The Meeting of the Waters is a magical hidden gem in Glacier National Park between Revelstoke and Golden. It is located on the Meeting of the Waters Trail, a short 1.3 kilometre trek on a well-maintained path with little elevation gain, and stunning views.
Along the way, you’ll see the remains of the former Glacier House hotel, which was constructed in the 1880s as a high-end hotel. The luxury hotel, constructed by the Canadian Pacific Railway and expanded twice, operated until 1925.
The most stunning part of the hike is at the bridge around the halfway point, where the waters from Illecillewaet River and Asulkan Brook meet. This location is considered the “meeting of the waters”. There are chairs and benches set up near this point to watch as the waters meet.
“Standing at the middle of the bridge, the atmosphere is amazing….mesmerizing….. magical. It’s a sensation for all of the senses.”
Pause and listen. Listen to the sounds of the rushing waters coming towards you from all directions. The sounds paired with the visual beauty as the river and the brook come together may leave you speechless. As you stand on the bridge, breathe deeply and take in the fresh air as you allow the sun to warm your body and the moisture in the air to cool you down.
We have hiked this trail a few times, and each time we have found new discoveries along the way. It is a hike we plan to repeat in the future.
The first time we tried to find this trail, we ended up in the wrong location. So to help you get to the correct location, if you are coming from Revelstoke, follow the Trans Canada Highway east. You’ll see that there are two exits to hiking trails near the Illecillewaet River. The first has parking immediately off the highway and access to some trails in the area. However to get to the Meeting of the Waters Trail, go to the second exit, less than half a kilometre beyond this. You’ll take a loose surface road to a parking area at the trailhead. There are washrooms and garbage containers at the parking area.
“While this hike can be completed in a little more than 20 minutes, we recommend giving yourself twice that time so you can slow down and experience all of the beauty of this hidden gem.”
To reach the trail travelling west from Golden towards Revelstoke, there is a barrier separating the east and west lanes on the highway, but there is a turnaround area just past the two hiking areas. You’ll pass the two exits on the left-hand side of the highway, then you’ll see a left-hand turn where you can turnaround. From here you will safely be able to return to the highway. Take the second Illecillewaet exit.
The hiking area is just west of the Rogers Pass summit, with an elevation of 1,330 metres. Conditions along this trail can be cooler than in Golden or Revelstoke, so it is a good idea to bring water and warm clothing, even in the summer months.