Rearguard Falls

near Mt Robson Provincial Park / Fraser-Fort George Regional District, British Columbia, Canada

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 1.5
Rearguard Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Rearguard Falls was another one of those unplanned waterfalls that we happened to chance upon thanks to its conspicuous sign right off the Hwy 16. This waterfall was more like a wide series of rapids and cascades, but I guess the significance of this waterfall had to do with the salmon migration, which I learned from a sign at the car park.

Apparently, the Chinook were the largest and strongest species of Pacific salmon, and they were said to be able to make the 800-mile (1200km) journey up the Fraser River from the ocean to spawn here. It was also said that they can be seen in late Summer, but I guess we were just a smidge too late to see them as we didn't spot any during our late September visit.

From the car park, we took a short walking path that descended to the viewing area right next to the falls. The sign here was pretty spot on saying it was about a 30-minute return walk.

Another thing I found interesting was that there were a couple of other paths flanking both sides of the viewing area. It turned out that those paths were for raft or kayak launching and/or portaging. So that kind of suggested that this falls was routinely run by whitewater thrill seekers.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Looking at the Fraser River downstream from Rearguard Falls as it's flanked by some colorful trees signifying the start of the Autumn color seasonLooking at the Fraser River downstream from Rearguard Falls as it's flanked by some colorful trees signifying the start of the Autumn color season
East of Rearguard Falls was the town of Jasper, where we based ourselves to visit the scenic Lake Maligne; and in doing so, we spotted these rams right off the road!East of Rearguard Falls was the town of Jasper, where we based ourselves to visit the scenic Lake Maligne; and in doing so, we spotted these rams right off the road!
The signpost at the car parkThe signpost at the car park

Sign talking about the salmon migration to these fallsSign talking baout the salmon migration to these falls

Distant view of Rearguard Falls while on the way down to its overlookDistant view of the falls while on the way down to its overlook

Looking at part of Rearguard Falls as seen from the car parkLooking at part of the falls as seen from the car park

Julie walking down to the viewing platform for Rearguard FallsJulie walking down to the viewing platform for the falls

Wide profile view of Rearguard FallsWide profile view of the falls

Going down the steps to get right in front of Rearguard FallsGoing down the steps to get right in front of the falls

Contextual view of the viewing platform and Rearguard FallsContextual view of the viewing platform and the falls

One of the paths by the viewing area where a sign told us not to go despite there being a wide and obvious pathOne of the paths by the viewing area where a sign told us not to go despite there being a wide and obvious path


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Left to right sweep starting from the brink of the falls and ending a little further downstream


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

The well-signed and wide car park for Rearguard Falls is about 100km west of Jasper along Hwy 16. Or, it's about 14km west of the well-signed car park for Overlander Falls. The car park is on the south side (left side as you head west) of the highway.

Alternatively, the car park is a little over 4km east of the Hwy 16/Hwy 5 junction. If you're headed east on Hwy 16, then the turnoff is on your right (and is much easier to access as you don't have to cross traffic to get to it).

For additional context, Jasper was 365km (under 4 hours drive) west of Edmonton and 412km (5 hours drive) northwest of Calgary.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES





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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Rearguard Falls, August 2010 
I was at Rearguard Falls as a tourist in August 2010. I stumbled into rafters who told me I could not go down the path they were on, to the base …

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