Trip 164 - July 20, 2019 (Saturday)

Schoolhouse Falls EAST Trail Hike

Near Bella Coola / Hagensborg British Columbia


Trailhead Location: Central Coast of British Columbia, in the settlement of Hagensborg, approximately 27 kilometers East of the town of Bella Coola via Highway 20, and school grounds.

Liked: The waterfall, valley and mountain views, very few bugs.

Of Note: Highway noise for much of the trail. Steep unbarricaded drop-off at one viewpoint. Several very steep sections. Hiking poles and boots are highly recommended.

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast BC Backroad Mapbook (4th edition) Trailhead Coordinates: Page 22 (Bella Coola) F1.

Related Trip Report: 130 - BC Highway 20 (Williams Lake to Bella Coola).

Please, see our previous trip report (West Falls) for getting to the trailhead directions. Unlike its West cousin, East Falls trail is much steeper, and definitely appears to be less used. East Falls trail does feature better waterfall, valley and mountain views, as they are not as obstructed by vegetation. At only 2 kilometers long, the East trail is almost twice as long as the West trail, and could certainly be challenging at times.

Also, while it is possible to observe the most, if not all, of the West falls from the end of the trail, one can only see bits and pieces of the East falls while hiking. To see the most of the East waterfall, it is necessary to stand by the trailhead and look up the mountain, as seen in photo #1.

1. Standing by the trailhead and looking up the mountain with much zoom, we see Schoolhouse Falls East waterfall.

2. Now at the trailhead.

3. The boardwalk ends about 260 meters later. Make a left turn once it ends.

4. Schoolhouse Falls EAST trail shortly after the boardwalk.

5. This trail is short but difficult, with lots of rocks and exposed roots.

6. The forest is quite pleasant, though no match to the one by Odegaard Falls.

7. There is a split at the 1.6 km mark. Coordinates: N 5223072 W 12632291. Elevation: 56 meters. To the left, within 100 meters, is the first waterfall view, as well as a valley lookout.

8. So, we took the path to the left, and here is a small part of Schoolhouse Falls EAST that could be observed from this location.

9. Bella Coola valley and mountain views are very good too.

10. With a slight zoom.

Here is a video of the waterfall and the valley.

More videos are on our YouTube Channel.

11. We then returned to the main trail and kept going. After the split, it gets even steeper.

12. The good news is that there are very few bugs.

13. The bad news is that it's so steep that you would need to use an attached rope, as seen in this photograph.

14. Just a few hundred meters after the split, at about the 1.8 km mark, slightly to the left of the trail, there is an excellent valley viewpoint. WARNING - DANGEROUS AREA - the viewpoint is very close to flowing water and a very steep unbarricaded drop-off. Beware of slippery conditions, lest you repeat our slide at the West waterfall, with far worse consequences.

15. So, yeah, Bella Coola valley.

16. Looking to the right.

17. Zooming in.

18. Moving on, several hundred meters later, at the 2.0 km mark, is (what we believe to be) the end of the waterfall trail, with this fine view of another part of Schoolhouse Falls EAST. Coordinates: N 5222851 W 12631527. Elevation: 350 meters. You would need to walk for about 50 meters off the main trail, which continues steeply up the mountain. We did hike it further for another 500 meters or so, where the trail disappeared for no apparent reason. Perhaps, there are some views further on, or the trail continues for folks who simply like to hike on the mountain.

Here is a second video of the waterfall.

More videos are on our YouTube Channel.

While substantially steeper than WEST falls trail, EAST falls trail has better waterfall and mountain/valley views. Recommended.

<--- Schoolhouse Falls WEST    Chilliwack Dyke Trail Visit --->

 -> 164 Schoolhouse Falls EAST Trail Hike (near Bella Coola / Hagensborg)