Ever since War Falls, BC was featured a local buzz-piece of “things to do in Prince George,” the sight has been on my perpetual list of “things I want to do.” The problem is, War Falls is kind of, just a little, out of the way. One day last week, I decided let’s just go do it and we loaded up 2 kids, snacks, and hit the road North of Prince George.
During this trip, we only visited War Falls, BC in Carp Lake Provincial Park. Toddler meltdowns and funny behaviors meant we weren’t making it any longer of a day. We left during naptime and both kids napped the whole way out there. The ride home, was much longer. The littlest cried the entire way home despite numerous stops to stretch, play and eat. I even discovered the elusive Bear Lake and can’t wait to return later this summers.
All About War Falls, BC
War Falls, BC is the last of a set of three waterfalls/rapids along the McLeod River leaving War Lake in Carp Lake Provincial Park. The sign at the trailhead suggests there might be more information downstream about why the park is called War Falls. However, I don’t recall there being any placards.
Getting there from Prince George.
You are headed to Carp Lake Provincial Park, and the route to War Falls, BC is relatively easygoing and straightforward if you know how to read signs. It’s a total of 170km from the City of Prince George with the final 20km stretch being on a curvy, windy, slow moving Forestry Road (FSR). This is the longest part of the day, or so it felt because it took 45-60 minutes for my husband to get from the highway to War Falls, BC.
These guys at ihikebc.com do an amazing job at breaking down the journey. So check them out.
Once you enter Carp Lake Provincial Park, the pull out for War Falls, BC trailhead is just to the right. You can’t miss the map and washroom stop.
War Falls, BC With Kids
Distance: 600 metres to the Falls, 1.2km round trip.
Terrain: Trail, Stairs, easy gradient. Areas around the cliffs to watch the falls, and chutes is barricaded.
Stroller Friendly? No. I would not recommend a stroller to War Falls due to the stairs.
Washrooms: Outhouse at trailhead.
Cell Reception: None.
Bugs. There will always be bugs in nature, especially in June in the North. The bugs were so bad at the trailhead that we couldn’t’ figure out how to get out faster. It was more than just mosquito’s. It’s not like the pesky forest bugs we found when hiking in Valemount, but rather big scary nasty bugs. 150 meters down the trail and along the breezy river, the bugs disappeared and it was enjoyable hike.
Toddler Friendly Hiking?
Mostly. I’d give War Falls, BC a 6/10, parent supervision required, for “ranking” as a toddler-friendly hike. I would not do this by myself with 2 under 2, as my toddler isn’t’ the best at listening and responding to requests. Little Man walked most of the trail. He was in some sort of funk that day and would toddle and then sit down. He’d get back up and toddle and repeat. I’m not sure what the deal was. Some of the steps on the stairs were too big for him, but he managed just fine while holding an adults hand.
The fencing along the edge near the chute look outs added an additional sense of peace and security for me as he was able to look out over at the falls. The crashing of the water was very intriguing for him and he loved it!
Once you get to the bottom of the falls there is a very small little deck looking out towards the rushing river. In my opinion, this space at the deck is not toddler friendly. He was okay on the deck with our supervision, but there are many paths down to the river, and this spiked much of my anxiety about being out there with him.
We did the trail in about an hour with a wandering toddler pace.
I would take him out there again if we were camping in the vicinity. I’m told Carp Lake has amazing fishing, and Whisker Point is a great campsite. The 2-hour drive and back is a long day with kids just for an hour outing. Maybe, if we had made more of a day exploring the other trails and lakes in the area.
Have you been to War Falls, BC? Drop me a comment about your experience or give me a suggestion of somewhere else to take my family in beautiful British Columbia.