No technology, no excess, no stress
Sometimes you need a change in pace, a quiet spot to forget everyday life and soak in nature. Somewhere where there’s no cell service, limited amenities, spotty-to-no-wifi and very little traffic. A place you’re as likely to see wildlife as you are another person. Wells Gray Park, only a few minutes out of Clearwater, BC provides those, while being only a short distance from civilization.
A gem of a park, mostly known for the amazing breadth of waterfalls (39 named, countless others), holds many other secrets. An amazing place for anyone to go, whether you are looking for an adventure or some quiet time away with someone special, there’s something for everyone. There are plenty of beautiful B&Bs to stay at during the fall season, or if you’re well equipped and can brave a little cold, try out one of the campgrounds. We choose to live it up a little and stay in a cozy B&B, the Blue Grouse Country Inn (worth a trip for the breakfast alone, not to mention Regina’s incredible hospitality) right in the middle of the park.
Amenities in the park are limited, so grab some groceries in Clearwater before heading into the park. There are plenty of ways to check out the park aside from driving. There are over 200 km of hiking trails, many great bike trails, endless opportunities to get out on the water (anything from rafting to a slow canoe trip) and even horseback riding! All of these options can help lessen your carbon footprint while visiting.
The park lends itself to opening up to nature - all five senses are touched.
Sight - Put your phone and camera down for a while and use your eyes! Huge vistas, incredible colour palettes and if you’re lucky, amazing wildlife viewing opportunities.
Touch - The coolness of fog, the crunch of frosty grass, the mist running off the falls. Always be respectful of what you are touching - the plants are rugged, but fragile, the animals are accessible but wild, and trails and fences are there for a reason!
Smell - Take a deep breath as often as you can. Leaves decomposing, sweet moss and mushrooms growing in the forests, the occasional waft of late season berries.
Sound - Don’t just hear; really, really listen. Rustling leaves, the crash of a cascading waterfall, the rush of the river. Absolute quiet in the dark.
Taste - Cool spray from the falls landing on your lips, forests so green you can taste the freshness when you breath in deep. Hop n Hog for dinner.
Come visit Wells Gray. Put your phone away (unless you’re taking photos of course), spend time talking to someone, or just listening to nature. Put your hand in the creek, touch the dewy moss, skip some rocks and breath in deeply. Enjoy unbridled nature. No technology, no excess, no stress. Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but a little piece of your heart.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matt Ferguson is a BC born and raised photographer, currently living in Kelowna. When his camera isn't strapped to him, you can usually find him at the beach with his family, skipping rocks or if it's cold enough, strapping on some skates and hitting a frozen pond.