Bergeron Falls Hiking Trail. This very rewarding hike leads to Bergeron Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in northern B.C. The falls plunge 100 metres over a sandstone lip into a spectacular horseshoe shaped bowl. Hiking to the top of the falls and back involves a distance of 8.8 km return, takes 3 to 4 hours, and is moderately strenuous. The circular route, completed in 2010, is more strenuous (although rope hand-lines have been placed to help hikers through the steeper parts), and longer (11 kms including the sidetrail to the base of the falls). It is highly recommended. It has much more varied scenery, leads to both the bottom and the top of the falls, and includes impressive riverside, knife-edge and canyon sections. There are kim 1 to km 9 markers along this route, excluding side-trails.
Warning: This trail has huge unfenced dropoffs at the cliff edges. Children and pets should be closely supervised. Some simple scrambling, and negotiation of a rock ledge high above the creek are needed to reach the base of the falls.
Directions to the Trailhead
From Tumbler Ridge, drive north towards Chetwynd on
Highway 29 for 5 km to a right turn onto a gravel road.
The turn is marked with a sign displaying a hiker and ‘8
km’. Follow this road for 8 km to its end in a large gravel
pit. There is a sign at the trailhead.
From the parking lot, the trail climbs gently through mixed aspen and spruce forests. At 0.6 km, a fork is reached. For Bergeron Falls, take the right fork (the left fork leads to the Bergeron Cliffs). The trail climbs steadily until it levels out on a bench. Just before 1.0km, Vomer Creek is reached. This stream has a small waterfall, which can be seen by heading 10 metres off the trail. Shortly after passing the falls, the trail follows a long cutline through the forest.
At km 2.2 a major junction is reached. Keeping left leads
to the top of the falls and viewpoints, 2 kms further on.
First it passes through an interesting forest of small pine
trees in an old burn area. This is mostly level hiking
except for where the trail descends to cross Bergeron
Creek via a long footbridge (use at own risk and be
aware that there is a huge waterfall downstream).The
trail then ascends and approaches the edge of the cliff,
leading to spectacular viewpoints of Bergeron Falls. A
rope barrier has been placed at the old first viewpoint to
keep hikers away from the unstable cliff edge. For hikers
wishing just to see the falls from the top, continue to the
last viewpoint bench but do not descend further.
Keeping right at the km 2.4 junction is the recommended
direction of travel for the Circular Route (see map). After
a level section this trail descends steadily until it crosses
a clear, spring-fed creek before coming out on a cliff
bank overlooking the Murray River. Close by is an
historic pack trail. The trail then edges along the top of
bluffs (stay away from the cliff edge), with great views of
the river below, before passing along and then
descending a spectacular knife-edge ridge (km 4), which
leads to river level. A side trail gives access to the river
and the mouth of Bergeron Creek. The Circular Route
then crosses the creek via a bridge and heads upstream,
sometimes in the forest, sometimes in the gravel bars.
Soon there is an important junction. Keeping left leads
along a dramatic, rough, 500 metre long side-trail,
through a scenic slot canyon (which involves minor
scrambling and a ledge) to the magnificent scenery at
the base of the falls. This section is best done during
times of low water, and is impassable during floods. Stay
on the north bank of the creek until the falls are in sight,
and then wade across the creek to get right to the falls.
Back at this junction, heading up the slope the trail
climbs relentlessly, past km 5, until it reaches one of the
fine viewpoints of the falls and joins main trail to the top
of the falls described above. Once again, be careful at
the bridge crossing over the creek above the falls.
There are a number of other fascinating features in the
area just above the falls. A favourite is the side-trail to
Hidden Valley, a dry, cool, mossy, steep-sided, linear
cleft that parallels the main cliff edge. An offshoot from
the Hidden Valley trail leads to the bottom of Dipper
Falls, a small waterfall in attractive rocky surroundings
on Bergeron Creek. Scalpel Ridge is another side-trail
from the main trail: it follows a narrow knife-edge ridge
before descending to a forest glade beside the creek.
Bergeron Creek is one of the many tributaries of the
Murray that enter the river valley with waterfalls. These
creeks cut their channels after the ice retreated from the
Murray River following the last glaciation.
On the return trip back to the trailhead, one may link up
with the Bergeron Cliffs by heading further along the
cutline, following this connector trail to meet up with the
trail to the cliffs. The trail climbs steadily, coming out on
top of the cliffs and following along them, with great
views. The cliffs trail is covered in a separate brochure.
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