Trip 169 - August 3, 2019 (Saturday)
Deception Falls Trail Hike
Wells Gray Provincial Park near 100 Mile House BC
Location: South-Central British Columbia, approximately 81 kilometers from 100 Mile House via Highway 97 (for 2 km), Canim-Hendrix Lake Road (for 34 km), Canim Lake South Road (for 25 km), Mahood Lake Road (for 15 km), and Mahood Lake Road North (for 5 km).
Liked: Deception Falls views, a fairly short and easy trail.
Of Note: Steep unbarricaded drop-offs at the best waterfall viewpoints. Hiking boots and poles are recommended. Some mosquitoes present. The trail is popular.
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast BC Backroad Mapbook (4th edition) Waterfall Location Coordinates:: Page 19 (Interlakes Highway) E1.
Related Website: Wells Gray Provincial Park - BC Parks Official Website.
Deception Falls trail is located about five kilometers away from Mahood Lake Campground of Wells Gray Provincial Park. Once you reach the campground, a rather rough road leads to Deception Falls trailhead past Canim River trailhead (which leads to some badly collapsed old shacks), and Whale Lake trailhead, leading to a fishing lake. Deception Falls is a very impressive waterfall, though it certainly is overshadowed by the magnificence of Canim Falls, located less than fifteen kilometers away. Deception Falls trail is also more difficult to get to, and more challenging to hike than Canim Falls trail. That said, plenty of people hike to Deception Falls, and this trail is certainly quite popular.
1. We start with the photo of the entrance to Mahood Lake Campground. This is the same photograph as photo # 15 of that trip report, so please check it out for directions on getting up to this point from BC Highway 97 near 100 Mile House. The campground itself is to the right, and to the left is Mahood Lake Road North, which leads to Canim Lake trail, Whale Lake Trail, and Deception Falls trail. See the sign to the left of the red sign in the middle of the photo?
2. Here is that sign up close. Note, that the indicated distances are incorrect, especially to the last two trails. It's 700 meters from here to Canim River trailhead, 1.9 km to Whale Lake trailhead, and 4.9 km to Deception Falls trailhead.
3. The roads from Highway 97 to Mahood Lake Campground are fairly decent, and can be tackled by just about any vehicle. However, Mahood Lake Road North is much rougher, and is suitable to high clearance vehicles only (2WD ok).
4. Canim River trailhead is on the left side, 700 meters after the start of Mahood Lake Road North. The sign says the trail is 500 meters long. We hiked for over a kilometer and saw nothing of interest. Wondering what's going on, we went back, and stumbled upon three badly collapsed and overgrown shacks, about 500 meters from the trailhead. Backroad Mapbook, indeed, states that the trail leads to "remains of an early homestead." Alas, the shacks are in such a bad shape that there is nothing to see. This, Canim River trail could be considered as providing a way for the fishermen to access the river. That said, the trail kept going along the river, so who knows where it eventually leads.
5. Here is one of the busted shacks by Canim River trail.
6. Not much to see.
7. Moving on towards Deception Falls trailhead, Canim River bridge arrives at the 1.7 km mark.
8. The view of Canim River from the bridge.
9. Whale Lake trailhead to a fishing lake arrives right after the bridge.
10. Mahood Lake Road North splits at the 2.2 km mark. Stay to the right on the obvious main road.
11. Deception Falls trailhead parking area is located at the 4.9 km mark.
12. Here is the trailhead, on the left side, like the rest of them. Coordinates: N 51’53’741 W 120’29’203. Elevation: 651 meters.
13. Mahood Lake Road North continues for another 200 meters, and ends at the entrance to a private residence.
14. So, we returned to Deception Falls trailhead parking area, and started the hike. Within 30 meters, there is a split - keep going straight.
15. There is some elevation on this trail, but, overall, it's fairly easy.
16. Fenced-off observation area arrives 920 meters from the trailhead. Coordinates: N 51’54’164 W 120’29’141. Elevation: 738 meters (87 meters elevation gain from the start of the trail). The fence has been damaged by a storm.
17. Deception Falls view from the observation area is substantially obstructed by trees.
18. But less than a hundred meters further, there are two access points to much better observation areas. Beware, though, as those viewpoints are not fenced-off, and the drop-offs are very steep. The path is also inclined towards the ravine. Here is the first such observation point.
19. And Deception Falls is before you in all of its glory.
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