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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