1.8 km
0.02083333333333333Elevation Gain (m)
Clear aquamarine water pounds the rocks at Lower Bugaboo Falls. The falls are near the valley bottom of the mighty Columbia River. Thirty kilometres away, high up in the Bugaboos, the melting glaciers create big turbulent creeks, and all that water crashes down this narrow canyon and froths over the 15-m-high cascade.

This short hike is a perfect contrast to the high country in the Bugaboos and is worth a stop if you are in the area. Low elevations, pine forest and midsummer heat make the cool mist off the falls a refreshing welcome. The mist also creates midday rainbows and coats the land with moss. Mosquitoes, too, love the wet lowlands by the creek.

Trees partially block the whole height of tumbling water from viewers. Care must be emphasized, as there are no railings or protection barriers at the viewpoints. Leaning out too far or bracing on a poorly anchored tree could lead to a slip.

Bull Elk

0 km: Parking at BC Forest Service Rec Site, Lower Bugaboo Falls.

1 km: Trail splits. Right fork leads 250 m to lower falls viewpoint; worth taking to see the entire falls and the blue creek. Left fork continues to the main falls viewpoint. Trail climbs and descends 30 m (100 ft.) several times.

1.8 km: Falls viewpoint. N35600-E42400.


Main Bugaboo FS road; any vehicle; washboards, dusty

Drive Highway 95 to the small town of Brisco about 26 km north of Radium.

0 km: At Brisco follow the blue provincial park signs to Bugaboos west from Highway 95. Concrete retaining blocks landmark road turnoff. Drop down to the sawmill and follow the main road around right and cross two bridges over the Columbia River.

3.0 km: Right turn (blue Bugaboo sign 47 km).

4.8 km: Right turn onto Brisco Road. Views along the Columbia River.

8.5 km: Continue straight at the intersection of Brisco Road with Westside Road. The left turn uphill is for Bugaboo hikes, Templeton and Tiger Pass access (Bugaboo sign 42 km). If coming down from the Bugaboos, turn left here off Westside Road and drive north 3.2 km on Brisco Road.

11.7 km: Pullout by road (sign for BC Forest Service Rec Site, Lower Bugaboo Falls).

Hike Map
Janice Strong

Janice Strong

Janice Strong is an established professional outdoor photographer. Her images grace collections all over the world and appear in many respected publications. She is passionate about hiking and is also an avid snowshoer and skier, exploring the outdoors of the East Kootenay in southeastern BC year round.

She openly shares her passion for the outdoors with others and has introduced hundreds of people to the joys of hiking. For a decade she led hikes for the City of Cranbrook – Parks and Recreation. With her guidance, many people have themselves become enthusiastic hikers.

Climbing mountains, finding new places and enjoying the experience of the journey have always been important to Janice. She cherishes the little things she sees along the trail, as well as the grand destinations.

When Janice is not writing, hiking or taking photographs, she is involved in various creative digital, website design or photographic projects for her clients. She and her husband, Jamie Levine, enjoy their rural property, near Cranbrook, BC.

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