Mahood Falls Canim Falls
Kathy and I went exploring recently to checkout some water features of Wells Gray Park that we had not yet seen, Mahood Lake, Canim Falls and Mahood Falls. We had sometimes seen Mahood Lake in the distance from elsewhere in the forestry management unit but opted to go check it out today.
Stretching 21 Km in length, and having a maximum width of 2.2 Km, Mahood Lake is more than 195 metres in depth at its deepest. It is fed by the Canim river which has its source in nearby (to the west) Canim Lake. The Mahood River drains the lake at it’s opposite end and flows into the Clearwater River. We didn’t have time to check it out but the lake is reputed to have excellent fishing.
There is a provincial park at the lake with campsites, a beach, a boat launch and more. It is nice enough but the real gems are to be found on a short waling trail just inside the park boundaries. A 2 km return trail takes your to two beautiful waterfalls, Mahood and Canim. Our destination waterfalls are located on separate arms of the Canim River. Canim is a first nations word meaning a large canoe.
Along the trail you will see some amazing canyon views as well as piles of lava boulders that could easily be imagined as the remains of an ancient mythic fort. I am almost certain that in the noise of the nearby waterfalls there might have been the sounds of an ancient dragon.
This could be the perfect spot for taking some fun outdoor group pictures.
An easy 1/2km walk along a forested trail leads you to the first of this pair of jewels, Mahood Falls. This 20 meter falls is tucked discretely through the forest. Like Canim Falls it has carved its way through layers of volcanic lava from the Clearwater Volcanic Field.
Another easy 1/2 kn walk brings you to Canim Falls. Slightly taller (25 meters) and far wider than Mahood, they are impressive. The water cascades over a wide span and has carved a deep long canyon through the lava field. The dual cascades give the illusion of there being two falls.
The crumbling lava pile between the two cascades (seen in between them), and the deep caves behind the falls, give evidence to the relentless water power at work here.
As well as the two main cascades there are numerous smaller spouts coming out of the canyon face. Do they flow from cracks in the lava walls where the river comes in or are they from an underground source? Either way they were a pretty bonus on our trek.
Mahood Lake Provincial Park is located in the southwest corner of Wells Gray Park. It can be accessed by travelling about 65 km of gravel forestry service and logging roads from Clearwater. It is also accessible from near 100 Mile House via mixed gravel/pavement or from the InterLake Region off of Highway 24.
The falls are located just inside the provincial park boundary, signed on the left hand side of the road with a pullout parking area on the right. Both are located on the same easy hiking trail, with Canim Falls at .5km and Mahood Falls at 1 km.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall … it takes all year to do it all … in Clearwater
Retreat … Rest… Restore… Explore