Kinuseo Falls plunges down a 60-meter cascade with awe-inspiring beauty. The Murray Riverbed is made up of hard limestone rock formations that are constantly being eroded by rushing waters and ice. The average flow of water over the falls is 34 cubic metres per second. As time passes, the steepness of this slope is decreasing due to the water’s erosive forces.
The Kinuseo Falls which you see before you today will eventually decrease in height as it changes from a free falling cataract to a series of cascades and then to rapids. This process of erosion is in contrast to the famous Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls is an extraordinary example of a receding waterfall. It maintains its height of 50m and has migrated 11km upstream in the last 12 to 15 thousand years. The Niagara River discharges 6,366 cubic metres per second over the falls, nearly 200 times greater than Kinuseo.
The Niagara River cascades over a cap bed of hard limestone and into a plunge pool at the base of the falls. Unlike Kinuseo Falls, the resulting water turbulence erodes underlying layers of soft shale and sandstone and undermines the brink. Great blocks of limestone come crashing down when they lose their support and the falls gradually recedes, metre by metre, year by year, up the river.
Kinuseo Falls Trail Info
Kinuseo Falls is, quite simply, an icon of Northern British Columbia. This breathtaking, not-to-be-missed sight is taller than Niagara Falls at 60m (197ft), and can be found on the Murray River at the northern end of Monkman Provincial Park, 63km (39mi) south of Tumbler Ridge. Vehicle access is by the Murray River Forest Service Road to a parking area near the top of the falls, which can be viewed from lookout platforms in the park. A short, level wheelchair-accessible trail leads from the parking lot to the wide, fenced platform right over the brink of the falls. Tour operators offer boat trips to the base of Kinuseo Falls.
Map – how to get to Kinuseo Falls
Kinuseo Falls is located south of Tumbler Ridge. From Tumbler Ridge, travel south along Heritage Highway 52 for about 12km, and turn left at Quintette Road as indicated by Green Arrow on the following map (click EXTERNAL LINK below to view map).
After turning to Quintette Road, you’ll see a coal factory. Past the factory, the road becomes gravel road. Follow this gravel road all the way to Kinuseo Falls. There is only one major road (the obvious one), so you won’t get lost. There are pot holes—big and small—along the gravel road. Depending on your vehicle, it may takes about 90min to 120min to get to the waterfalls.
Green Arrow Point A = Kinuseo Falls trailhead (parking lot)
Green Arrow Point B = turn off from Highway 52 (about 13km south of the townsite)