Waterfall Encounters – Kayaking to Granite Falls

Silver Falls – Indian Arm – Photo: Rob Weiss

Drawn by the sound of cascading water I could feel my heart beat quicken as I paddled harder through the early morning fog. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by waterfalls. Mesmerizing and inspirational, I often feel humbled by their beauty. A symbol of nature’s power, waterfalls captivate us and stimulate our senses.  Fortunately, you do not need to venture far from Vancouver for a high quality, waterfall encounter.

Granite Falls Photo: Rob Weiss

Here in the Vancouver area, waterfalls are plentiful, and there are numerous gentle day hikes through the coastal rainforest that will lead you to waterfall wonderland. Personally, I adore adding a kayak exploration to my waterfall viewing agenda, and Say Nuth Khaw Yum Provincial Park (Indian Arm) never disappoints. Located in North Vancouver, the park is primarily accessed by water. Indian Arm, an 18 kilometre long glacial Fjord extends north from Burrard Inlet in Vancouver and is a dream come true for recreational boaters.  Torrents of clean, crisp water tumble down two magnificent waterfalls situated deep within the park.

Kayaking Indian Arm Photo: Rob Weiss

Departing from Deep Cove, on a chilly, foggy morning, our group was excited for the adventure ahead. Silently, we paddled up the west shore of the arm, content to travel slowly taking in all of the sights and sounds around us. Curious seals popped up, acting as ambassadors for the Arm. With each paddle stroke, we distanced ourselves from the city and immersed ourselves in nature. Across the water, we could see Twin Islands. Gracefully, we paddled by Thwaytes Landing, a terrific picnic and rest stop and made our towards Best Point. Then in the distance, we could hear the low rumble. Excitedly we picked up our pace, rounded the bend, and then there tucked away in the nook stood Silver Falls. Although the Tsleil-Waututh people believe one shouldn’t glance at the falls, I felt compelled to look. A curtain of water thundered down the cliffside and I could feel the cold mist on my face. It was thrilling!

Kayaking Silver Falls Photo: Rob Weiss

Reluctantly, we bid farewell to Silver Falls, tucked our cameras away, and continued our journey toward Granite Falls, our intended campsite for the evening. As we peeked around the north end of Crocker Island, we caught our first glimpse of Granite Falls. Spectacular! At 50 metres high, Granite Falls took our breath away.  Time seemed to stand still as we floated in our kayaks and observed the water flushing down the rock face. Soon we began to feel chilled as the cold mist from the falls soaked us to our skins. It appeared to be a signal to pull ashore, set up camp, prepare dinner and savour a magical evening listening to the roar of the cascading water. Serenity now!

Granite Falls Photo: Rob Weiss

Getting There:

Deep Cove is an ideal launch site for your waterfall viewing expedition of Indian Arm. Be sure to check your tide charts and weather forecast as conditions can change quickly.  Interested in extending your trip? Marine access campsites are located throughout the park at Bishop Creek, North Twin Island and South Granite falls. This is bear country, and black bear sightings are common. Remember to be bear aware and leave no trace of your visit.

Need Gear?

Deep Cove Kayak Centre, situated in the heart of Deep Cove offers kayak rentals, lessons and tours. Everything you need to plan your waterfall viewing adventure in Say Nuth Khaw Yum Provincial Park.

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