This is a walk along the upper portion of the Coquitlam River to a scenic waterfall on Pritchett creek commonly referred to as Crystal Falls. It's an easy 3 km hike or bike along a well-defined trail that can be muddy even in the midst of dry weather. At about the 2 km mark there is an old settlement that is becoming quite overgrown. Across the Coquitlam River from this old homestead is Upper Coquitlam River Park. In low water you may be able to wade across the river but remember the flow of this river is controlled by the GVWD dam on the river.
The trail follows close to the river and provides many opportunities to dip your feet in the cooling waters of the river. At a point about 2.2 km from the trail head you will notice another well-defined trail on your right. You can save yourself some muddy sections by returning on this trail.
At the 3 km mark you will approach the Falls and Pritchett creek. This makes a good turnaround for those only wanting a little exercise. Provided the creek isn't flowing too high, as it was the last time I visited, you can continue another couple of kilometres until you come to the watershed fence. You can also follow a branch on your right up to the trail network on Burke Ridge and then return to your start.
Unless you have two cars this would be about 20 km of hiking. It's feasible on bike but you will be pushing your bike for 30 minutes until you reach the trails on the ridge.
Drive up to the top of Shaughnessey Street in Port Coquitlam until you get to its end at David. You should see a sign that states "Caution - unmaintained trail - use at your own risk". This the start of your loop.
An alternate start would be to drive up Oxford St. in POCO until you are near the end at Lancaster St. Here you will see another unmaintained trail sign. Follow it for a 1 km until you reach the main trail. The disadvantage of this is that if you want to complete the loop you will have a steep uphill climb back to the start.
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Posted By: john_lauritzen
- Mon Feb 08 16:26:25 EST 2010
UpsideThe northern section of this trail is wonderful. Once you reach Crystal Falls, cross Pritchett Creek and continue to the power lines. This section of trail is wonderful, clean and green. The time to complete this trail as laid out by the GPS map provided here, it took me 2 hours 10 minutes return by mountain bike at an easy pace. DownsideThe only Downside is the section of trail from David to Crystal Falls is muddy, and busy on the weekends. CommentI have done this trail countless times and still enjoy every log, mud hole and rock!
Posted By: Odatsme
- Sun Nov 01 19:33:46 EST 2009
UpsideEasy access, kid friendly, bike, hike or run. DownsideCan be muddy with large puddles. CommentI find this a good trail for all seasons. Dress appropriately.
Posted By: mary22
- Sat Jul 25 18:29:13 EDT 2009
Questionwhen u r planning for this walk,is it dog friendly walk and how many hours u would think will beANSWERS are in this forum: Hi
Posted By: -Alam-Almithal-
- Tue May 26 17:38:43 EDT 2009
UpsideReally beautiful trail, makes for a nice leisurely walk. You can climb up beside the falls, and there's a great place to explore and wander, very fun with friends. The trail beyond the falls is awsome, seldom travelled and quite a picturesque patch of forest. I've not taken the connector up Burke yet, but I plan to soon, hopefully you can take it deep into the mountains, this would make an awsome place to begin a week-long expedition. DownsideAlot of litter on the main trail to the falls, it's not well respected by the locals. You follow along beside a quarry and road almost the whole way, so the sounds of the city are not escaped by any means, putting a damper on the experience. Some idiots have thrown a bunch of logs and a car tire into that little hole at the bottom of the falls, so swimming and riding down the falls is impossible now. CommentI quite love this trail, I grew up here and used to bike it almost every day in the summer when I was young. I only recently explored at length past the falls, and was very pleasantly surprised and pleased. I know it like the back of my hand yet it's still a fun adventure. I recommend it if you're looking for a relaxing walk with some good swimming spots along the way.
Posted By: billygoat
- Thu May 17 17:42:19 EDT 2007
UpsideEasy access to trail head in quiet subdivison at Shaugnessy and David. Quiet trail with few hikers even on the weekend. Lots of lush greenery with the rush of the river in the background drowning out all sounds of the suburbs. DownsideQuite muddy so come prepared with a good pair of boots. Several water crossings with slippery stepping stones which are OK for most but I had my 10 month old daughter in the kiddy pack which made me a little uneasy. CommentA great trail close to my home that gets you away from the bustle of urban life! Beautiful waterfall at the end of the trail!
Posted By: Fieldtrip
- Wed May 10 03:02:18 EDT 2006
UpsideMuddy year-round, makes(biking) wipeouts softer and funnier. DownsideMuddy year-round, you WILL have to wash your bike after CommentThe waterfall has bored a deep hole in the rock at the base that is perfect for a little swim. The pool has a large portion covered by overhanging rock, so use caution. That said, taking a swim is a must. The water is freezing cold, even in the summertime, but braving the chill will "put hair on your chest and make out of you." And your nipples will be hard enough to cut glass.
Posted By: SkyGrabber
- Sun Mar 12 23:49:04 EST 2006
UpsideWaterfall makes for a nice destination. The trail is very flat, easy on the knees. DownsideCan be muddy, real muddy, even in a dry spell. CommentThe GPS data I have uploaded begins from the footbridge over Coquitlam River that links Patricia Ave to Shaughnessy. For a shorter trail, you can drive to the north end of Shaugnessy, as described above. The GPS route goes to the end of the trail, although there is no lookout where the trail ends, and therefore the waterfall makes for a nice destination unless you are planning to link up to the Burke Mountain trails via the connector trail (waypointed).