British Columbia, Canada
- WATERFALL OVERVIEW
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This waterfall has been surveyed, mapped and measured in person by the World Waterfall Database.
Even when viewed in person, because the viewpoint is rather distant from the falls, there is a really poor sense of scale, but when compared to the amount of water flowing over Dawson Falls upstream, the power of this waterfall becomes absolutely staggering. So much spray is ejected into the air that in the winter, a 200 foot tall cone of ice builds up at the base of the falls, and in the summer, spray can reach the rim of the canyon under the proper conditions.
HISTORY AND NAMES
- Helmcken Falls is the Official name of this waterfall
Helmcken Falls was discovered by a Canadian Government land surveyor by the name of Robert Lee in July of 1913. He proposed the falls and river be named after the then Premiere of British Columbia, Sir Richard McBride. McBride was flattered but refused the honor, instead suggesting it be named for Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken who was active in the early governance of Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
In the 1950s and 1960s several plans to construct dams along the Clearwater and Murtle Rivers were put into play, fortunately none of which came to fruition before Wells Gray Provincial Park would be fully protected from development in 1973. Had the dams been built, Hemlcken Falls would have been largely submerged by waters behind a 137 meter dam.
Usually blanket statements don’t really serve well to emphasize the awe a given waterfall may exude. However Helmcken Falls may be an exception to that rule. Simply put, Helmcken Falls is unquestionably one of the best waterfalls in all of North America.
Location and directions
Helmcken Falls is located in the heart of the Clearwater Corridor section of Wells Gray Provincial Park. Take the Clearwater Valley Road 42 kilometers north from the Yellowhead Highway in Clearwater, then turn left at the signs for the falls and follow 4 kilometers to the end of the road.
|Helmcken Falls is shown in the center. Additional nearby waterfalls (if any) can be found in the list below.|
Additional Nearby Waterfalls
|Name of Waterfall||Distance|
|Cougar Falls||0.17 mi / 0.27 km|
|Mushbowl, The||2.16 mi / 3.45 km|
|Dawson Falls||2.45 mi / 3.92 km|
|Goodwin Falls||2.69 mi / 4.3 km|
|Sylvia Falls||2.71 mi / 4.34 km|
|Or Find More Nearby Waterfalls within:|
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