Chasing waterfalls is a perfect pastime for those rainy, low cloud cover days. You get your outdoor fix and you still get the reward for your efforts at the end.
My friend and I seem to have exhausted the list of reasonably accessible waterfalls so we were stoked when I found tantalizing hints of one we may have missed.
Cloaked in mystery – is there a trail??
Finding new waterfalls is becoming a challenge, so a mention of Pemberton Creek Falls sparked my curiosity. A trip into Google wasn’t as satisfying as I expected: I didn’t find a straight up “you need a 4×4 or a helicopter to get here”, but I also couldn’t find any clear instructions. The falls seem to be right there! A PDF map from 2012 shows a trail – but it’s not on any digital maps. What gives?
One post said to “just follow the trail” but without any helpful details. Another post from 2015 made it sound like a bushwhacking-might-get-lost-and-die adventure.
So which is it? And how do we get there??
Turns out it’s not that hard
Get yourself to Pemberton, BC and head into town. You’ll want to park at the end of Eagle Ridge Drive. As of 2018, there’s a gated service road there but there’s a lot of new housing development in the area so that may change drastically in the coming years.
Walk past the gate and follow the service road uphill.
OPTION 1: If you want to get to the waterfall quicker, keep following the gravel road until you hit the big cistern/warehouse/mechanical buildings. (The rest of the instructions continue below.)
OPTION 2: If you’d rather take a more forested trail, take the first left. You’ll get to a spot where there’s a path heading left to the creek below. On the opposite side there’s a trail that leads back up and to the right, away from the creek. That’s the trail you want! There’s a sign once you turn that confirms it’s the waterfall trail.
It’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. No big deal if you miss it, though. There’s a dead end within 5 minutes so just turn around and come back. The turn off is a lot easier to spot from that angle.
At this point you’re following a gentle uphill path that clearly doubles as a mountain biking trail. Keep following it until you’ve passed two little wooden bridges over dried creek beds. You’ll see the big cistern/warehouse/mechanical buildings to your right.
AFTER EITHER OPTION: Okay, you’ve reached the buildings.
Go to the left of them. If you came up the hiking trail, you’ll cross a wider gravel road – turn left along it towards a pile/wall of rocks. If you came up the service road, make sure you follow it the far left of the buildings towards that pile/wall of rocks. The rest of the trail is beyond the pile.
This is where the uphill slog will start. A couple sections are fairly steep, but the overall hike is short. You’ll come across a path or two that goes left which is tempting to follow because you’ll be able to hear the rushing waters and it sounds like the waterfalls are just there. Keep going uphill though!
You’ll eventually come across a sign that warns of the cliff area and advises to use the trail at your own risk. It leads to the left, back towards the creek. That’s it, you’ve arrived!
Be very careful walking down to the little lookout – it’s steep, there’s loose dirt and wet roots to trip you up, and if you fall in the wrong spot, it’s a straight 30ft drop. Take it slow, pay attention, and keep your dog on leash.
The waterfalls are GORGEOUS. We’ve had a very dry October but a couple of days of rain before we arrived at the waterfalls brought Pemberton Creek Falls to a beautiful roar.
There’s a tree right at the edge that you can make friends with to keep yourself steady while you take in the waterfalls. Your other option is just to crouch. We decided to do some tree hugging!
My bestie and I toyed with the idea of putting the self-timer on to get a photo of the two of us, but a 10-second scurry to get back into position is probably not the smartest thing to do in that particular spot. A slip or trip and you’re over the edge so unless you have dreams of becoming a pancake, it’s inadvisable. Just be careful.
More waterfalls to check out
Of the super accessible and impressive ones we have Twin Falls, Bridal Falls, Shannon Falls, Brandywine Falls, Nairn Falls, and Alexander Falls.
I’ll have more details for those waterfalls coming soon!