8 Waterfalls to See this Summer

June 29, 2020 | By Lianne Thompson

As one of nature's most captivating natural wonders, waterfalls are an endless source of fascination for many adventurers. Luckily, there are many incredible waterfalls within a few hours of Cranbrook that can satisfy your desire to chase waterfalls. Nestled within our mountain scenery, each of these waterfalls offers a unique chance to gaze at the marvel of the natural world.  

Matheson Falls 

This ~2.5km round-trip hike follows along a creek, making the pathway wet and slippery so walk with caution and wear proper footwear as your feet will get wet wandering through sometimes knee-deep water. Once you arrive at Matheson Falls you will be greeted with a spectacular cascading waterfall surrounded by lucious moss-covered rocks. After your 20-minute journey here, you can add to the serenity of this experience by sitting on the rocks right underneath the falls or swimming in the waters below. 


How to get here: 

From Cranbrook head north on highway 3 & 95 towards Fernie. Once in Fernie, turn right on 4th Street South just after the bridge crossing Elk River. Take a right on Pine Ave then a left on Coal Creek Road. This turns into a gravel road; follow it for ~9kms. Shortly after the 41km marker you will cross a small bridge. Park immediately after the bridge on the right hand side, the trail starts here. 


Fairy Creek Falls 

Tucked away on the north side of Fernie, this easy ~5km roundtrip trail starts with a few switchbacks and continues through open forest trails before reaching the breathtaking Fairy Creek Falls. Mount Fernie and various other peaks provide a stunning backdrop throughout the entire hike making for a pleasant stroll ending in a picturesque waterfall. The trail is open all year, so make sure to include this waterfall on your hiking list year-round to take in the beauty of the falls in any season. 


How to get here: 

From Cranbrook head north on highway 3 & 95 towards Fernie. Continue through the town of Fernie, turning left onto Commerce Road to access the Fernie Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Information Centre parking lot. The well-used trail starts here; posted maps are available at the start of the trail network. 


Lumberton Falls 

This quick ~2km roundtrip hike starts down a gravel road before requiring a bit of rock hopping and wading through water before reaching an impressive waterfall descending down the river. Depending on the time of year, the water flow varies greatly providing a different experience each time you venture out to enjoy this popular waterfall. During summer months it’s a great spot for a picnic on a hot day where you can cool down in the flowing water, all within a 20-minute walk from your vehicle. 

How to get here: 

From Cranbrook head south on highway 3 & 95 towards Creston for ~13km. Turn right on Lumberton Road and continue on this well-maintained gravel road for ~7km. Turn left into a small parking lot and continue further down to reach the trailhead. The trail begins behind a yellow gate. 


*NOTE: Lumberton Falls (or Moyie Falls as some know it) is accessed through an active mining claim owned privately. The road past the gate is maintained annually by them.  There is also a less invasive trail that follows the right of the river to gain view of the falls from above.



Perry Creek Falls 

This is one of the most popular waterfall hikes in our area, and for good reason! Though slippery and steep at times, this ~2.6km round trip hike can be completed in under an hour and provides views of a remarkable waterfall surrounded by smooth rocks that have undergone years of erosion from the rapidly flowing water. Bright-coloured moss acts as a stark contrast to the dark rocks and whitewater making for a striking and scenic adventure. 


How to get here: 

From Cranbrook head north on 95A up to Kimberley. Take a left on Wycliffe Park Road before reaching Shadow Mountain Golf Restory. Turn left on Old Wycliffe Road and continue for about 1km before turning right on Perry Creek Road. This road turns into a well-maintained gravel road. Follow it for about 10km before parking at a yellow gate at the start of the trail.



Meachen Creek Falls 

A very quick and easy walk to Meachen Creek falls is a great spot to stretch your legs after a long scenic drive. Start the hike by entering the forested path and following for 300 meters to a T-junction - wandering right will take you along many lookout points and great views of the falls tumbling into the large canyon below. For the more daring hiker, go left at the T-junction to explore the rocks at the mouth of the waterfall which present a unique opportunity looking down onto the falls crashing below. 

How to get here: 

From Cranbrook head north on 95A towards Kimberley. After going through the town of Marysville, turn left onto St Mary’s Lake Road. You will continue on this road for a while before turning left onto St Mary River FSR that crosses a bridge over St Mary River (if you reach the lake you’ve gone too far). Take your second right onto Hellroaring Creek Road, this is a sharp hairpin turn. Take your first right onto Meachen Creek Road and continue for 8km before parking at a wide pullout on the right-hand side at the 34km sign. The trailhead is just before the parking lot; it is not signed but is well-used. 


Marysville Falls 

Starting right in the town of Marysville, getting to these falls is a quick, easy and rewarding stroll that is a mere 300 meters from the main road. It is a short saunter mainly on a boardwalk and following a path beside the creek, providing many views of mini-waterfalls along the entire walk before ending with a gorgeous plunging waterfall at a scenic overlook. Easily completed in under a half and hour, this waterfall shouldn’t be missed! 


How to get here: 

From Cranbrook head north on 95A towards Kimberley. Continue most of the way through the town of Marysville, turning right onto 303 Ave to a small parking area when you see the signage for Marysville Falls. Walk across the street to access the start of the trail. 

Cherry Creek Falls 

From the parking lot, it will only take a few minutes to come upon this marvelous waterfall that slides down to a whitewater pool below. There is a wooden staircase that allows you to go to the bottom of the falls to get the picture-perfect view of the waters flowing towards you. Several picnic tables are available at the top of the falls so you can take your time enjoying all the beauty this hidden gem has to offer. 


How to get here: 

From Cranbrook head north on 95A towards Kimberley. Continue through the town of Kimberley, following signage to stay on 95A. After passing through Kimberley, turn left onto Thomson Road. Take your first right onto Clarricoates Road, this road is paved but does turn into a gravel road as it becomes Ta Ta Lost Dog Forest Service Road. Continue on this now-gravel road for less than 1km before turning right into the parking lot for the falls. 


Brisco Falls 

Though the trailhead is a bit hidden, be sure not to miss the entrance to this short ~0.5km round trip trek to Brisco falls. The trail can be muddy and a bit slippery especially when water levels are high, so be sure to take extra caution on this 20 minute trek to an exceptional waterfall. It is a perfect venture on a hot summer’s day as the mist coming off the falls can provide some much needed relief from the heat. Make sure to head back out on this trail in the fall when the waters are full of spawning Kokanee salmon, a remarkable sight to see. 


How to get here: 

From Cranbrook head north on highway 3 & 95 towards Invermere. Drive through Invermere and ~28km past Radium Hot Springs, eventually turning left on Brisco Road. Continue on Brisco Road for 5km and park at the y-intersection just past Klikwallie Bridge. The trail is not marked, but there is a path on the left hand side. 


Lower Bugaboo Falls 

Getting to this falls takes a bit more of an adventurous spirit than the others on this list but will reward with a thundering roar of a mesmerizing waterfall. After the drive, this ~3km hike on a well-maintained trail through the forest will be just what you’re looking for. Though there are a few vantage points to see the falls throughout the hike, the best view comes at the end where you’ll take in a powerful and dramatic plunge through a steep canyon below. It is certainly a sight worth seeing and can be completed in about an hour. 


How to get here: 

From Cranbrook head north on highway 3 & 95 towards Invermere. Drive through Invermere and ~28km past Radium Hot Springs, eventually turning left on Brisco Road. Continue on Brisco Road for ~11.6km. A parking lot with a marked trailhead is on the left. 

Helpful tip: Most of these trails do not have protective barriers when viewing the falls. Be sure to use extra caution as these trails are often slippery due to the mist coming off the falls. Loose rocks, exposed roots, slick rocks and algae-covered rocks create an abundance of hazzards so wear proper footwear and stay on assigned trails. 

  About the Authour

Lianne works as a wildlife interpreter leading multi-day trips where she shares her passion for nature and conservation. She moved to Cranbrook two years ago and immediately began exploring local hikes and enjoying all that the East Kootenays has to offer. Lianne also sits on the board of the Caribou Conservation Breeding Foundation (https://www.ccbf.ca/), a non-profit dedicated to recovering local caribou populations.