#24 – Canadian Rockies Day Hikes: Takakkaw Falls Trail
- Location: Yoho National Park
- Trailhead: Takakkaw Falls
- Type: Out-n-Back
- Rating: Easy
- Total Distance: 1-mile
- Trailhead Elevation: 4,950′
- Total Elevation Gain: 120′
- Recommended Time: 30-45 minutes
- Recommended Season: May to Late-September
Takakkaw Falls Trail
As waterfalls go, Takakkaw Falls is the king of the Canadian Rockies. It even looks as if it creates a watery throne as its initial drop smashes into an outcropping and sprays out, plummeting over the edge of the main fall. The Takakkaw Falls Trail is easy as it starts out along the Yoho River near the base of the falls and crosses over the river via a beautifully placed bridge. The only thing hard about the hike along the Takakkaw Falls Trail is butchering the pronunciation of such a beautiful and powerful natural wonder.
According to the World Waterfall Database, the Takakkaw Falls’ main drop is 992’. This makes it the highest continual flow waterfall in the Canadian Rockies and second-highest in all of Canada. It is second only to the much more difficult to reach 1,443’ high Della Falls on Vancouver Island.
The Yoho Valley Road
Unlike the easy stroll along the Takakkaw Falls Trail, the drive up the Yoho Valley Road to the parking area is where the real challenge lies. While the road is paved the entire way, it has switchbacks so tight that they resemble a hiking trail more than a modern road. Don’t be too daunted by the challenge as charter buses somehow make their way up the curvy road. Just don’t ask me how they do it as it is a mystery to me. In our 21′ long truck camper, one of the sharpest turns had me doing a five-point turn on the way up. (It only took a three-point turn on the way down.)
Other Hiking Options
If this hike sounds too easy and you want more of a challenge, the trail does continue to the headwaters of the waterfall via the Takakkaw Lake Route. Another great option is to hike to Yoho Lake or take on the full-day hikes of the Twin Falls Trail or the Iceline Loop Trail.
Camping Beside Takakkaw Falls
Perhaps the only thing better than seeing the Takakkaw Falls in person is falling asleep listening to the thunderous roar of falls. If you are up for some rustic tent camping then the Takakkaw Falls Campground should definitely be added to your Canadian Rockies itinerary. It is a first-come, first-served campground so arrive relatively early to grab a spot.