Kwastichewan Falls
Kwastichewan Falls
4.5
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jenmc74
Snow Lake, Canada281 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
Beautiful but challenging trail. (Especially with backpacks with camping gear... lol) A group of 6 of us went. We took our time, hiking in one day and camping overnight, and hiking out the next day. We made a lot of stops. There was a LOT of deadfall to go over, under and in between. There was a little bit of bog, not too bad. I highly recommend hiking at this time of year, as bugs were minimal and the colours were spectacular. There are a lot of elevation changes as well, with quite a few small cliffs to go up and down, especially on the Grass River side of the trail. The trail can be a bit difficult to see at times, very narrow and overgrown in some areas. The camping areas are very nice - we ended up camping by the falls and loved it there. For those who don't want to string their bags up, there is a bear box at one of the campsites (also a helicopter landing area). All campsites have pit toilets. (The one by the falls campsites faces the falls haha!!) We saw fresh bear scat but no bears. We did see otters, ducks and geese, chickadees, and grouse. It is very beautiful and has a lot of changing scenery along the hike. I believe we ended up GPSing it at 27.7 km total. There are lots of places to get water if you bring water filtration and purification devices.
Written September 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

phenning2347
Mandalay, Myanmar123 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Solo
May is the best time to go hiking in Manitoba - there were no mosquitoes, ticks or flies!
The hike to the falls was sunny and hot enough. The weather turned misty and drizzly for the return hike, which is fine since I carry waterproofs.
The trail is little more than a turkey trail for most of the way. It is covered with hundreds of fallen trees and often this results in detour side-trails. Some areas are wet so watertight footwear is helpful. There are red ribbons (some yellow and blue) tied to trees to mark the way.
A local guide told me the distance to the falls is measured in a straight line. The actual trail meanders so the distance is actually longer than stated on maps and trail signs. Allow enough time for possibly a few extra kilometres.
The campsites are spread out from the falls to the bottom of the rapids to the top of the rapids and by the emergency heli-port. Lots of privacy and no overcrowding!
The falls are nice and there are several viewpoints from where they can be appreciated.
Written June 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ashley E
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Friends
My two girlfriends and I just finished a day hike on the Kwastichewan Falls Trail this May long. First thing is we got SUPER lucky with the weather - May long is so unpredictable but we had 15 degrees with blue skies and nothing but sunshine. And because it's still May there were NO bugs. Amazing. There was very little snow left just the odd small pile. I don't think the area had had rain that whole week so the trail was relatively dry. It's easy to see how it can become boggy with lots of precipitation though.

Second thing is to reiterate that the signage is wrong. I used map my run and it gave a total of 31km round trip. That being said it was beautiful and we felt so accomplished at the end! It's totally doable just be prepared. We hiked at an average around 3.5km/hr and had a few stops chatting with hikers along the way and about a 45 minute lunch at the falls. We were on the trail a total of 9.5 hours.

The trail goes up and down and isn't too difficult with the elevation changes. It's mostly the length that tires you out.

We stayed at Sasagiu Rapids Lodge the night before and the night after the hike. They were great to us! And the Thai food at the lodge is INCREDIBLE! A great way to treat yourself to the end.

To go back to the signage... So the trialhead has a sign which indicates it's 22km - no, it's 31km. Using the popsicle stick analogy, we had the stick based on map my run at 7.3km. The fork has two signs that point towards the grass river side at 7.8 km and the Phillips lake side at 9.0 km. This is again wrong. I would suggest keeping left and going along the river side first. This will get you to the falls in about 10 km. The way back along the lake side is about 6 and a half km (the total for the loops is pretty close to what's posted at just under 17 km).

Well worth it and highly recommended!
Written May 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lexie E
47 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Friends
Me and one other girlfriend just finished taking on this challenge for 2018 August long weekend and let me tell you - we were exhausted by the time we made it to the falls but it was definitely worth it.

We went in knowing that the hike was going to be challenging and that it was going to be longer than 22km's based on the reviews from others but, what no one really mentions is the amount of steep and wet up and down hills there really are!

Once you get through the entrance which took us about 2 hours to get in you reach the loop where it gives you the choice of either going to the Grass River Side which is 7.9km's according to their sign (wrong) or going Phillips Lake side which is 9.0km's according to their sign( also wrong). We were informed that the Grass River side was a bit harder but, shorter and that the Phillips lake side was longer and bushier. The truth is that Phillips Lake Side was WAY easier. It was a nice trail, rather flat in comparison and took us only 4 hours to get through. Was less scenic but, also less bush to plow through.

We went the Grass River side thinking maybe get the harder day out of the way first was a good idea. Plus we had seen another group go that way just before us so we liked the idea of other people around in case of emergencies as well. Looking back I would have went down the Phillips lake side first while our bags were at their heaviest and we wouldn't have been sore walking back. Grass River side we left the parking lot just after noon and we didn't get to the falls until close to 8:30pm. 8.5 hours. Granted we took a few more breaks than anticipated as well and stopped off at a campsite prior that we thought about calling our home for the night. Our bags were close to 50lbs each - way too heavy! This day my fitbit told me I walked 26.05kms- Granted some of that is prior to noon and just walking around in general/setting up camp. It also said 58 floors to give you a bit of a better idea of the incline and decline you are hiking.

I would recommend going up by Phillips Lake side and if you thought that was difficult don't attempt to go the other way, go back the same way you came.

The campsites were a bit messy. We tried to take home some of the garbage others have left behind but we were pretty fully loaded as was. We past through each site and stayed at the campsite at the falls. It was nice to go to bed and see the falls as well as wake up and be able to see them again before you left. The sound of the falls was also nice for me to listen to as you were falling asleep. There is also an outdoor toilet to use at this site as well. The trees surrounding the campsite were hard to find anything to tree up your food at night but, despite the trees not having much for branches we found one that worked and luckily was not bothered by any wildlife when we walked to get it the next day.

Overall the hike is definitely worth it but, make sure you know what you are getting into, make sure you take your garbage home with you and make sure to bring some extra socks - your feet will get wet! Also, I don't think that this needs to be stated but, just in case... Make sure you are wearing full pants and full sleeves despite the warmth as you are consistently getting branches, bushes and weeds brushing up against you.

Don't forget your bear spray! We didn't see any but, were often coming across fresh scat so we made sure to be loud going through.

One last thing to note - if you have a large group, the campsites are small and don't have much space for more than 2 tents at a max, some would be pushing it for two depending on size.
Written August 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Duane R
Winnipeg, Canada7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
Day 1: The Drive

My wife and I spent a 4-day weekend visiting the area in early June 2018. After driving on Friday from Winnipeg the roughly 7 hours to Sasagiu Rapids Lodge where we had booked a room for our 1st and 3rd nights, we finished Day 1 of our trip with an amazing authentic Thai meal - the dining room's specialty! The Pad Thai and spring rolls were incredible. Highway 6 is in very good condition the whole way.

Day 2: Outbound Canoe
Using Sasagiu Rapids Lodge as our home base we were able to check out Pisew Falls on Saturday morning, then stop again at the lodge for a hearty lunch - I had a burger and perogies - and leave for our outbound canoe trip after lunch. Two good options for launching a canoe exist. If you own your own canoe, drive to Pisew Falls Parking Lot and portage a short 100-200 metres to the rocky shorelone of the Grassy River just next to the bridge. The path divides shortly before the bridge for those who are going on foot across the bridge and on to the hiking trail and others making their way down to the river's edge. If you don't have a canoe with you rent one from Sasagiu Rapids Resort for $50 per day. The resort is a 5-min drive from Pisew Falls and the owner, Steve, was very helpful and even hauled us, our gear, and the canoe to an area to launch near a former pump house. We started paddling at 2 pm and went with the normal flow of the river but had a 15-20 kph headwind for much of the trip. It took about 3 hours to get to the site where we landed. It isn't well marked but it's easy to find, even for relative novices like us. It's just before the only tributary that enters the Grassy River from the right-hand (south/southeast) side for the whole trip. Other markers include a post sticking up out of the water that once was probably a sign and a manmade wooden structure up on top of the ridge at the leading edge of the inlet. This is a registered portage trail but we chose to leave our canoe there rather than haul it the 2.5 - 3 km overland to Phillips Lake. It had been rainy and misty the whole trip to date and the footing to portage to the lake was slippery with lots of ups & downs. We hiked in, set up camp in one of the back country sites with easy access to firewood, and hiked the rest of the way to the falls. The view is well worth the trip!

Day 3: Canoe Ride Back
With our decision not to portage to the lake we were going to be paddling into the current, but luckily this portion of the Grassy River isn't fast-flowing. For the most part it has the feel of a lake more than a river. We had to also push a headwind for the 1st half of the trip, but lucked out and the wind shifted and became a tail wind for the latter half. I would say the small island with two pine trees and some smaller trees that looks like a Buddhist Temple from a distance is at the 1/3 point when paddling back toward Pisew Falls. Cell coverage was rarely strong on the river but hikers said it was intermittent on the trail which runs alongside the south/southeast shore. It took us 3 hrs and 15 mins to canoe back to our original launch site and Steve came and picked us up. We had good cell coverage once we got back to the pump house.

There was nobody else on the river at all...not a boater, no cabins, no kayaks! It was blissful! We loved the serenity and the beauty of the river and forest. Unfortunately we didn't rise early enough or stay up watching late enough to catch a glimpse of any big wildlife. We saw elk and bear scat but didn't see any animals other than birds. If you enjoy birdwatching this is a real treat. We saw osprey, bald eagles, golden eagles, loons, mergansers, wood ducks, other ducks, kingfishers, and lots more. It misted and rained almost the whole time we were out, so we never saw a bug during our canoe ride and camp-out. That being said we packed bug spray and a bug net shirt each so if they were abundant they wouldn't wreck our trip. We both also pack bear spray - just in case!

We stayed overnight at the lodge again in a nice room with a beautiful view of the lake. The restaurant and lounge were busy with locals and we had built up quite an appetite during our trip so we went for 2 bowls of Tom Yum soup and more spring rolls...and a couple of cold ones to end our last evening.

Day 4: Drive Home
We had an awesome trip! I can't say enough about Steve, his wife who does the cooking, and his entire staff at Sasagiu Rapids Resort for helping us have a great getaway!
Written June 4, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Josee-Anne L
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Couples
We did the Pisew to Kwasitchewan Falls hike on August 9 and 10, 2017. We planned to stay overnight somewhere around the falls. We did the trip clockwise, following first the Grass River to the falls then coming back along Phillips Lake. We aren't experienced hikers and did in fact find this to be a difficult, but very rewarding hike! We camped at the third campsite we saw, the first one after the creek, so not quite at the falls but on the rapids. There was water access for our filter; a lovely mossy pad for our tent, nicely laid out logs for seating around the firepit and even a nice stone top makeshift table.

Hiking footwear is a necessity; if going in the summer months as we did, bring bug spray!

The Grass River side is a much longer hike; for us it took slightly less than 6 hours. Once at Kwasitchewan Falls, the hike along Phillips Lake took us slightly less than 4 hours.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this hike!
Written August 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ryan S
1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Family
We did the hike in the first week of August, and stretched it into a longer trip. We stayed at a campground just south of the park area on the first night, then hiked in on a Tuesday, relaxed and played games on Wednesday, then hiked out on Thursday. We got lucky with the weather, and it wasn't too hot.

There were 14 of us on the trip (age ranged from 12 to 60), and it was a good thing we got to the big campsite first because if we found the small campsites the boys would have stopped there. I used my GPS to track the hike, and it was a total of 28.5 km doing the loop.
The trail had been well maintained (downed trees were cut and moved), but it is by no means an easy trail.
There was lots of garbage left at some of the campsites we came across, so we did our best to pack some out.
There was definite evidence of bears near the campsite, but we didn't see any so make sure to follow bear safe practices. There was occasional cellular service, but don't count on it.
Overall great hike.
Written October 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ag_mom
Brandon, Canada4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016 • Family
First off, this is Manitoba's highest waterfall, but remember that this is a prairie province. It does not compare to Kakabeka Falls which is about equidistant from Winnipeg. Due to lack of vantage points at Kwasitchewan, Pisew Falls with the established viewing points is actually more impressive. Saying that, a long walk to see a backcountry waterfall is a great way to spend a day or two. :-)
We did this hike in a 10 hour day plus picnic time. For the reviewer that thought this was longer than 22 km, I chose to 'map my walk' and the GPS data told me it was 27.5 km. Manitoba Parks plans on collecting GPS data to make their trail map more accurate.
My group included a 13 & 15 year old and we did the hike in late June, before staff had time to clear the trail. The area had just received a soaking rain and it drizzled and rained throughout our hike. This made the whole trail very slippery and this mom chose to take some of the steepest inclines using all four limbs :-)
Using the Popsicle analogy (thanks for that, reviewer @Linda R) the stick came in at 6.5 km. We did the left fork first along the Grass River and encountered the first campsite at 14 km. The trip along the campsites took about a kilometre and there is a small stream to cross. You can access calm water suitable for filtering along most of the Grass River and up to the view point at the base of the falls.
Good hiking footwear is mandatory. The locals recommend bear spray although when we took the hike there was little sign or bear scat. We packed food and shelter to stay overnight if necessary but managed to get through the whole trail easily on a long summer day. I would still recommend preparing for an overnight, especially if it is wet - our pace was slowed considerably by trees felled by wind and inconsiderate beaver.
Since we had an 8 hour drive to reach the trailhead and I was the only driver, we chose to stay the night at Sasagiu Rapids Lodge with the Grandbois family. This lodge is much closer to the trailhead than either Paint Lake Provincial Park or Thompson and the proprietors are experienced with hikers attempting this trail. We joined with the contractors staying at Sasagiu Rapids for breakfast and were on the trail by 0745 - amazing with teenagers!
The bugs were...good if we're discussing black flies or ticks - normal Manitoba backcountry bad if we're talking mosquitoes. Bring DEET or choose to suffer...
Overall this was one of the most challenging day hikes that Manitoba has to offer and well worth your time. It is NOT a beginner hike and due to the remote nature of this hike it is highly recommended that you contact Manitoba Parks staff at Paint Lake Provincial Park or Thompson District Office before setting out. Then go have fun out there!
Written June 27, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lisa_sim888
Winnipeg, Canada22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2015 • Friends
To restate the summative statement of a 2014 review: “A fantastic hike, beautiful terrain, not very difficult. All worth it!”

It’s VERY doable as a day hike.

2 girls, outnumbered by 3 dogs, set upon a round trip to Kwasitchewan today (early Sept). We departed the trailhead around 8am. It was about a 7 hour trip, excluding a lunch break. We didn’t encounter any big ticket wildlife other than a giant eagle, however, there was a significant amount of bear scat. The terrain is mossy and spongy and retains a lot of moisture. As mentioned in other reviews, the distance is likely >22km. That said, the hike itself is easy enough for any individual accustomed to even half that distance and paying mild attention to footing. There was a fair amount of deadfall, which the Park seemingly didn’t have the resources to remove this season. It’s challenging to get good photos of the Falls themselves, although another reviewer has mentioned an outcropping atop the falls.

Tip: Post-hike, instead of returning straight to Thompson, continue down the highway 8km or so to Sasagiu Rapids for authentic Thai food!!
Written September 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cosmopolitan318568
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Couples
Did the trail last week end. I do agree the trail is way more than 22 km. I think it is around 32 to 35 km. I started at 1pm and finished at 8. We ran a good part of it. We got face to face with a big moose about 10 feet in front of us. She got surprised and took off quickly.

The falls and the lush green vegetation was very beautiful.

We meet two separate group, they took 7 to 8 hrs to get to half point. One group was staying the night over well prepared. The other one not as much they had already walked for 8 hrs and had another 8 to 10 hrs left to go. They had not much food or shelter. Not sure what time they got out.

Be aware this trail will give you a good challenge. I was planing for 22 km quick and easy. Yeah add another 10 to 15 on top then it change it all.

Very good trip, make sure you are ready for it.
Written August 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Kwastichewan Falls - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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