Twin Falls and Whaleback

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Very Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
6-8.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
19.8 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
950 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.7
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Read Reviews
Directions to Trailhead
Panorama of the Twin Falls and Whaleback hike in Yoho National Park

We love the hike to Twin Falls. It’s worth the extra effort to hike up and over Whaleback, one of our favourite places in Yoho. This walk also takes in Twin Falls Chalet, a charming backcountry cabin.

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Route Description for Twin Falls and Whaleback

From the parking lot at the end of the road, head north, walking through the Takakkaw Falls Campground. You will go through open areas and forest, along a wide path. You will occasionally come down towards the Yoho River, which gives wonderful views.

After 4.4 km you reach the Laughing Falls Backcountry Campground the path splits, you can go either way, however we prefer to go counter-clockwise for today’s route. Take the right path as it goes along Twin Falls Creek. In 2.2 km you reach another backcountry campground, this one Twin Falls Campground. From here it’s another 1.6 km uphill to Twin Falls Chalet. Stop here and enjoy a break.

Head uphill on the Whaleback trail and check out the Twin falls. Be careful when looking at Twin Falls. Accidents here are common, with fatalities occurring, often from people taking photos or getting close to the edge. We like to roam around and look at different viewpoints of the falls.

Go above the falls and cross Twin Falls Creek. You are now on the edge of the forest, coming out into the Alpine from time to time. We love the views here, especially the stunning colours. Continue hiking over Whaleback, this is the best part of the walk. Eventually you reach the down trail, a switchback that is slippery in rain and steep in places.

As you descend you come to an intersection with the Iceline Trail. Head left (east) continuing down hill through the forest. Soon you come to a junction with the path you initially started hiking on earlier. Turn right and head back on this path as you head to your car.

Insider Hints for Twin Falls and Whaleback

  • The Twin Falls Chalet is a beautiful old cabin. It’s worth a look, and if you want some tranquillity you can spend 2 nights here!
  • Trailers are illegal on the road to the start of the hike. This is because there are some narrow switchbacks that can be hard for large cars to navigate.
  • Cathedral Mountain Lodge which is just off the TransCanada highway is highly recommended. This underappreciated gem is a great place to stay if you want an early start for this hike.

Getting to the Twin Falls and Whaleback Trailhead

Drive west from Banff or Lake Louise along the Trans-Canada Highway. Take the exit north towards Takkakaw Falls. If you reach Field BC, you have gone too far! Go for nearly 14.0 km up the road until you see the parking area. Trailers are not allowed on this road.

Route Information

  • When to do

    July to September

  • Backcountry Campsites

    Yes

  • Toilets

    Yes, at trailhead

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Twin Falls and Whaleback Elevation Graph

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Twin Falls and Whaleback Reviews

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