Immediately off Highway 6 is the parking lot for the two viewing platforms for Pisew Falls, the second highest waterfall in Manitoba. It’s beautiful and amazing. It really gets you excited to see the first highest waterfall in Manitoba, Kwasitchewan Falls!
Across the parking lot from Pisew Falls, you’ll find the trailhead that leads to Kwasitchewan Falls. The available information for this hiking trail describes it as a 22km return hike. See official information here. We planned to spend the night at Kwasitchewan Falls. It was our first official overnight hike and we learned a fair bit about packing for hikes. Before this, we’d only had to pack for canoe trips.
Since we planned to send the night, we weren’t in a hurry to get going. We were pretty late getting on the trail. We followed the Grass River to get to the falls. This part of the trail is longer and more challenging than the Phillips Lake side, so it was a good decision to do it in that direction and get the tough part done with on the first day. The trail was technically difficult and demanding, especially because our packs were heavier than they needed to be.
We passed two other hiking groups as we went, and my husband decided we couldn’t let them pass us again as he wanted to get our first choice of campsite! So, the race to the campsites began! We had a wonderful afternoon hiking the challenging terrain but by the time we got to the first campsite, we were exhausted. It was quite a while from the first campsite to the campsite we chose to settle on. A couple of the campsites were filthy and full of discarded items including a double inflatable camping mattress, bags of kitchen equipment and food waste. This was hard to see – pretty upsetting after a long hike on a mostly clean trail. We kept going across the creek and settle on the first campsite beyond the creek. It was spotless, which was a relief. We found the first outdoor toilet but we were not able to find the second one on the Phillips Lake side of the creek.
We still hadn’t seen the falls, but agreed to be on our way early the next morning. We never sleep much past sunrise so we were back on the trail very early. We could hear the falls before we could see them.
Our first view of Kwasitchewan Falls!
It was probably still another 45 minutes to the falls. We passed a nice campsite almost exactly above the falls. There wasn’t really easy water access there as far as I could tell, so I think I would have preferred the site we chose anyway.
There aren’t the same types of vantage points for Kwasitchewan Falls as there are at Pisew Falls, but still amazing!
The hike home was much shorter and easier. We were back at the parking lot in no time. According to Tim’s GPS, the trail was 28km, not the 22km posted at the trailhead.
This was a truly memorable hike and I will definitely want to tackle it again one day.