Rearguard Falls

Mt Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada

About Rearguard Falls

Hiking Distance: 0.4km round trip
Suggested Time: 30 minutes

Date first visited: 2010-09-20
Date last visited: 2010-09-20

Waterfall Latitude: 52.97341
Waterfall Longitude: -119.36393

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

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 the Rearguard Falls had to do with the salmon migration, which I learned from a sign at the car park.

Rearguard_Falls_037_09202010 - Rearguard Falls
Rearguard Falls

Apparently, the Chinook were the largest and strongest species of Pacific salmon, and they were said to be able to make the 800-mile (nearly 1300km) 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.

Rearguard_Falls_024_09202010 - Contextual view of one of the drops of the rapid-like Rearguard Falls
Contextual view of one of the drops of the rapid-like Rearguard Falls

It turned out that those paths were for raft or kayak launching and/or portaging.

So that kind of suggested that the Overlander Falls was routinely run by whitewater thrill seekers.


Rearguard Falls resides in the Rearguard Falls Provincial Park near Tete Jaune Cache in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is administered by BC Parks. For information or inquiries as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Rearguard_Falls_002_09202010 - Sign talking about the salmon migration to the Rearguard Falls, which marked the upper limit of their 800-mile migration from the Pacific Ocean
Rearguard_Falls_006_09202010 - Distant view of Rearguard Falls while making our way down to its overlook closer to the Fraser River
Rearguard_Falls_012_09202010 - Zoomed in look at part of Rearguard Falls as seen from the car park
Rearguard_Falls_014_09202010 - Julie walking down a forested trail to the viewing platform for Rearguard Falls
Rearguard_Falls_016_09202010 - Looking downstream at the Fraser River from near the brink of the Rearguard Falls
Rearguard_Falls_029_09202010 - Context of Julie on the viewing platform looking down at the Rearguard Falls on the Fraser River
Rearguard_Falls_030_09202010 - Contextual look as we went down the steps to get right in front of Rearguard Falls on this extensive viewing area
Rearguard_Falls_044_09202010 - Contextual view of the viewing platform and Rearguard Falls, which really helped us to appreciate this waterfall's width
Rearguard_Falls_050_09202010 - One of the paths by the viewing area where a sign told us not to go despite there being a wide and obvious path. It turned out to be an access path for rafting groups

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.

Rearguard_Falls_001_09202010 - The signed car park for Rearguard Falls right next to the Highway 16
The signed car park for Rearguard Falls right next to the Highway 16

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.

Find A Place To Stay

Fixated on the falls from an overlook near the start

Left to right sweep of the falls showing some of the scenery further downstream

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

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Tagged with: robson, provincial park, fraser, fort george, jasper, british columbia, alberta, canadian rockies, canada, waterfall, fraser river, chinook salmon, valemount, kayak

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Rearguard Falls, August 2010 October 10, 2010 6:12 pm by Meryl Wieder - 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 of the falls, but they did pose for a picture. I also saw someone canoe-ing at the base of the falls. The falls were… ...Read More

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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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