visiting takakkaw falls

Your Guide to Visiting Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park

Visiting Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park is a must-stop destination for nature lovers. With its towering height and breathtaking views, it promises an unforgettable experience. I was not expecting such a sight, when we stopped there as part of our road trip from Calgary to Vancouver. This guide covers everything you need to know about visiting Takakkaw Falls, including its location, how to get there, and what to do once you arrive.

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The Meaning of Takakkaw Falls

Takakkaw Falls, meaning “it is magnificent” in Cree, perfectly describes this natural wonder. The falls are one of the tallest in Canada, with a height of 1,224 feet (373 meters) and a main drop of 833 feet (254 meters). Takakkaw Falls is one of many waterfalls in Yoho National Park and has been a significant attraction for years, drawing visitors from all over the world.

Location of Takakkaw Falls

Takakkaw Falls is located in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, near the Alberta border. The falls are part of the Yoho Valley and are easily accessible from the Trans-Canada Highway. They are situated close to other popular destinations like Emerald Lake and the town of Field. If you are spending time in Banff, consider extending your visit and taking the hour drive out to the falls.

Takakkaw Falls Sign

How to Get to Takakkaw Falls

To reach Takakkaw Falls, take the Trans-Canada Highway and turn onto Yoho Valley Road. The falls is about three hours from Calgary and an hour from Golden, BC. This scenic road is steep and winding, featuring a series of switchbacks that can be challenging for larger vehicles. There is an option to take a guided tour from Banff that includes the falls and also includes Victoria Glacier and Moraine Lake. Either way, the drive is worth it for the stunning views along the way.

driving to takakkaw falls

Takakkaw Falls Parking Lot

The Takakkaw Falls parking lot is conveniently located near the falls. It has ample space, but arriving early is recommended, especially during peak seasons. The parking area provides easy access to the falls. You can actually see the falls from the parking lot at Takakkaw Falls, but it is worth doing the short hike to get up close to the falls.

Takakkaw Falls Road View

What to Do at Takakkaw Falls

Once you arrive at Takakkaw Falls, there’s plenty to do. Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll to the base of the falls or enjoy a picnic with a view, the area offers something for everyone. If you are into birdwatching, you will find lots of birds in the area – which made the visit even better for me!

The area is completely dog friendly and there are other options of longer hikes, waterfalls to explore and lots of outdoor fun to be had!

Takakkaw Falls Hike

The hike to Takakkaw Falls is short and accessible, making it suitable for all ages. The trail from the parking lot to the falls is about 1.3 kilometers (0.8 miles) round trip and mostly flat. The path is well-marked and offers fantastic views of the falls and surrounding nature. Even if you are thinking about learning to hike, this is completely doable!

takakkaw falls hike

Wildlife and Bear Safety at Takakkaw Falls

Yoho National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including bears. It’s essential to practice bear safety even when visiting Takakkaw Falls which can be very busy. Keep a safe distance from all animals, carry bear spray, and make noise while hiking to avoid surprising wildlife. Familiarize yourself with bear safety guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

Is Takakkaw Falls Open Year Round?

No, Takakkaw Falls is not open year round. The access road, Yoho Valley Road, closes in the winter due to snow and typically reopens in midJune. Always check the current conditions before planning your visit to ensure the road is open.

Where to Stay Near Takakkaw Falls

There are a few options of places to stay near the falls. There are two campgrounds near the falls. Takakkaw Falls Campground is unserviced, tents only and walk-ins. Kicking Horse Campground is also unserviced but allows tents and RVs up to 50 feet and take reservations.

Cathedral Mountain Lodge is the closest non-camping option that is absolutely beautiful! If you are looking for a splurge then plan to add visiting these falls to a stay at Emerald Lake Lodge. There are other great options if you are staying in Banff or in Canmore and want to visit Takakkaw Falls.

Cathedral Mountain View

Is Takakkaw Falls Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! The sheer height, powerful flow, and easy accessibility make visiting Takakkaw Falls a must-do when exploring Yoho National Park. Whether you’re on a short hike or a day trip, Takakkaw Falls offers an unforgettable experience. Plan your trip, respect the natural environment, and enjoy the amazing view of Takakkaw Falls.

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