Della Falls
Della Falls
4.5
About
Canada's highest waterfall, at a height of 440 meters, offers many hiking trails, campsites and viewing opportunities.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
11 reviews
Excellent
7
Very good
4
Average
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Teresa H
Texada Island, Canada6,447 contributions
Jul. 2016 • Couples
What is neat about the falls is that the only way to see them is by foot. A great backpacking trip from 2 entrance options. Really nice campsite at the base of the Falls in Strathcona Provincial Park
Written July 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Hans T
5 contributions
Jun. 2016 • Friends
What a wonderful Hike. With the highest total vertical drop, measured at 440 metres (1443 ft), Della Falls is considered by many to be the highest waterfall in Canada. Thus the views are spectacular. In 1899, prospector and trapper Joe Drinkwater discovered Della Falls and named them after his wife. Drinkwater also built a 16 km (10 mi) hiking trail to the falls via Drinkwater Creek. Evidence of his gold mining operation, including an aerial tramway he built, can still be seen near the falls. The Drink water creek is followed all the way up to the falls. This is an incredible riparian environment with endless swimming opportunities in the cool clear water. Plan for a day-trip from the base of the falls to visit Love Lake or the head-waters of the Drink water creek. I have hiked it many times from the Buttle lake trail head as well as the Central Lake trail head. Support of a water taxi in any way that you arrange the expedition is a first class way to start or end your expedition.

For a superior water taxi to complete your logistics visit DELLAFALLS.CA or call direct 250 927 6164.
Written July 3, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lesly D
Surrey, Canada492 contributions
Sep. 2015 • Friends
Della Falls is one of the highest in Canada. The trailhead is accessed at the end of Great Central Lake. There is a reliable boat shuttle service that will take you across the lake to the trailhead and pick you up, or you can find your way there. I have kayaked to the trailhead, which is about 20 miles, and have also taken the water taxi. This fall I took the taxi, which is good if you are limited on time. The lake is reasonably scenic, although not stunningly so. The hike up to the falls is reasonably strenuous with a backpack, and is quite rough is sections. Nonetheless, it is not unduly challenging and takes about six or seven hours. When one gets to the falls, however, due to the steepness of the mountain, only the bottom part can be viewed. This Fall there was scarcely any water coming down. However, it was still a good hike, and the tent spot among huge trees at the base of the falls was comforting. The best thing to do is to head up the mountain facing the falls, going to Love Lake at the top of the mountain, It is a steep, no-nonsense hike for the fit (especially with a backpack), but it eventually takes you even with the lake on the other side of the valley that feeds the falls, and then well above it. On the day I went up, the lower valleys were covered in fog, making it feel like I was on an airplane thousands of feet above the valley floor. Camping at Love Lake is stunning. It is so quiet and isolated, a turquoise jewel surrounded by high cliffs. When I was there fog moved in on a sunny day, and rapidly kept changing the vistas, like a veil being teasingly floated over the lake. There is no campground per se at Love Lake, only a few places flat enough for a tent. There are no toilets or places to hang up your food to protect it from bears (which are in the area), so one must go prepared. Given the remoteness of the location, not many people go there. I did not see anyone else the four days I was out. This is a special place that is worth the difficulty of getting to. If you do go, I strongly suggest you plan to hike up to Love Lake as well as go to the base of the falls, because the scenery is stellar, and gets better the higher you climb. The details of how to make the necessary arrangements are available on-line.
Written January 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Scott R
Vancouver Island, Canada298 contributions
Jul. 2015 • Family
I hiked to the falls with my son (aged 16) and daughter (aged 20) over a couple of days in July. We took our own boat to the trail head, a ~30Km one-way trip, and left it at the dock while on the hike. This simplified timing for us, but it would have been easy enough to also book a taxi from the lodge at the head of the lake. Canoe or kayak would also have been possible as the lake has always been calm when I've been on it, but as it is long and narrow, I expect if you hit a day with strong winds it could be a tough slog & as there aren't many good pullout places if it gets too rough, caution would be required.

At the trail head there are several levelled tent sites and racks for canoes / kayaks, but when we were there, the mosquitoes were bad, so the camp sites wouldn’t have been much fun as the sites are in the bush with little/no sun or breeze.

Something that comes as a surprise to visitors to on the island is that the weather can be hot and humid in the interior areas. Daytime temps for us were 28-30 degrees C & can exceed 35 C later in the season. While most of the Island is temperate, the area is in the middle of the island and regularly gets very hot & you need to prepare for that. Conversely, it cools rapidly at night. We saw temps of about 10 C in the morning. Because of the heat, you use a lot of water but, even though there is lots flowing, you need to be careful when drinking it as "Beaver fever" is a concern in the hot weather.

As we made it, the entire hike was ~15 km one-way with an elevation gain of ~375 metres. Most of the elevation gain comes in the last few km. We were early enough in the year that the first couple of Km were wet & the mosquitoes as bad as I have seen anywhere (and I’ve hiked in the tundra in the early summer). With the heat, this made things more uncomfortable than they seem on paper. Once we were higher up, they weren’t a problem although they did appear at the campsite at dusk. While the trail is good (the 1st few km follows the path of an overgrown access road for long gone mines and logging), the creeks are prone to flooding in winter rains & were still full when we were there. Normally, this isn’t a problem as there are bridges, but one was out & we had to wade a small river that was flowing cold, fast and high. As well, there were a lot of trees down from a winter storm that made one section of ~1.5 km very difficult. However, this was mostly a result of it being early in the season, and I expect the parks crews had things fixed soon after, so these kinds of issues wouldn’t be the norm.

The falls themselves are amazing and we were able to camp right at the base (there are 2 camp sites at the top, the 1st you come to is still some distance from the falls). We camped at a smaller site that only had room for 2-3 tents max. It did have a bear cache, but we never saw any sign of any). The down side is that you are so close to the falls that you can’t see the whole thing – which is actually a series if connected cascades, not a single drop. On the hike in, there are only 2 or 3 places where you can see the entire falls, most of the trip is in bush.

We didn’t try to get to the top of the falls, but that would have been a good day trip from our base camp had we had the time (but at an 800 M vertical would have been a steep climb). Another option to the typical round trip that looks interesting would be to continue on from the falls making the hike between Buttle lake and the trail head a Great Central Lake, but the logistics of that are likely out of reach for most.

In all a good hike & woudl be 5 stars had we not had the bugs and trail damage to deal with. In our case, it would have been even better had we been a little later in the season so we could have avoided the mosquitoes. My recommendation would be to avoid making the hike before July or after mid October as that would increase the chance of rain, fog and high water, & if you go in the summer, be prepared for the heat.
Written November 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LoungeTrekker
Campbell River, Canada29 contributions
Jul. 2014 • Couples
The trail is well marked and creek crossings were being upgraded. I canoed in and out, taking my time over six days and five nights. Walk the Love Lake trail as there is a lookout offering the best view of Della Lake, Della Falls and the Nine Sisters.
Written August 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GlenandTina
Vancouver Island, Canada94 contributions
Feb. 2013 • Business
A Fabulous feature on Vancouver Island. This is a bit of a hike but can drive to trail head or boat down Central Lake and access it from there. Best view is a heli tour from Campbell River. Spectacular scenery and the view from the top of the Falls is stunning. A Wes Coast treat.
Written April 18, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rodney259
Pershore, UK22 contributions
Sep. 2012 • Couples
We walked the trails from here to Elk Falls and down to Campbell River. Fabulous trees and scenary. Fisherman were fly fishing for salmon and trout below the dam .
Written September 24, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Janet S
Tofino, Canada21 contributions
It's a great hike. It's actually out of Port Alberni. It's not as challenging as one would think. A few tricky river crossings, lots of bugs, and a few bears, but the end result is worth it. We camped at the 3rd campsite, then walked to the falls to spend the day. Fewer bears there than the 4th site.
Written December 9, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Beautiful_Dragon86
Vancouver Island, Canada3 contributions
Aug. 2011 • Friends
Set within the south end of Strathcona Provincial Park, but not accessible without a major undertaking on a route experienced mountaineers call challenging. This route is over Mount Septimus.
The trailhead begins at the north end of Great Central Lake,in Port Alberni.
The 16 km trail roughly follows drinkwater creek, crossing it multiple times over bridges in disrepair. The main campsite is located near the falls; please note that it even in late summer it can still be snowed in. With snow cover as high as the top of the outhouse!
Written August 21, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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