Rainbow Canyon and Falls (Moose River)

British Columbia. Canyon: Fraser River drainage
Moose River, N of junction with Fraser River
52°55’0″ N 118°48’0″ W — Map 083D15 — GoogleGeoHack
Earliest known reference to this name is 1912 (Wheeler).
Name officially adopted in 1951
Official in BCCanada
Falls of the Moose River. J. Norman Collie, 1910

Falls of the Moose River. J. Norman Collie, 1910
The Geographical Journal (London)

Falls In Rainbow Canyon. Byron Harmon, 1911

Falls In Rainbow Canyon. Byron Harmon, 1911
Canadian Alpine Journal 1912

“Moose River emerges from a canyon directly beside the railway. It is very fine and will be a most attractive feature to the travelling public. The canyon is not more than two hundred yards in length and about 150 feet deep. There are two falls near the head, of which the upper drops 50 feet and the lower 20 feet. Here the grandeur and awe of the spectacle culminates; the gorge is at its wildest, the sheer rock walls at their steepest; you are between the two falls; flying mist and spray fill the available space and eddy and circle continuously. On sunny days baby rainbows play hide and seek. I counted, at one and the same time, half a dozen at various points of view. The name Rainbow Falls and Canyon is suggested as attractive and appropriate; the more so that the mountain group, of which Robson is the dominating mass, is known as the Rainbow Mountains. The canyon is an exceptionally fine study of the action and effect of a powerful glacial torrent.”

So wrote Arthur Oliver Wheeler about the 1911 Smithsonian-Alpine Club of Canada expedition to Mount Robson. Wheeler indicated Rainbow Canyon on the map accompanying his report in the 1912 Canadian Alpine Journal.


  • Collie, John Norman [1859–1942]. “Exploration in the Rocky Mountains North of the Yellowhead Pass.” The Geographical Journal (London), 39 (1912):223-233. JSTOR
  • Wheeler, Arthur Oliver [1860–1945]. “The Alpine Club of Canada’s expedition to Jasper Park, Yellowhead Pass and Mount Robson region, 1911.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 4 (1912):9-80. Alpine Club of Canada
  • Wheeler, Arthur Oliver [1860–1945]. “Topographical Map Showing Mount Robson and Mountains of the Continental Divide North of Yellowhead Pass to accompany the Report of the Alpine Club of Canada’s Expedition 1911. From Photographic Surveys by Arthur O. Wheeler; A.C.C. Director.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 4 (1912):8-81. Victoria Library, University of Toronto

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