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Trip 268 - September 7, 2022 (Wednesday)

Smith River Falls Visit

Near Liard River BC
 

Smith River Falls Location: 2.4 km off BC Highway 97 (Alaska Hwy), approximately 30 km North of Liard River, and 345 km North of Fort Nelson.

Liked: Waterfall views from parking lot and end of path, a short and rather easy trail, no bugs.

Of Note: 2.3 km-long access road is filled with potholes (regular clearance vehicles ok), parking lot may not be large enough for vehicles larger than a full size pickup to turn around, several short steep stretches on the trail, hiking poles and boots are recommended.

Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Coordinates: Page 89 (Coal River) D6.

 

Smith River Falls is a fine waterfall, more wide than tall, with an easy access off BC Highway 97 (Alaska Highway) 30 km North of Liard River and 345 km North of Fort Nelson. A gravel road full of potholes leads to a rather small parking lot 2.4 km from the highway. Any vehicle not larger than a full size pickup truck and with regular clearance should be able to get to the parking area and turn around.

The trail to Smith River Falls is rather steep, but has a very neat staircase, which takes care of much of that steepness. The trail is very short too, all of 300 meters one way, but, interestingly enough, the info board by the trailhead states that the round distance is 1.4 km, or 700 meters one way. Not sure what might have caused such a discrepancy.

Also, the toilet is still there, but it's boarded up pretty good. Finally, if you don't feel like hiking to the waterfall, a pretty good view of Smith River Falls can be had right from the parking lot.

*All trail distances are based on a GPS odometer and are approximate.

1. Here are Google Maps directions from Liard River, BC to Smith River Falls access road turnoff, located off BC Highway 97 (Alaska Hwy) about 30 km North of Liard River.

 

2. We are Northbound on BC Highway 97 (Alaska Hwy) approaching the turnoff to Smith River Falls access road.

3. Here is the turnoff, 30 km North of Liard River, BC.

4. The access road to Smith River Falls is 2.4 km-long.

5. The access road features many potholes, with several being quite large.

6. And here is Smith River Falls parking lot, 2.4 km from Highway 97. Coordinates: N 5934.074 W 12627.721. Elevation: 470 meters. Extra large vehicles may find turning around rather complicated, especially if other vehicles would already be parked here.

7. Smith River Falls can be observed right from the parking lot, where the railing is seen on the right side in the photo above.

8-9. From the same spot with some and much zoom.

Here is our video of the views from this location.

10-13. An information board is located at the end of the parking lot, right by the trailhead.

14. The short hike begins.

15. Just 20 meters later, there is a steep stretch referred to in the info board. Thankfully, a staircase has been placed in this location.

16. Another 20 meters, and we are at the bottom of the staircase.

17. Looking back up.

18. Other than this, there is a small steep and slippery stretch, as seen on the way back.

19. At 140 meters of the hike, we have reached Smith River.

20. Looking back at 165 meters.

21. And, just 300 meters from the trailhead, we are at the end of the trail with Smith River Falls in front of us. Coordinates: N 5934.201 W 12627.691. Elevation: 457 meters. The river appeared too deep for wading, but, if one does not mind the swim, the waterfall is very close and appears to be quite approachable.

22. Now with a zoom.

Here is our video of the views from this location.

More ihikebc videos are on our YouTube Channel.

23. Another natural attraction near Liard River are several herds of bison roaming by the highway.

Here is our video of the bison.

More ihikebc videos are on our YouTube Channel.

The path to Smith River Falls is quite short and fairly easy, and the waterfall is rather impressive. Highly recommended.


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ihikebc.com Trip 268 - Smith River Falls Visit (Near Liard River BC)