This Magnificent Canadian Waterfall Produces a Huge Ice Cone During Winter Because of its Potent Spray Ejection

Helmcken Falls, located in British Columbia, Canada, is one of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the world. This waterfall is a sight to behold in every season, but it’s particularly remarkable in the winter when an enormous ice cone is formed at the base of the falls.

Standing at 463 feet (141 meters) tall, Helmcken Falls is the fourth highest waterfall in Canada and one of the most popular attractions in Wells Gray Provincial Park. The waterfall is named after John Sebastian Helmcken, a British Columbia physician and politician.

Image credit: William Redmond

During the colder months, the heavy spray from the waterfall freezes and creates an enormous ice cone that can grow up to 200 feet (60 meters) tall. The best time to see the cone is between late January and late February, but visitors should be aware of the park’s safety precautions as the roads can be quite slippery due to the snow and ice.

The cone collapses inward sometime during March, but remnants of it can still be seen as late as June. This natural phenomenon is truly awe-inspiring and a testament to the power and beauty of nature.

Behind the falls, there is a bowl that recedes over 150 feet (45 meters) into the cliff and stretches over 500 feet (152 meters) wide. A 50-foot (15-meter) lower tier is located a little bit further downstream, boosting the total height of the waterfall to over 500 feet or 150 meters.

Helmcken Falls was created roughly 10,000 years ago during the last ice age when enormous floods eroded the volcanic Murtle Plateau, from where the falls drop over. The wide Clearwater River valley was filled with a huge lava deposit over 200,000 years ago, with layers of fresh lava eventually forming the plateau.

Image credit: Murray Foubister

In the 1950s and 1960s, there were plans to harness the power of Helmcken Falls by building dams along the Clearwater and Murtle Rivers. However, the 1.3 million-acre Wells Gray Provincial Park area was fully protected from development in 1973, ensuring that this natural wonder would remain intact. Had the dams been built, Helmcken Falls would have been largely submerged behind a 450-foot (137-meter) dam.

Image credit: Roland Neave

Helmcken Falls is not only a natural wonder, but it also played a crucial role in the creation of Wells Gray Provincial Park. It is the most famous of the park’s seven waterfalls and was one of the reasons why the protected area was created.

mage credit: Jason Hollinger
Image credit: Alan D. Wilson

The power and beauty of nature are on full display at Helmcken Falls. It is a must-see for anyone visiting British Columbia, and a reminder of the importance of protecting our natural wonders for generations to come.

Related Posts

The Marvel of Giant Watermelons: From Seed to Sprout, A Farmer’s Joy

In the heart of a small rural village, nestled among rolling fields and swaying wheat, there lived a contented group of farmers. They toiled tirelessly under the golden sun, sowing seeds and nurturing the earth, hoping for a bountiful harvest. However, …

Read more

Exploring the Colorful and Nutrient-Rich World of Carrots: From Orange to Obsidian

Carrots, with their vibrant orange hue, are a ubiquitous and well-loved vegetable found in kitchens and gardens around the world. However, the world of carrots is not limited to just orange; these root vegetables come in a dazzling array of colors, each …

Read more

Envision a Mesmerizing Display: Radiant Multicolored Gemstones Beneath a Dazzling Firework Show

As the night sky is illuminated by bursts of vibrant fireworks, a breathtaking scene unfolds below. In this enchanting moment, we are captivated by the sight of radiant multicolored gemstones, each one glistening with its own unique brilliance. Amidst …

Read more

The Fascinating Evolution of Papaya Trees: Unusual Growth Patterns Take Center Stage

It is not surprising to occasionally see a papaya tree appearing in a household’s garden. Neither rare nor too difficult to grow, papaya is a familiar plant to many people. However, recently, an internet user made people’s eyes widen when he showed off …

Read more

Exploring Nature’s Colors: A Deep Dive Among Lush Fruit-Bearing Trees

In the world of botany, the diversity of plant life is truly remarkable. One aspect of this diversity is the wide array of fruits that plants produce. While sweet and succulent fruits like apples, berries, and melons often steal the spotlight, there’s …

Read more

Unique Abodes: Houses Crafted Using the World’s Most Unconventional Materials

Using airports, warships or nuclear missile silos, many people have their own ways to make their lives unique.   The American town of Barr Nunn, Wyoming was actually built on the site of an old airport called Wardwell Field. As you can see …

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *