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  • Writer's pictureTina McLain

BC Falls

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

A waterfall along the Chief Joseph Trail #1803 in Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

BC Falls

Waterfall Name: BC Falls

Waterfall Coordinates: 45.26944, -117.2225 Waterfall Elevation: 5202′ Access: Trail Distance: 3 miles (round trip) Elevation Range: 4631′ to 5202′ Ascent/Descent: +954 ft / -953 ft Trail Type: In and out Trails: Chief Joseph Trail #1803 Note: The multitude of trails at the start can be confusing, but there are signs that help make it easier to find the right trail. A free wilderness permit is required at the trailhead. Parking can fill up quickly. Date hike was done: 8-3-19

I was looking through hikes I did in 2019 to figure out how many miles I hiked over that year. I came across BC Falls in my hiking log book and realized I never wrote a post.

I have plenty of pictures and my trip report so I thought I’d write it now. It’s such an easy and pleasant hike in my opinion. My whole family, grandparents and all, did the hike. Everyone had their own speeds and those on blood pressure meds had to take it easy due to the elevation.

The trailhead has multiple trails that could make it somewhat confusing to find the right trail. It has good signs which is very useful, I wasn’t the navigator on this hike which was actually nice. There were huckleberries sporadically along the trail. They were delicious. There was one bridge crossing across the West Fork Wallowa River. There were a few switchbacks up the side of the mountain. There was some large rockfields the trail passed through. There were some pretty views of the valley before the falls.

I hiked ahead of everyone towards the end to the falls by myself. It had quite the powerful water flow. The trail continued on the other side of the “creek.” There was no bridge, so to continue onward would require crossing the creek and there wasn’t any way to do it without getting wet. After BC Falls, the creek continues a hundred or so feet and then there is a large drop which I assume is another waterfall, but it isn’t visible. Quite a few people hike up just to the falls and then turn around (like we did).

Once everyone got to the falls we stood in the mist of the water to cool down. It was a sunny, warm, dry and dusty summer day. Then we hiked back down to the trailhead. We kept our eyes out for wildlife, but didn’t spot anything other than birds.

How to get there (from Joseph, OR)


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