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Smith River Falls

Northern Rocky Mountain Foothills, British Columbia

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Smith River Falls

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  • Entrance to the access road from the Alaska Highway.- Smith River Falls
  • Steep descent from the parking area.- Smith River Falls
  • Access road into the parking area.- Smith River Falls
  • Lookout from the parking area.- Smith River Falls
  • Walking along the Smith River.- Smith River Falls
  • Approaching the base of the waterfall. - Smith River Falls
  • Shale banks below the falls.- Smith River Falls
  • View of Smith River Falls.- Smith River Falls
  • Smith River Falls is a great spot for Arctic grayling and bull trout fishing.- Smith River Falls
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Waterfalls. Unique rock formations. Near other adventures.
Cons: 
Trail down to the waterfall is unmaintained.
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Region:
Northern Rocky Mountain Foothills, BC
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Highest point: 
465.00 m (1,525.59 ft)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Summer
Total Distance: 
1.10 km (0.68 mi)
Total elevation gain: 
15.00 m (49.21 ft)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
465.00 m (1,525.59 ft)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Smith River Falls is located in historic Fort Halkett Provincial Park and can be found approximately 350 kilometers northwest of Fort Nelson along the Alaska Highway. This spectacular waterfall plunges 35 meters into the greater Liard River Valley, and its thunderous roar can be heard far and wide. The waterfall is accessed via a 3-kilometer stretch of gravel road that leads to a parking area with a good view of the falls. 

More adventurous visitors may enjoy hiking down to the base of the waterfall from the parking lot. It should be noted that the original boardwalk and stair structure that once made the climb down to the base easier was destroyed in a 2008 wildfire that engulfed the Smith River area. The trail toward the waterfall is unmaintained, and hikers should take caution. 

The hike down features a short and steep descent from the parking area that meanders to the right in order to access the river bed. Due to the wildfire burn, many trees have fallen or continue to fall around the trail, so hikers may need to scramble over some downed trees. The waterfall comes into sight once the riverbed is reached, and walking becomes much easier. There is a small viewing area a short distance away where many choose to hangout and enjoy the captivating Smith River Falls or try their luck at fishing. 

Special Notes: Fort Halkett was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post established on the Liard River at the confluence with the Smith River in 1832. The post traded furs with the Kaska, Sekani, and Dene-Thah nations. It closed in 1875. A recreation reserve was established in 1966 and stretches upstream from the highway on both sides of the river. A series of river terraces extend from the highway to the falls, a distance of about 3 kilometers.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

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Adventure Community

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