Breathtaking is the only word that can remotely describe the beauty of Hunlen Falls in remote Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the West Chilcotin area of British Columbia.

"Hunlen Falls in a magnificent setting"

Hunlen Falls in a magnificent setting

How high are Hunlen Falls?

But almost no one has ever heard of Hunlen Falls – and nor do they realize that these waterfalls are Canada’s third highest – plunging 1,316 feet (401 metres). In fact they are the highest waterfalls in Canada IF you measure as a continuous unbroken drop.

"Hunlen Falls drops from the north end of Turner Lake"

Hunlen Falls drops from the north end of Turner Lake

For comparison’s sake consider Niagara Falls. It turns out they plunge a measly 51 metres (167 feet) – give or take a few feet depending if you’re on the American or Canadian side. Granted their volume is considerably greater.

The Turner Lake chain is excellent for canoeing

The Turner Lake chain is excellent for canoeing

The best way to see Hunlen Falls is via floatplane.

It’s a twenty minute flight from Nimpo Lake. If you have time, you can land on Turner Lake and take the one kilometre trail to the lookout.

View from the plane of Hunlen Falls

Topography of the Hunlen Falls area

Gorgeous view of Turner Lakes with Hunlun Falls in the bottom right corner

Gorgeous view of Turner Lakes with Hunlun Falls in the bottom right corner

"Part of the Turner Lake Chain above and the lake just above Hunlen Falls"

Beautiful Turner Lake above Hunlen Falls

It looks so calm above Hunlun Falls

It looks so calm above Hunlun Falls

Alternatively you can hike to Hunlen Falls. But take a look at the photos and can see how heavily treed the area is. That means there isn’t much in the way of a view until you reach the falls. That’s not my favourite type of hiking.

But should you still decide to hike to Hunlen Falls here’s what you need to know:

Read: The 10 Hiking Essentials Everyone Should Carry

  • The trail is 16.4 kilometres one way with a vertical raise of 800 metres (2625 feet). It’s a great trail if you like counting switchbacks. There are 78 of them.
  • Plan to take 6-9 hours one way so unless you’re a super-fast hiker, you’ll have to backpack into Turner Lake and spend the night. Backcountry fees apply – usually $5 per person per night in cash.
  • The trail starts at the parking lot from an old tote road 12 kilometres in from Highway 20. You need a 4 X 4 vehicle to access it.
  • Stillwater Lake, four kilometres in from the trailhead, is the last source of drinking water before you reach Turner Lake. Fill your water bottles here.
  • There may be a lot of trees down, especially because of deadfalls from a pine bark beetle infestation.
  • This area is famous for its grizzly and black bears. In fact Tweedsmuir Park recommends hiking the first three kilometres of the trail between late morning and early afternoon to avoid them.

Read: Tips for Staying Safe in Bear Country

  • From Turner Lake you can access several days’ worth of high alpine hiking including the Panorama Loop Trails and the trail to Ptarmigan Lake. Be sure to bring a good map and compass or GPS.
  • As you may have guessed this hike is rated difficult.
"The whole of Hunlen Falls"

The whole of Hunlen Falls

Hunlun Falls doesn't have much width but what a drop

Hunlun Falls doesn’t have much width but what a drop

Have you heard of Hunlen Falls or Tweedsmuir Provincial Park for that matter?

You might also enjoy this post as the hike is nearby – A World-class Hike: The Rainbow Range in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

Hunlun Falls in the chilcotin area of BC is Canada's third highest waterfall

Leigh McAdam

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta
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Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada. Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

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