Gattling Gorge Trail
Posted on: May 24, 2018 4:54 pm
by: Doug Smith
The Gattling Gorge Trail has been an informal trail in Wells Gray Provincial Park for many years, but it is now signed and the trail is a good one, with some caution. the route goes right from the Helmcken Falls viewpoints and continues along the rim, offering fine views for 2 km. When the trail starts to go downhill into the forest, it is more of an informal route with some rougher sections and some deadfall. the trail ends at the top of Gattling Gorge, a wonderful spot for lunch.
A trailhead sign misspells the name and cautions us about drop-offs. There are a number of spots right on the edge of cliffs, not suitable for children or pets.
About halfway along the trail is a side trail descending steeplu to the bottom of the cliffs. this is the Helmcken Canyon route. It is a difficult, unmaintained route along rock slopes and up the shoreline of the river toward the bottom of Helmcken Falls. Decades ago I did this trail and found the trail to be non-existent for many sections, and the rocks to be very slippery from the mists. I can’t recommend this long and difficult route.
The end of the trail is at a rocky point right on Clearwater River where it funnels down a chute and through a narrow canyon. The video link below
It is 4 km one-way to the Gorge and the route is out-and-back so we get to experience all the views on the way back.
We recommend this trail, but with some reservations. There are many drop-offs right next to the trail. The route down would be more difficult in wet conditions. With some caution, good preparation, and attention to the hazards along the way, though, it is a rewarding route.