The drive up to Jasper National Park from Vancouver is pretty far, so we decided that a stop over in Clearwater on the way would be a good idea. Clearwater is right next to Wells Gray Provincial Park so is a good base for exploring the area. Ideally we would have camped in the park itself, however, the campgrounds are a good hour and a half deep into Wells Gray. If we had more time then we definitely would have done this, but with only one night up our sleeves, we had to be content with the KOA campground right in the village. It was a resounding okay. It has everything you need including showers and a swimming pool and was in a fantastic location. On our way to Clearwater we accidentally took a wrong turn so our trip up to Clearwater took a bit longer than anticipated, however, we did happen to come across the beautiful Adams Lake. This was a welcome surprise after our initial annoyance – so we stopped for a beer and that made it all worth the detour. Almost.
Once in Clearwater we decided to take a trip into Wells Gray to do a the Trophy Mountain Trail up to the meadows. It’s a 45 minute hike with not much elevation gain up to the meadows, and from there you can explore the meadows at leisure and continue on to Sheila Lake if you want to. We were a bit pressed for time so stuck to the meadows. In the summer this alpine meadow is alive with a sea of flowers and it was a beautiful place to explore.
Wells Gray Provincial Park is home to a lot of spectacular waterfalls. We made a stop off at Spahats Falls just before dusk and it was stunning. Also we had the whole place to ourselves which always makes it better. We even spied a white-tailed deer on our drive out!
The town of Clearwater itself is nothing to write home about, however, we did find an awesome bbq restaurant called Hop N Hog. It had great beer and great food – highly recommend.
Our brief time in Clearwater was jam-packed and a lot of fun. It is definitely worth a stop over or an extended stay if you head on up into the park to camp. Cost wise the KOA Campground was CA$50 per night for the camp site – however you were only allowed one tent per site. We went out for dinner and breakfast so that added a bit to our costs. However, if you’re camping it makes everything pretty economical. Budget approximately CA$70 (NZ$80) per day if you camp.