Yoho National Park Backpacking to Twin Falls - Yoho is a Cree word which is an expression of amazement or awe. Having driven through Yoho National Park and never stopping we decided it was time to see for ourselves if the park actually lives up to its name. For our first Yoho backcountry adventure we planned an easy backpacking trip to see Twin Falls.
Yoho is a year round outdoor adventurists and hikers paradise. With 400km of trails, massive icefields, mountain peaks and waterfalls, it is indeed a wonderous place. Best known for the Lodge at Emerald Lake which boasts an electronics' light stay. It is a luxurious and peaceful getaway enabling visitors to reconnect with nature and with each other. Naturally, this sounds amazing. However, we opted for a more remote and rustic camping experience with our Yoho National Park Twin Falls Backpacking Adventure.
The UNESCO Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site is made up of a group of seven parks which include Yoho, Jasper, Banff, Kootenay National Parks and Mount Assiniboine, Mount Robson and Hamber Provincial Parks. Created in 1886, Yoho is tied with Glacier National Park as being the second oldest of the Canadian national parks. Banff is Canada's first national park.
Since we hadn't done a backcountry trip for a while and wanted to go as a family, we decided on a shorter and easier hike with plenty of waterfalls to see. Not to mention, we love hiking in British Columbia. Our Yoho National Park Twin Falls Backpacking Adventure trip plan was to hike about 9km to the Twin Lakes campground and set up camp for two nights. Then we would spend the second day exploring other trails and searching for all the waterfalls in the area before hiking back out on day 3.
The start of our Yoho National Park Twin Falls backpacking adventure began at Takakkaw Falls. From there we found the trailhead for the Yoho Valley Trail. Rated as a moderate hike, there is really only one hill along this section of trail. The trail to Twin Falls Campground is about 9km and passes by Laughing Falls. Thankful to have checked the forecast before leaving we were prepared for hiking in the rain with pack covers, raincoats and wool socks. Staying warm during the hike, we cooled down quickly when we reached the campsite. So, we set up a tarp, made something warm to drink and changed into some dry clothes.
Originally we had planned for our day hike to be the Whaleback Trail. This trail takes you above Twin Falls and along a ridge with beautiful sweeping views of the valley and the Rocky Mountains. Unfortunately, even in mid-July Whaleback was inaccessible and covered in a deep snowpack. Instead we chose to hike the Marpole Trail. Higher than the Yoho Valley we hiked in on, this trail still promised beautiful views.
The start point for our Yoho National Park Twin Falls Backpacking Adventure is at Takakkaw Falls. It is a Cree word meaning magnificent. At 254m it is the second tallest waterfall in Canada. Being easily accessible, visiting these falls makes a popular day trip. There are paved walking trails allowing visitors to enjoy the falls from various angles. For those that are looking for a front country camping experience, Takakkaw Falls campground is a nice walk-in and unserviced campground just 300m from the parking lot.
Twin Falls is a spectacular double cascading waterfall that plunges 180m over the cliff face. Afterwards, the falls continue over a series of steps and ledges for an additional 60m. It is a short hike to reach Twin Falls from the Twin Falls Campground. This trail connects to the Marpole trail which passes by Point Lace Falls before joining up with the Yoho Valley Trail at Laughing Falls.
It is a flat and easy 4.2km hike through a forested trail to get to Laughing Falls from the Takakkaw Falls parking lot. At 100m tall, these falls are formed when the Little Yoho River forces its way through a narrow slot canyon. Apparently, these falls were named for the sound made by its falling waters.
The last set of waterfalls on our Yoho National Park Twin Falls Backpacking Adventure was Point Lace Falls. These falls have the smallest volume of water of the waterfalls encountered on this hike. Although quite small compared to the other waterfalls encountered on our Yoho National Park Twin Falls backpacking adventure it is very pretty. The way the water sprays over the layers of rock gives it the lace-like appearance.
Field is the only community located in Yoho National Park. It is a super cute village with a population of 200. Needless to say, after a few days in the backcountry we were looking forward to an excellent meal. We chose Truffle Pigs Restaurant and Lodge and were not disappointed. Our meal was delicious. Having never ventured into Field BC before we fell in love with this quaint little village and are looking forward to a return visit.
As Twin Falls is located in Yoho National Park a Parks Canada pass and backcountry camping reservations are required. Yoho National Park BC shares borders with Banff and Kootenay National Parks. The Trans Canada Highway is the major road traveling through Yoho with Lake Louise, Alberta to the East and Golden BC to the West.
Take the Yoho Valley Road exit and follow it for about 17km to reach the Takakkaw Falls. Please note, that this road has some very steep and sharp switchbacks making vehicles over 7m in length reverse in order to make the corners. RV's and vehicles with trailers are not permitted. The Twin Falls trailhead is easy to find in the Takakkaw Falls parking lot and passes through the front country campground there.
A Yoho National Park Twin Falls Backpacking Adventure is ideal for anyone looking for a family friendly backcountry experience. With its abundance of waterfalls and low effort to high reward ratio, it to see why this is one of the most popular hikes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Yoho National Park does indeed live up to its name. The beauty of this park and its many waterfalls is awe inspiring. We are looking forward exploring more areas in Yoho in the future.
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Cary Horning thank you. Don't you just love spending time in the mountains? Your trip to Banff looked amazing. Have you visited Yoho too?
I absolutely love the mountains, they are good for your soul. Banff is always fun and has lots to see and do.
Yes, l have been to Yoho, last year but only a day trip. Beautiful Park and hope to get back for longer than 1 day maybe this summer.
Beautiful waterfalls, Janet. Too bad you had to start out in the rain. It really looks like a memorable family trip.
Engaging article and wonderful photos Janet! I was interested to learn about the UNESCO Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks world heritage site. It looks like the trails were good and not too muddy. Although, too bad it hadn't been warmer for a dip in the falls. Brrrrrrr
Yes, we were fortunate that the trails held up really well in the rain.
That would have been a pretty chilly dip in the falls. They are fed from the melting snow pack that was still covering the upper trails. Brrrr, is right.