Cameron Falls Trail

I had a free Sunday morning in Yellowknife and felt like doing something adventurous.  I started poking around online for ideas and came across a great blog called Life in the Knife.  Written by a local named Shane, the blog is a tremendous resource of activities and perspectives on life in the north, covering everything from the local architecture to driving the ice road.  If you’re planning a trip to Yellowknife, I strongly recommend you check it out.

One of the posts is about the Cameron Falls Trail, and it was exactly what I was looking for – an easy hike to a pretty waterfall.  Located just 45 minutes outside of town along the Ingraham Trail, it promised a taste of northern peace and solitude.

I arrived just after 8:00 am and was happy to discover that I was the only person there.  The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, and the hike doesn’t present any real physical challenges.  Some kind people have even built boardwalks, stairs, and a bridge across the falls.

After walking for about 15 minutes, you’re rewarded with a stunning view of the falls.  I must admit I felt a small pang of regret that there wasn’t a bear standing in the shallows – that would have been perfect.

After exploring the falls for a few minutes I sat on the banks of the river and dipped my toes in the cold clear water.  I pulled out my iPhone to check the time and noticed the words “No service” in the top corner of the screen.

I suddenly panicked.  I was a pudgy, middle-age guy from the suburbs, alone in the wilds of the Northwest Territories without so much as a pocket knife or even a bear bell.  I hadn’t told anyone where I was going.  If anything happened – an attack by a rabid wolverine, a broken ankle, an assault by a roaming band of miscreants – there was no way for me to call for help.  Or text for help.  Or send out an S.O.S. via Facebook or Twitter.

At that moment I actually contemplated making a video message on my iPhone for my kids in case I didn’t make it back.  Something along the lines of “Dear A and K – if you’re watching this, it means Daddy has done something incredibly stupid and is really, really sorry.”

I quickly put on my shoes and walked briskly back to the car.  At one point a rabbit darted across the path in front of me and I might have let out a tiny shriek. While I’m sure the hike was no more dangerous than a walk in Gatineau Park, my mind was working overtime to turn it into some kind of death-defying odyssey.

In any case, Shane has posted a lot of great photos of the trail on his blog here.  If you have a couple of hours to spare in Yellowknife, I highly encourage you to take a drive out of town and do the hike (especially if do what I did and couple it with a tour of an abandoned gold mine, which I’ll describe in the next post).

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One thought on “Cameron Falls Trail

  1. Thanks for the mention! Cameron Falls is one of the better hikes along the Ingraham Trail. You can actually hike quite far into the bush and hook up with other lakes and old hidden away routes.

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