The Rockwall: Helmet Falls to Tumbling Creek

With steep switchbacks at either end, this stage undulates through larch groves and meadows, and passes the only gap in the Rockwall.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
12 km
Ascent
713 m
Descent
576 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
1.8 km
High Point
2.2 km
Gradient
10˚
VIEW ON MAP
The Rockwall: Helmet Falls to Tumbling Creek Map

Description

If you began the trek via Helmet/Ochre Junction, then you are hopefully warmed up and feeling fit, because the work starts just after Helmet Falls Camp. The day begins with steep switchbacks to climb out of the Helmet Creek drainage. Through the trees you’ll see the Rockwall ahead, looming ever larger as you get higher and closer.

The trail then crosses a plateau beneath Limestone Peak, which is part of the Rockwall. The gradient lessens, and the forest thins into meadows and larch groves, granting better views of the surroundings. The plateau soon dips in elevation and the trail enters a broad, rocky basin where it crosses the outlet of a small lake. Next comes another tough climb (not super steep, but rather long) to reach Rockwall Pass, going above treeline and crossing wide-open alpine meadows.

After Rockwall Pass comes the only break in the Rockwall, at a gap called Wolverine Pass. A side trail leads there and exits Kootenay National Park, but the trail to Tumbling Creek continues up and over another shoulder, then into the next drainage to the south. There it re-enters the forest and switchbacks down to camp.

Sources: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/kootenay/activ/arrierepays-backcountry https://mountaincathedrals.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/the-rockwall-trail-part-2-rockwall-pass-and-tumbling-creek/

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

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
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area