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.
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).
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