Totally Golden: Thompson Falls

Even though the skies are smoky, there are still a few days here and there with perfect weather to get out for a hike.

Last weekend took us to Thompson Falls, a gem down Blaeberry Road. We decided to do the full hike to the falls, although they are accessible by vehicle and a short walk as well.

There are a few options for this trail. You can do the entire hike from the trail head, which is 6.4 kms each way, or have a spot car at the top of the trail by the falls to drive you back, or just park up there and check them out with a quick walk down an easy trail.

This trail is used by horses, which have the right of way, as written in sharpie on the trail head sign. I wouldn’t push a horse out of the way, so I’m not arguing with that.

My hiking partner made the walk even more interesting. He is knowledgeable about edible berries and plants in the forest, which added an awesome element to this endeavour. We picked berries and chatted the entire way. I brought my trusty four-legged bestie, Jake, despite warnings that the falls might not be the most appropriate place for dogs. We weren’t at all concerned about his safety on the trail, and he happily wagged along, and scared off some wildlife for us as well. I’m not entirely sure what was in the bush, as it is heavily wooded in some areas, but I was happy we had the dog and bear spray on hand.

Parking is limited at the trail head, but there is a campground a bit further down the road from there that has ample room. We were lucky enough to be the only vehicle parked at the beginning of the trail.

The trek was mostly quiet, and we only saw one other group on their way out as we headed in. At the end, another family was taking a rest at the falls.

Following the river, the trail is fairly flat for a while, but then it veers off into the woods and starts uphill. We kept a steady pace up the total 85-metre elevation, and we took a break somewhere near the top for water.

You can hear them long before you see them. Just when you think the trail will never end, it starts descending and switching back and forth, leading you back down to the river.

Thompson Falls are a great site. I didn’t look at any pictures before we left, so it was exciting once we got to the raging waterfalls. I expected to see them from the bottom, but we made our way to the top of them, which is really just a nice flat river that takes off into the depths of a canyon with miraculous force. Before approaching the river, I put my dog on a leash just to be safe, and I’m glad I did. He doesn’t have the greatest sense of heights, and I don’t think he understands natural danger the way I think he should. Once before, I almost lost him off a cliff edge because he discovered it before I did, so I have no faith in his ability to stay safe in these situations.

Coming back from the falls, we decided to stop at a nice open area, jump across a small section of the river, and cool off in the Blaeberry River before continuing on. Once we reached the end, we threw sticks for a bit, and headed back on the road home.

More details about this hike are available at www.goldenhikes.ca/trail/thompson-falls. Anyone hiking in the area should be prepared. Always carry bear spray, have good sturdy shoes, know where you’re going, and ensure you inform friends or family of your location. This trail was well marked, but it can be easy to lose your way.

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