From fun on the slopes to visiting festive towns, to mountaintop skating, there are tons of wintertime activities to take advantage of in BC. This includes chasing some beautiful frozen waterfalls, many of which can be found closer to Vancouver than you might think.
So whether you’re in search of the perfect winter hike or want to get some inspo for ice climbing, here are 7 stunning frozen waterfalls you can visit in BC this winter.
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Situated in the incredible Wells Gray Provincial Park is the fourth tallest waterfall in Canada: Helmcken Falls. Every winter, the spectacular falls’ glacier-cold water crashes down at its base, creating a residual splash that creates a massive cone of ice.
Where: Wells Gray Provincial Park, BC
Situated just five minutes away from Pemberton, this is the perfect day-trip destination or place to stop before heading to Garibaldi Lake this winter. The relatively flat trail follows the Green River to two 60-metre-high falls, which build up with ice inside its granite chasm during the colder months.
Where: Pemberton, BC
This iconic North Shore hike is between Grouse and Seymour at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, running alongside Lynn Creek to Norvan Falls. At mid-mountain elevation, there’s rarely snow on the trail here, but the waterfall can freeze into a beautiful column of ice nonetheless.
Note that the trail to the falls can get icy, so be sure to bring microspikes if you have them.
Where: North Vancouver, BC
Standing at 55 metres tall, Alexander Falls is situated near Whistler and is known to freeze into tiers of icicles each winter, according to Destination Vancouver. While you can only view the falls from a designated viewing platform, in the winter, you can snowshoe right to its base via marked trails at Whistler Olympic Park.
Where: Whistler, BC
And now, for a handful of what Destination Vancouver describes as “sometimes” frozen falls. Bridal Veil Falls cascades over a smooth rock surface, and if you catch it freezing over before the snow and ice melt away in late March, consider yourself lucky!
Note that Bridal Veil Falls Park reopens for the season on March 31st.
Where: Chilliwack, BC
Situated in Cascade Falls Regional Park northeast of Mission, Cascade Falls can be accessed via a 1 km trail. While the trail might be on the shorter side, the hike to the 30-metre waterfall is a steep one, so prepare to follow the marked trail through coniferous forest, preferably with snowshoes.
Where: Mission, BC
BC’s third tallest falls is situated in Shannon Falls Provincial Park, open from mid-March to mid-October every year. This means you’ll be able to catch them freezing over just in time before spring weather hits.
The park’s well-maintained boardwalk and trail network offer visitors the chance to explore towering old-growth trees and even try their hand at rock or ice climbing south of the falls.
Note that the park reopens for the season on March 15th.
Where: Squamish, BC
Last but certainly not least, we come to Cypress Falls in West Vancouver. With dog-friendly trails and a handful of scenic viewpoints, this pick is great if you’re looking for an accessible frozen waterfall hike near the city. Its low elevation means that the trails are less likely to be blanketed in snow, so no need to bust out any fancy winter gear.
Where: West Vancouver, BC
So there you have it, BC! Your next winter adventure is a day trip away. Before heading out, ensure that you’ve checked the avalanche forecast in your area and prepare for slippery conditions and deep snow.