Twin Falls and Whaleback hike

Yoho National Park
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Twin Falls and Whaleback hike

Distance: 19.8km
Elevation: 950m
Time: 6-8h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.7 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

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.

Twin Falls and Whaleback hike Map

Getting there

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 14.0km up the road until you see the parking area. Trailers are not allowed on this road.

I’ve done this 8 people have done this
I want to do this 18 want to do this route

About

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


Route Description for Twin Falls and Whaleback hike

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 4.4km 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 2.2km you reach another backcountry campground, this one Twin Falls Campground. From here it’s another 1.6km 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

  • 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.

Comments

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StephenRoss 2 months ago

I really loved this trail. I have done the whaleback as well. It adds a bit of effort to the hike but it's worth it.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
7h 00m Time Taken
Sebo 3 months ago

Nice hike. Not giving a 10/10 only because it was a bit of a struggle for me. But amazing views.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
7h 15m Time Taken
aarondav 3 months ago

Good hike, I'd love to do it again one day

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
7h 00m Time Taken
3 Comments

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