Dawson Falls

Wells Gray Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada

About Dawson Falls

Hiking Distance: 1km round trip (to top)
Suggested Time: 45-60 minutes

Date first visited: 2010-09-19
Date last visited: 2010-09-19

Waterfall Latitude: 51.96521
Waterfall Longitude: -120.12802

Find Nearby Accommodation



Dawson Falls, which Julie likes to refer to it as “Dawson’s Creek Falls” because of the TV show she used to watch, was a wide river-type waterfall said to be on the Murtle River. Due to its broad characteristic, Julie seemed to like this waterfall better than the nearby Helmcken Falls, even it wasn’t as famous as Helmcken Falls (the Wells Gray Provincial Park’s most famous waterfall).

This waterfall took us by surprise since we hadn’t planned on visiting it (we didn’t even know of its existence until we saw a sign at the Spahats Falls car park making us aware of its presence in the park.

In any case, after parking the car and getting onto the trail, the first thing we noticed was that there was a view looking down towards the Murtle River where there was a small waterfall and bridge before it. It took us a while to figure out that the waterfall down there was Mus’ Bowl, which we passed by en route to Helmcken Falls.

Nonetheless, the walking path took us around 15-20 minutes to get to the fenced overlook of Dawson Falls. At first we didn’t think we were going the right way because the trail strangely veered back towards the main road, but fortunately there was a sign there indicating the trail continued on (just as we were about to question the validity of the trail).

Curious to see where the main trail continued onto (as the fenced overlook wasn’t the end of the trail apparently), I walked for a few minutes in the upstream direction until I saw a trail junction where a primitive, steep, and slippery trail descended towards the base of the falls. Given the amount of rain that had fallen on the day of our visit, this trail wasn’t particularly easy due to its muddiness as well as the presence of fallen trees. But once I got to the bottom, I was able to get right up to the base of Dawson Falls where I could appreciate its size from up close.

Since I was content with going this far past the main overlook, this marked my turnaround point. Thus, I didn’t explore any more of the main trail as it continued to keep going so I wouldn’t know if the main trail would yield additional ways to see the falls.

Dawson_Falls_001_09192010 - The fairly large car park right at the trailhead for Dawson Falls
Dawson_Falls_006_09192010 - Initially the trail passed through a wooded area
Dawson_Falls_007_09192010 - The trail strangely heads back towards the Clearwater Valley Road
Dawson_Falls_048_09192010 - Follow this arrow and make sure you don't walk along the Clearwater Valley Road
Dawson_Falls_041_09192010 - View of Dawson Falls after making it to the main overlook area
Dawson_Falls_040_09192010 - The steep path I took to get closer to Dawson Falls' base
Dawson_Falls_035_09192010 - Closeup look at Dawson Falls
Dawson_Falls_039_09192010 - I had to negotiate this steep muddy section when I was headed back to the main trail and ultimately back to the trailhead


From Clearwater, drive about 42km north on the Clearwater Valley Road. The signposted turnoff for the falls is on the right side of the road. Shortly after the turnoff is a fairly large car park.

For specific driving directions pertaining to the whereabout of Clearwater, see the Helmcken Falls page for details.

That said, the general context of Clearwater is such that it’s 318km (over 3 hours drive) southwest of Jasper, 562km (6.5 hours drive) west of Banff, and 478km (under 5 hours drive) northeast of Vancouver.

Bottom up sweep of the river and falls

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Tagged with: wells gray, provincial park, thompson, nicola, clearwater, british columbia, canada, waterfall, murtle river, mus bowl

Visitor Comments:

No users have replied to the content on this page

Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

No users have submitted a write-up/review of this waterfall

Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls