 40 falls you’ll discover in Wells Gray Provincial Park. Hike hut to hut for a backcountry experience, past rivers that roar in a land borne from volcanoes and carved by glaciers. Whitewater rafting, bears and wildlife, alpine meadows, and a canoe only lake are all here for you to experience.
Clearwater and Wells Gray lie roughly halfway between Vancouver, BC and the Canadian Rockies. Clearwater (pop. 2,400), lies at the entrance to Wells Gray Provincial Park, with 5,250 square kilometres (3,262 square miles) of alpine wilderness to enjoy. Travel 125 km (78 mi) north of Kamloops, on the the Yellowhead Highway and you’ll arrive at one of Canada’s wild places.
A Playground Made from Fire and Ice
Eons ago, sub-aqueous volcanic eruptions beneath a glacial crust scoured and scarred the land. It carved canyons and left behind layer-after-layer of molten lava and rock. This battle of fire and ice shaped breathtaking landscapes that are now yours to discover. Take an alpine or forest hike, seek out waterfalls, or whitewater raft down the Clearwater River. The only connection you’ll need out here is to plug in to Mother Nature.
Paddle the tranquil water of Murtle Lake, North America’s largest paddle only lake. Explore beneath the shadows of glacier-capped mountains as you paddle to golden sand beaches. Make camp, fish for trophy-size trout, and eat over the campfire while the sun sets and the auroras come out to dance in the heavens above.
Marvel at the painter’s-palette of colour in the wild blooms that adorn the southern slopes of Trophy Mountain, easily accessed from the Clearwater Valley Road. In winter, rumble through cedar trees dipped in snow, spraying white powder as you snowmobile along the trails. Get in some hut to hut cross-country skiing and hiking as you explore this amazing view-scape. Watch out for wild creatures that call this area home. Bears, beavers, deer, moose and 250 species of birds camp out here.
Party in the Park
Join us for heart-warming celebrations in nature. Marvel at the yearly return of the salmon and experience First Nations tradition during the Simpcw First Fish Ceremony. Head up to Trophy Mountain Buffalo Ranch and join astronomers as meteors blaze through the sky during the annual Stargazing Festival. Bring the family to some of the many celebrations here.
Connect with Wells Gray
Top ways to experience Clearwater and Wells Gray
- Explore the land of the waterfalls in Wells Gray Provincial Park, including Helmcken Falls — the fourth highest waterfall in North America.
- Capture the Canadian backcountry with your paddle as you glide through Murtle Lake, North America’s largest paddle only lake
- Explode through rapids and thunder down the Clearwater whitewater rafting amongst waterfalls
- Bears and beavers and birds, oh my! Take a tour and encounter the numerous species of wildlife that call Clearwater and Wells Gray home
- Hike Trophy Mountain through wildflower blossoms
- Travel a long and winding road to stay at Alpine Meadows Resort where luxurious log cabins and fine dining wait at the end of the road
- Celebrate Mother Nature at her finest during August with the Star Gazing Festival and the First Fish Ceremony
- Cross-country, snowshoe or hike your way through alpine meadows, groomed trails and mountain passes, with our hut to hut adventures
- Plow through the serenely fluffy powder snowmobiling through alpine bowls and winter-capped plateaus
- Have some winter fun watching Skijoring. Horse and rider pull people around on skis! Presented by the Wells Gray Riders Association