12 waterfalls near Vancouver you need to visit before summer ends

Aug 14 2018, 5:26 pm

If you need any inspiration for where to head on your next road trip, we’ve got you covered. There are so many beautiful waterfalls around Vancouver that are (for the most part) within a few hours drive from the city — perfect for a day trip.

Waterfalls are breathtaking at any time of the year, however, there’s nothing quite like viewing a waterfall in all its glory during the summer months when the sun is out.

We’ve compiled a list of our favourite waterfalls that you need to visit before the season is over for another year. All of these beauties offer a varying degree of difficulty; some only require a short walk from the carpark while others will need proper planning and preparation for the outing — so there’s sure to be something for everyone.

For your own safety, please make sure you are well prepared before heading out to any of the waterfalls on this list. Strong currents at the top of waterfalls can throw you over the edge and lead to serious injury or death. Waterfalls are best viewed from a safe distance, and away from cliff edges.

Widgeon Falls

What: The trip to Widgeon Falls requires a short canoe/kayak followed by a hike, however, it is truly worth the adventure. With crystal clear water, the falls are a perfect day-trip destination whilst the days are clear and warm.

How long: 5 hours or 6 km

Where: Located on the north side of Pitt Lake

Get there: A 1.5-hour drive from Vancouver

Norvan Falls

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What: Norvan Falls, located in the lush green forests of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, is the perfect spot to take a leisurely hike during the summer months. It can get slightly muddy during the rainy seasons, so there is no better time than the summer to visit this particular waterfall. It also features a scenic hike through a forest of douglas fir and cedar trees.

How long: 5 hours or 14 km

Where: Located within Lynn Headwaters Regional Park in North Vancouver

Get there: Approximately a 40-minute drive from Vancouver

Gold Creek Falls

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What: Gold Creek Falls only takes a short hike to reach, and is a relatively short drive from Vancouver. On a clear day, the water turns a spectacular turquoise and features a stunning view from above the falls.

How long: 2 hours or 5.5 km

Where: Located within Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge

Get there: Approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Vancouver

Kay Falls

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What: A beautiful hidden gem located between Revelstoke and Sicamous, Kay Falls is located past the Crazy Creek Suspension Bridge going towards Revelstoke and is very easy to miss. Hundreds of people pass it every day, but few know it’s even there. Look for a concrete wall, where you will find a trailhead that will lead you to Kay Falls.

How long: A mere 2-minute walk from the highway

Where: Located on the Trans Canada Highway between Revelstoke and Sicamous

Get there: Just outside of Revelstoke, approximately a 5-hour drive from Vancouver

Crawford Falls

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What: Located only a short distance from downtown Kelowna, Crawford Falls features a hike that will take around an hour. The waterfall itself is surprisingly big, and there is a large boulder that visitors can sit atop and marvel at the beauty of the falls from a safe distance.

How long: 2 hours or 2 km

Where: Located just outside of Kelowna

Get there: Approximately a 4-hour drive from Vancouver

Elk Falls

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What: Found within Elk Falls Provincial Park, the falls are well worth the journey – just for the view. In 2015, a suspension bridge was built above the falls, providing the perfect viewpoint for the waterfall as well as the Campbell River.

How long: 3 km from main campground

Where: Just outside of downtown Campbell River on central Vancouver Island

Get there: Approximately a 4-hour drive from Vancouver

Bridal Veil Falls

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What: One of the more well-known waterfalls around Vancouver, the name of the park is said to have come from the waterfall cascading down the smooth rock face creating a veil-like effect. This spot is actually a great day-use park with a picnic area you can enjoy after visiting and taking pictures of the spectacular waterfall.

How long: 20 minutes or 0.8 km

Where: Located within Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park

Get there: Approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Vancouver

Twin Falls

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What: A short, popular hike for Vancouver locals, Twin Falls can be accessed from either side of the Suspension Bridge in Lynn Canyon Park and has several spots below the falls where you can set up a picnic. The water is much calmer below the falls and there are some great spots to take a swim.

How long: 1 hour or 1.5 km

Where: Located in Lynn Canyon Park

Get there: A 30-minute drive from Vancouver

Cascade Falls

What: Cascade Falls is a scenic waterfall that can be viewed from a suspension bridge that crosses the river just in front of the falls. It is an excellent location for a day-trip during the summer, with the view alone worth the drive.

How long: Half an hour or 0.75 km

Where: Located north-east of Mission

Get there: Approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Vancouver

Myra Falls

What: This spot has become extremely popular this summer, in particular, the lower falls which feature a swimming hole that visitors can swim in. Whilst the upper falls are stunning, the lower falls have several terraces of limestone rocks and turquoise pools that overlook Buttle Lake below, and offer breathtaking views.

How long: 1.2 km

Where: A short trail beginning in Strathcona Provincial Park

Get there: Approximately a 5-hour drive from Vancouver

Rainbow Falls

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What: Another hidden gem, Rainbow Falls is stowed away in a place that many tourists don’t know about. The falls are part of 21 Mile Creek and are found at the start of a much longer hike to Rainbow Lake and the summit of Rainbow Mountain. Rainbow Falls is beautiful at any point during the year, however, during the summer it is truly a hidden paradise.

How long: A 20-minute hike to the falls

Where: Located off Alta Lake Road in Whistler

Get there: Approximately a 2.5-hour drive from Vancouver

Nairn Falls

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What: Located along the Sea-to-Sky Highway between Whistler and Pemberton, Nairn Falls features a nice, short hike to the falls. After parking, you can start the short hike to the viewing platform for the waterfall. Years of erosion have created water flows underneath the rocky ledges of the falls — making for a spectacular view.

How long: 1.5 hours or 3 km

Where: Along the Sea-to-Sky Highway

Get there: Approximately a 2.5-hour drive from Vancouver

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