Trailblazing 2018: Crystal Falls

Difficulty: Easy

Estimated Time: 2 hours

Round-Trip Distance: 7 km

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Season: year-round

Car Travelling Time from Vancouver: 45 minutes

Public Transit: Yes



Situated east of Vancouver in Coquitlam, Crystal Falls leads you along a brief and simple trail to a striking waterfall that discharges into the Coquitlam River. At the time we went, the area was teeming with dog walkers (mountain bikers frequent the area too) and the route can be slippery and muddy for several months, including tiny streams that you have to carefully cross while attempting not to get your shoes wet.


From the unmarked trailhead on Karley Crescent, lead yourself into the forest, down the brief slope, and along the path as it runs parallel to the Upper Coquitlam River. The trail dips down to the edge of the river before climbing back uphill and continue onward to the falls. Continue walking as the route braids its way along the shore and through the scenic, moss-covered forest. Continue along as you cross more tiny streams, and eventually arriving at a big creek where Crystal Falls sits just a few meters further upstream.

The area is rather popular during the warmer weather months, so choose a place (or trunk) to sit and enjoy a snack while absorbing the sights and sounds of the waterfall and surrounding area. Once you're ready to head back, walk down the trail, crossing the small streams, past the blue pickup truck, and all the way out to the neighbourhood where the hike began.

This sighting of a rare and beautiful owl filled us all with wonder and delight.

This sighting of a rare and beautiful owl filled us all with wonder and delight.