Crystal Falls hike
Crystal Falls is a gentle hike following the Upper Coquitlam River, which ends at the stunning Crystal Falls waterfall on Pritchett Creek. While this is an all-year trail, summer takes this hike to the next level, with crystal clear canyon pools available for a refreshing dip.
Coming from either Lougheed Highway or the Barnet Highway, head north on Pinetree Way in Coquitlam. Drive past Douglas College and Town Center Park and turn right onto David Ave. Drive another few minutes and turn left onto Shaughnessy Street. You will come to Karley Crescent, where you can find parking.
|When to do|
Out and back
Route Description for Crystal Falls
Kick off the Crystal Falls Hike on Karley Crescent and find the path leading into the forest, before heading down a steep slope until you reach a signboard. The Coquitlam River should be on your left.
Within a few minutes into the hike, the path will open up and you’ll find yourself next to the waters edge, where you may spot swimmers or sunbathers enjoying a dip on hot days. But, you can also spot spawning fish, crayfish and little minnows here as well.
Continue along the path as it flows up and down, then zig zags left and right. The forest can be dense with towering trees, leaving hikers feeling as if they’ve left the city far behind.
Keep following the trail north, with the Coquitlam River off to your left. At times, you’ll have to jump over or walk through small patches of the stream, which can be slippery and muddy outside the height of summer. Within 0.6mi, you’ll reach a small marsh, home to an abundance of skunk cabbage.
Eventually, you’ll reach an offshoot trail on your left, about 1.2mi into the trail, which will be marked by an orange flag. Pass by a run-down and rusted pickup truck, left behind years ago, though there isn’t much to look at after years of decay.
Hop, skip or jump over a final stream, you’re in the home stretch to the waterfall now.
Follow the trail to the right, as it leads up to Crystal Falls. Climb, carefully, up to the highest point in the trail to get a closer look at the water as it tumbles down into Coquitlam River.
At the top of Crystal Falls, around the corner, you’ll find a small, scenic canyon where Pritchett Creek has carved its way.
After you’ve snapped a few photos and had time to rest, it’s time to refollow the path back towards the car.
Bears and cougars have been spotted on the Crystal Falls trail. Keep an eye out for any signs outlining recent sightings.
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