Though chasing waterfalls may seem like a summer activity, visiting these tumbling cascades in the wintertime will reward you with fewer crowds and allow you to experience the magical allure of a frozen waterfall. Many of these natural attractions are an easy day trip from Vancouver and can be reached with a short walk or hike from the trailhead, while others are further away from the city and require more of a journey, either on snowshoes or skis.


Norvan Falls

gdfgdfsgAlison Karlene HodginsLength: 14 km roundtrip
Time:  5 hours
Elevation Gain: 195 m

Enveloped by lush green forests at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, Norvan Falls is a year-round hike. For a chance to see the falls as a frozen column, pay a visit when temperatures slip below freezing. Though 14 kilometres roundtrip, the trail is relatively flat throughout. Don’t forget to pack a pair of spikes to help navigate the often-slippery trail.


Brandywine Falls

sdfsJennifer C. Flickr cc by 2.0

Length: 1.3 km roundtrip
Time: 30 mins
Elevation Gain: 56 m

Situated along the Sea to Sky Highway, Brandywine Falls makes for an ideal stop for anybody travelling to and from Whistler. It’s a short and easy hike on flat terrain to get to the viewpoint, crossing a wooden bridge and set of train tracks along the way. Other than the 70-metre waterfall, the viewpoint also offers views over Daisy Lake.


Shannon Falls

dfgdfgfgDestination Vancouver/Landsea Tours Ltd.

Length: 1 km loop
Time:  20 mins
Elevation Gain: 39 m

Conveniently adjacent to Highway 99, the boardwalk and picnic tables at Shannon Falls Provincial Park make for a popular day-use area. Visitors can reach a viewpoint at the base of falls following a short walk and have the option to continue to a second viewpoint further up the trail. At 335 metres, Shannon Falls is BC’s third-highest waterfall.


Cascade Falls


Length: 0.75 km roundtrip
Time:  30 mins
Elevation Gain: 40 m

Cascade Falls northeast of Mission offers total serenity in the wintertime. A viewing platform can be accessed via a short trail. The wooden stairs lead through a coniferous forest and across a suspension bridge. Cascade Falls plummets 30 metres into a series of serene pools below.


Lower Myra Falls

Length: 1.3 km loop
Time:  45 min
Elevation Gain: 33 m

Enjoying a remote location in Strathcona-Westmin Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, the hike to Lower Myra Falls transports you through old-growth forests brimming with Douglas-firs, western hemlocks, and western red cedars. The trail is short but steep in some places and leads visitors to upper and lower viewing areas of the falls.


Helmcken Falls

dsfgdfChris Wheeler Media

Length: 8 km roundtrip
Time:  3 hours
Elevation Gain: 203 m

Situated in Wells Gray Provincial Park, Helmcken Falls is one of 39 roaring cascades in the 5,000-square-kilometre provincial park and is Canada’s fourth tallest at 141 metres tall. There’s a well-maintained parking lot and viewing platform that allows for easy viewing of the falls. For winter adventurers who want to listen to the thunderous roar of the falls up close, follow the trail on snowshoes, though it can come close to the canyon’s edge at times, so use caution.


Triple Decker Falls

asdfdsfJonny Bierman/ Eco Escape Travels

Length: 0.8 km roundtrip
Time:  40 mins
Elevation Gain: 52 m

Aptly dubbed “Land of the Waterfalls,” Wells Gray is home to another natural highlight—Triple Decker Falls, named for its three distinct tiers. Though the trail is relatively short, the hike contains steep sections through the forest with rocks that can be wet and slippery.


Wapta Falls

asdfdsfJakub Fryš CC BY-SA 4.0 

Length: 4.8 km roundtrip
Time:  1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 125 m

At 18 metres high and 107 metres wide, Wapta Falls in Yoho National Park is the largest waterfall on the Kicking Horse River. Because of winter road closures, an extra 1.8 kilometres each way is added to the trail leading to the falls, and visitors can make their way along it on snowshoes or cross-country skis. Otherwise, microspikes are recommended for the hard-packed trail.


Alexander Falls

Length: 2.5 km loop
Time: 2 hours
Elevation Gain: Minimal

Nestled in the Callaghan Valley region near Whistler, Alexander Falls plummets around 50 metres below and freezes into rows of icicles that cascade down from the top of the falls in the wintertime. While in the summer, the only way to see the falls is from a wooden viewing platform, in the winter, you can snowshoe right to the base via the Express Trail and Alexander Falls Explorer Trail.


Bergeron Falls

sdfgdfCollin Ball/C Ball Exposed Photography

Length: 11.9 km loop
Time: 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 568 m

Accessible year-round, Bergeron Falls in northern BC’s Tumbler Ridge can be reached via a trail maintained by the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and make your way through forests of aspen and spruce to the base of the falls. The trail also circles around to the top of the falls, where you can see it plunge 100 metres into a horseshoe-shaped bowl below.



More incredible waterfalls: