Crystal Falls, Coquitlam BC
A “local in a local” series.
British Columbians are always encouraged to get out and see what’s in their own backyard. I did just that.
This Hidden Gem is Crystal Falls – A short 10-minute drive or 40-minute walk from my home (45-minute drive from Vancouver) located in a residential area along the Coquitlam River, is a 7- kilometer trail which takes approximately three hours to hike in and back out again.
You could get there easily by taking the Evergreen Line to Lafarge Lake and walking through the park heading up towards the soccer pitches in the North-East corner. If you are driving, I suggest parking in the parking lot on the corner of David Ave and Pipeline Road and walking east to Shaughnessy. This is a residential cul-de-sac and when busy can be quite tricky to maneuver around. One last noteworthy item is there are no toilets, so go before you leave home, or if you are travelling from further afield, stop at a gas station beforehand.
This park has one garbage can at the entrance off Karley Crescent, so bring a backpack and take out your own garbage to keep the trails clean. As you enter the trail (there are three Coquitlam City sawhorses in front of the opening). You will descend down a small walking slope which could be slippery if it is raining. This is a multi-use trail for hikers, runners, walkers and bikers. It is not a trail for baby buggies. Some spots of the trail you are right beside the river and some areas has you trudging through mud or water (and from the seasoned hikers I spoke to ahead of time they all said this is the way the footpath is almost 7 months of the year, so come prepared for a little mud or wet shoes). It had rained the night before we hiked but the sun was sporadically popping in and out, so I thought I would wear long lightweight pants and a t-shirt with a hoodie, just in case there were those pesky mosquitoes lurking. I did see a couple of them, but it wasn’t too bad. Now, let’s talk about my footwear – although my choice wasn’t necessarily the right choice for hiking (short Hunter rubber boots, it was great in the areas of mud and the small streams that flow across the path).
We walked for about an hour and a bit with the occasional stop to take photos and allow people through the sometimes-narrow path. Unfortunately, due to the puddles, some new walkways have been marked out by footprints which have now widened areas here and there.
Once we made it the falls, it was like an angelic feeling of accomplishment, listening to the sounds of the water and the birds singing their lovely songs. There were approximately 50-60 people in their small groups filtered out into the more spacious area that consisted of large boulders, fallen trees and some spots of uneven ground all at the base of the falls.
If you want to go when there are less people, I would suggest being at the start at 9:00 am when there are considerably less people hiking and make sure you have enough time to hike the trail and be home before it gets dark. I will visit again, but it made me think – what other hidden gems are in my backyard? I will investigate and bring you another “local in a local” at a later date.
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Published: October 1, 2020
PoMoDee (Darlene) is the Social Media Coordinator for BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association managing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Google + for Camping and RVing BC Coalition and Travelling in British Columbia. Darlene was born and raised in British Columbia, where she currently resides in Port Moody. Darlene calls herself an avid camper, who has been camping since the age of two and still enjoys the serene setting of a campsite. Interests include crocheting, crafting, photography and anything beach!