Takakkaw Falls Hike
The Takakkaw Falls Hike is really more of a short walk than a true hike; however, the views that can be found on this quick adventure in Yoho National Park will produce some amazing photo opportunities and memories to last a lifetime. The 1.3 km out-and-back route initially crosses over a bridge that spans the rushing waters of the Yoho River before climbing slightly uphill along a pathway that leads to a viewpoint over Takakkaw Falls, Canada’s second tallest waterfall. You likely won’t drive all the way to Yoho just to complete this brief journey, but if you find yourself hiking other trails in the area - especially if you have kids - then you might as well come take in the jaw-dropping views!
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Route Description for Takakkaw Falls Hike
There isn’t really anything bad that you could say about the Takakkaw Falls Hike, other than the fact that it isn’t long enough! While there are longer hiking routes that expand out further afield into Yoho National Park, if you are simply wishing to view this majestic waterfall, then you will have to make due with this quick 1.3 km out-and-back hike. Make sure to plan ahead for this hike, as the road into the trailhead is only open from late June to mid-October due to avalanche risks.
Even if this short hike is only available for a small portion of the year, it is an absolutely worthwhile experience to walk through the stunning landscapes of Yoho National Park and take in the breathtaking views of Canada’s second tallest waterfall. With a paved pathway that is fairly level and easy to navigate, this trail is perfect for hikers of all ages and skill levels, including families with young children and those with wheelchairs. Whether you are simply looking to take in the majesty of the falls, or are spending a few days exploring other trails within the park, the Takakkaw Falls Hike is an amazing experience that should not be passed up.
Setting out from the car park, follow the trail to the southeast and keep straight through the junction, continuing on for 235 m until you reach another junction near a bridge. Turn left here and make your way across the bridge and pause for a moment to take in the natural beauty of Yoho National Park. In every direction you will have amazingly beautiful views of rugged mountain peaks and swathes of pristine forest that characterize the terrain, below you, the silty rushing waters of the Yoho River will swiftly pass under the bridge, and to the northeast, you will be able to see the main attraction of the hike, Takakkaw Falls.
Continue along the paved pathway as it heads towards the falls for 330 m, passing by countless trees before arriving at a viewpoint. Take some time to appreciate the natural beauty of the waterfall and admire its 373 m height, 254 of which is a part of the main drop of the falls. The Cree people gave the falls their name, which means “wonderful” or “magnificent” and it is easy to see why. If you are able to view this amazing spectacle at a time when there is an increase in the volume of meltwater from the glacier above, then you will be in for a real show of torrenting water and clouds of mist.
After taking in the breathtaking views of the waterfall, retrace your footsteps along the trail and make your way back over the rushing waters of the Yoho River on the return leg of the Takakkaw Falls Hike.
Featuring a total height of 373 m and a main drop of 254 m, the Takakkaw Falls are the second tallest waterfall in Canada. Fed by the frigid waters of the Daly Glacier, these breathtaking falls are at their peak in the late spring when an increase in the volume of meltwater creates a powerful effect. The name Takakkaw comes from the Cree people, who named the “wonderful” or “magnificent” in their language, and they are absolutely right!
The Yoho River is a fast-moving tributary of the Kicking Horse River, flowing in its entirety within Yoho National Park. Beginning at the north end of the park at the toe of the Yoho Glacier, the river flows towards the sound and is further fed by several rivers and streams before it converges with Kicking Horse. At the point where the rivers converge, Yoho is actually the larger of the two.
Frequently Asked Questions
How tall is Takakkaw Falls?
With a total height of 373 m, Takakkaw Falls is the second tallest waterfall in Canada. The main drop of the falls is 254 m.
Is the road to Takakkaw Falls open?
Due to avalanche concerns, the road leading to the falls is only open from late June to mid-October. Additionally, only cars and small RVs are able to utilize the road due to the narrow switchbacks along the route.
Insider Hints for Takakkaw Falls Hike
- Due to avalanche risks, the road into the trailhead is only open from late-June to mid-October. Plan your hike accordingly.
- Remember to purchase your park pass in advance, otherwise you will likely have to wait in line before entering the park.
- The trail leading up to the waterfall is paved and features little elevation gain, making it perfectly suitable for all ages and skill levels.
Getting to the Takakkaw Falls Hike Trailhead
To reach the trailhead for the Takakkaw Falls Hike from Golden, head south on the Trans Canada Highway/BC-1 for 58.1 km and turn left onto Yoho Valley Road. Follow this for 13.4 km and keep straight to arrive at the parking area.
Takakkaw Falls Hike Elevation Graph
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