November 2022 Vancouver Hike of the Month: Steelhead Falls

A hiker stands in front of Steelhead Falls in Mission, BC

Steelhead Falls. Photo: Taryn Eyton/

The short and easy hike to Steelhead Falls in Mission is perfect for November. The autumn rains ensure that the waterfall will be gushing and the mossy forest will be extra green.


Trail Info: Easy; 2 km round-trip; 75 m elevation gain; 1 hour; dogs allowed on leash.

Safety First: AdventureSmart recommends bringing a backpack with essential safety and first aid gear on every hike. Check the forecast and pack extra clothing for the weather. Leave a trip plan so someone knows where you are going and when you will be back. Check out our tips for safe fall hiking in Vancouver for more advice.

Getting There: From Vancouver, take Lougheed Highway east to Maple Ridge. Turn left onto Dewdney Trunk Road and follow it over the top of the Stave Falls Dam. About one kilometre after the dam, watch for the Hayward Reservoir Trail parking area on the right side of the road.

The Trail: Your route to Steelhead Falls uses part of the much longer Hayward Reservoir Trail, which heads through a beautiful mossy forest high above the eastern shore of the Hayward Lake Reservoir. If you want to extend your trip, you can hike north for 1 km to the Stave Falls Dam or south for 7 km to the end of the lake.

The route described here just goes to picturesque Steelhead Falls. There are signs at each junction so it’s easy to stay on track.

From the parking lot, follow the trail downhill past an outhouse to an intersection. Go right and then reach the junction with the Hayward Reservoir Trail a few minutes later. Turn left and follow the Reservoir Trail. The wide gravel trail descends gently through the forest and passes under a power line. It also crosses a few creeks on small bridges.

Stairs leading to Steelhead Falls near Mission, BC

Photo: Taryn Eyton/

About 1 km from the start, a few minutes after a bridge, watch for a signed trail heading downhill to the right. Follow the trail steeply down the hill on a wooden staircase that can be slippery. At the bottom, a wooden platform provides a spectacular view of Steelhead Falls.

When you have finished enjoying the view, retrace your steps back to the parking lot. Make sure you save some energy to climb the stairs back up to the Reservoir Trail!

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