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Rialto Waterfalls

This trail was built for mountain-bikers, but everyone will enjoy the smooth grade and scenic waterfalls. Hike up the woods to enjoy a series of waterfalls along Rialto Creek.

Summary
Trailhead:  Broadwater Road
Distance, round trip: 4.6 km
Elevation: +181 m
Season: mid March to late November
Difficulty: Easy

Trailhead and Driving Directions

Head north on Columbia Avenue in Castlegar to cross the Castlegar-Robson bridge over the Columbia River, turn left onto Broadwater Road towards Robson (signed for Syringa Provincial Park). Follow Broadwater Road for 7.8 km and turn left into the big parking lot signed Arrow Lakes Generating Station. Park here and look for the trail heading east, back towards Robson.

Through the boulder garden

Follow the trail just 0.1 km then cross Broadwater Road and continue following it east, along the road. There are a few tracks and trails here, but you’re looking for the main trail. At 0.3 km, pass below power lines and switchback.

The trail winds through an impressive collection of boulders, chalked and named by intrepid climbers. Cross Rialto Creek at 0.5 km and ascend through open ponderosa forest.

At 0.8 km, look for an opening to the east where a faint trail leads to a viewpoint on the bluffs above Robson. Look out to see lower Arrow Lake and Castlegar beyond. The local pulp mill is also on display and can give off a strong smell if the wind is blowing the wrong way.

Viewpoint over Robson

Waterfalls

Reach the first waterfall at 1 km where the trail makes an impressive switchback over boardwalk. Caution is needed here as the wood is slippery when wet.

Continue through ponderosa forest as the trail gentle switchbacks, then find the second waterfall at 1.3 km. A bridge brings you right across the pool at the foot of the falls.

Going further?

From the upper falls, you can continue hiking up the trail until 2.3 km when you meet Rialto Road. Then you can keep going, up and up and up. The trail is part of a bigger mountain bike network and you’re ascending the climb trail. Most hikers will be content to explore the waterfalls, but trail runners and hikers looking for a big day can just keep going.

Castlegar Parks & Trails Society

The Castlegar Parks and Trails Society is maintaining this trail. If you’ve enjoyed the hike, consider becoming a member, making a donation, or volunteering with them.

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Tom
Tom
3 months ago

Just a note about your description in the driving directions. The bridge you mention crossing in north Castlegar, the “Castlegar-Robson bridge” actually crosses the Columbia River, not the Kootenay River. Love your website, it has taken me on many wonderful adventures.

Ben Aubin
Ben Aubin
2 months ago
Trail Rating :
     

Good shoulder season hike even if it’s built for mountain bikes

Trail Conditions
Very good
Access Road Conditions
Excellent
Access Road Vehicle
2WD Low Clearance