Yoho National Park: Day’s hiking from Takakkaw Falls to Yoho Lake circuit

Yoho National Park

On this summer trip to Canada, I visited the Yoho National Park that is well known for its many hiking trails. As I love adventure, I spent a day in hiking via which most of the park’s scenic and natural attractions were easily explored including the rocky glaciers and their formations that are the hidden lakes and the nations’ third highest waterfall. Believe me; the Yoho National Park is an extremely striking zone of the Canadian Rockies. Herein, a majority of the ideal natural features are accessible within some minutes walk from parking ground or via the ardent hiking trails needing overnight camping if they are long enough. Catch the trail that requires a fine half-day walk, which is actually a circular one taking you back from where you began. On this one, spot the fog of the Takakkaw Falls, enjoy the afternoon meal besides your one of the favorite glacial lakes, and wonder at the breathtaking vistas of Emerald Glacier along with its flanking valleys as well as mountains.

The Takakkaw Falls trailhead that makes you explore the Yoho National Park is quite easy to locate. Just turn to the Yoho Valley Road from the Trans-Canada Highway 1 after 14 miles from Lake Louise. After driving for 7 miles, you can park your car. Near this parking stand, you can spot toilets, picnic tables, and campground. From here, start hiking and your each step will bring some new views in. The path from here is cobbled and is also apt for wheelchairs. However, chances are there to climb over rocks and be in the mist if you desire to do so. The end of this trail will reward you with the Takakkaw Falls. The Cree folks have kept the name Takakkaw that means ‘magnificent’. This name is just apt for these Takakkaw Falls that are of 255 m and are filled by the Daly Glacier. One can access the falls’ base by passing via a footbridge under which the cold ice-blue water flows. Do not miss to halt here for a while as the flowing water sounds like the Sirens call. If you cannot wait here for sometime due to crowd, you can do so on your return journey. Driving back on the same road is thrilling in its own sense as it gives you the great vistas of the mountain scenery and Yoho valley.

Okay, now do not soak that much in these Takakkaw falls that you miss the tempting attraction nearby. While walking back, take up one more trail that will take you to the Whiskey Jack Hostel. Along this trail, enjoy the grand vistas to Mount Ogden that adorns the east and the Cathedral range on a clear day in the south. As the trail passes the road, spot the Whiskey Jack Hostel that provides cheap accommodation. From here at 1 km, trek the Hidden Lake trail off to the left, which ends at the glacial Hidden Lake in emerald at 300 m. It is called hidden as it is covered by the tall circling trees. One more astonishing feature of this lake is that it is vividly colored – thanks to the reflection of light off the tiny particles of rock getting deposited via the ancient process of glacial grinding. This lake is actually filled by the glacial sources that also meet the Yoho Lake further.

Head further that is the steepest adventure at 150 m taking you to the Yoho Lake. This one of the toughest hiking trails is composed of many forested switchbacks prior to getting even. Beware of the bears here. Besides the remote views of the hills, you can also enjoy the vistas of the colorful wildflowers like yellow glacier lilies, globe flowers, and pink mountain heather. At the glacial Yoho Lake that is located at the base of the Wapta mountain, enjoy tasty meal (lunch). If you wish to relax, spot for a backcountry campground in the west.

Now, move further to the northwest end to trek the Highline Trail where your tail gets divided. This trail is in the north, while the southeast one is ardent taking you around the Wapta Mountain. This trail holds a forest of fir and spruce and them converges back to the falls and the Daly Glacier. It actually first leads to the Iceline Trail that can be icy even in summer. At 1.5 miles, the Highline intersects with the Iceline to make you move right to return to Takakkaw Falls. It is from here that you can enjoy the breathtaking vista of Emerald Glacier.

Note: Take up a pass for entry to a national park in Canada from the Field’s visitor information centre at 3 km west of the valley road turn. This is cheap if the visit is for beyond a week.

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