Lower Bugaboo Falls is a short 30 minutes to 1-hour, quite easy and a little bit dramatic hiking trail through fir and spruce forest in Brisco, British Columbia, Canada.
Direction to Lower Bugaboo Falls Trailhead
From Golden, drive south on Highway 95 until Spillimacheen shopping centre. After 1 kilometre, turn right on Westside Road and cross the two bridges on Columbia River. Driving onwards, you will find a junction, take the right turn and drive north on Westside Road which is a gravel road. The road is marked per kilometre so drive just past the 8-kilometre marker, about 3.5KM drive. On the left side, you’ll see a small car park. The trail is well marked and quite obvious.
We followed Google maps from Quinn Creek campground in Golden and were disappointed because the navigation ended at a point in the middle of nowhere. After driving back and forth on Brisco Westside road heading South instead of North almost giving up the hike, we were lucky to find someone we could ask, and he directed us.
The trail head begins at the Lower Bugaboo falls signboard and gradually ascends with minor elevations. At this point, the mosquitoes are slowly buzzing all over you. The sounds of the river flows can be heard from a distance as you approach the Bugaboo Creek with occasional sights of the water below. Right from the beginning, you’re shaded by the fir and spruce canopy which means you could hike any time of the day.
There is an off-trail diversion in the mid-section which is a deep deadfall descent to the Bugaboo Creek. You could choose to take this path to the shoreline and get some shots of the falls or just keep going. At this point, the sounds of the waterfall are more intense and can be seen at a distance. The increasing sound intensity of the Lower Bugaboo Falls is a motivation to keep hiking to the end.
The final stretch is heavily forested with some broken tree trunks across the path, with some patches wet and slippery. Be careful with your legwork here. A few metres ahead is the Lower Bugaboo Falls. The thunder roars so deafening yet the views both upstream and downstream so rewarding. There are two spots from where you can take good photoshoot of the falls.
Going down is obviously easier as one is more familiar with the trails, and also to get away from the squitoes as fast as you can.
The best tip we were given by a family at the Lower Bugaboo Falls trailhead was to bath on bug spray and wear long pants instead of shorts. The mosquitoes, oh man! Never had I seen such aggressive mosquitoes.
Lower Bugaboo Falls Tips
- Time: 30 minutes to 1 Hour to the falls
- Distance: 1.5 kilometers each way
- Difficulty: Easy
- Area: Bugaboo Provincial Park, Brisco, British Columbia
- Trail season: Early Spring to early Winter
Things to Bring With
- Bear Spray
- Bug Spray
- Long pants & Long-sleeved top if you can (The mosquitoes are very aggressive)
- Normal hiking shoes