helmcken falls

There's a waterfall snow crater in Canada and you need to see it to believe it

Not only are B.C.'s Helmcken Falls some of the most beautiful and dramatic waterfalls to see in Canada any time of the year, but they also boast a one-of-a-kind feature that only appears during winter months.

Freezing temperatures create the perfect environment for free-falling water to form a unique "snow crater" at the bottom of the falls, which is the fourth-largest in Canada at 141 m.

The distinctive formation is complemented well by the falls' location, pouring into a dramatic canyon in Wells Gray Provincial Park, in the forests north of Kamloops.

Visitors can catch a jaw-dropping view of the falls, the snow cone, and the churning waters of the Murtle River from a perfectly-placed viewing platform that juts out over the canyon lip, just a short hike away from Helmcken Falls Road.

After witnessing the out-of-this-world snow crater, winter thrill seekers can hike or snowshoe through the alpine wilderness and stop by one of the park's dozens of other waterfalls, or even ski and snowboard some backcountry mountain trails in the area.

Lead photo by

Alexis Hovenkamp


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Travel

Canada is getting a massive new resort that pays homage to Indigenous culture

Burnaby Mountain park in Canada is home to the Playground of the Gods

The Big Muddy Badlands in Saskatchewan are a slice of the Wild West

Mingan Archipelago national park reserve is home to the largest group of monoliths in Canada

Ouimet Canyon has breathtaking fall colours and an unreal lookout bridge

This tiny Scandinavian cottage in the Canadian forest is the ultimate getaway

The Parkhurst Ghost Town is an old logging outpost hidden deep in the Canadian forest

The Eastern Townships in Quebec look absolutely breathtaking in the fall