The Rockwall: Helmet Creek to Helmet Falls

Hike to a backcountry campground near a huge, double-forked waterfall along The Rockwall trek.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
8.2 km
Ascent
408 m
Descent
154 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
1.8 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
The Rockwall: Helmet Creek to Helmet Falls Map

Description

Helmet Falls is one of the most impressive cascades in British Columbia, but remains unknown to most. The only way to see this 350-metre giant is by hiking deep into the backcountry of Kootenay. It’s one highlight of The Rockwall trek, but can also be seen by an out-and-back on Helmet Creek Trail from the Paint Pots trailhead. If starting from Paint Pots, the first section is Helmet/Ochre Junction Trail, and the second is Helmet Creek Trail.

Helmet Creek Trail begins from Helmet/Ochre Junction camp, crosses the stream on a bridge, and soon takes switchbacks to climb away from the valley floor. The next few kilometres are on thickly forested slopes, with intermittent views over the creek from avalanche clearings. After returning to creek level, the next kilometres meander through a mix of forest and panoramic meadows, at one point giving a glimpse of Helmet Falls in the distance.

Finally the trail reaches Helmet Falls camp, which is a particularly comfortable backcountry campground, and a popular one. It requires an advance reservation and permit from Kootenay National Park. The waterfall is still some distance from the camp, but better views are a short hike away.

Sources: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/kootenay/activ/arrierepays-backcountry#ochre https://www.myhikingjournal.com/single-post/2019/03/01/The-Rockwall-Trail--Part-1-Ink-Pots-Trailhead-to-Helmet-Creek-Campground

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area