Getting to Sylvia Falls & Goodwin Falls
Sylvia Falls (upper cascade) and Goodwin Falls (lower cascade) share the same trail and are located right next to each other along Mahood River. The only way to get to these two spectacular waterfalls of Wells Gray Provincial Park is through a gravel road running along the west side of Clearwater River. For your reference: Clearwater Valley Road is a paved highway along the east side of Clearwater River. If you need more driving direction, see the end of this article.
The gravel road to Sylvia Falls is about 40km one way (60-90min drive). This gravel road is not suitable for rental cars; SUV and trucks are better. In some sections the gravel road has numerous potholes and/or bigger rocks, and in other sections the road can be very narrow to fit one car through. Therefore, driving speed is limited around 30-60km/hr. If you don’t want a big repair bill for your vehicle, you’d better stick to a driving speed of 30km/hr to avoid flying rocks from bombarding the underside of your vehicle too often and too forcefully. Drive slowly and enjoy the scenic views of precipitous vertical cliffs and Whitehorse Bluffs along the turbulent Clearwater River.
There are a few camp grounds along this gravel road, so it potentially offers numerous outdoor activities: camping, canoeing, boat launching, cycling, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, swimming, whitewater rafting, etc. Some people set up camps there and then bike to the Sylvia Falls trailhead. ATV (all-terrain vehicle), quads, OHV (off-highway vehicles) are probably ok on this gravel road, since there aren’t many vehicles. When I went there on July 30 around noon hours, I was the only vehicle on that entire road! Surprised?! Upon arriving at the Sylvia Falls trailhead, I only saw one other vehicle parking there. If in doubt, check with Clearwater Visitor Centre for ATV/quad/OHV use.
Hiking Trail Map & Driving Direction
Read Sylvia Falls Hiking Trail for more info.