• Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Advanced

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    12.3 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2867.5 Feet

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

This is a pretty tough day hike, but totally and completely worth it. It is a 19.8km hike with a 874 m elevation gain (be sure to convert that to feet in the US!). Take in views of the Canadian Rockies, waterfalls, alpine lakes, and wildflowers in the meadows.

The trailhead is accessed at the Takakkaw Falls parking lot, and then you walk to the Whiskey Jack Hostel where the trail officially begins (you can not park here unless you are a guest). The well marked trail then begins its very steep ascent through the forest where you will catch glimpses of the 284 m high Takakkaw Falls along the way. Once you reach the treelike, you will have a clear view of the falls as well as the surrounding glaciers. How great to be looking down on such an incredible waterfall! As you continue to gain elevation, you will pass by several stunning glacial lakes, all of which make a great spot for a rest, snack, photo op, or lunch. You will continue along the northeastern side of the President Range until you reach the small Stanley Mitchell Hut. From here you will walk downhill (hurray!) through the Yoho Valley and then a dense forest, and finally back to your starting point.

Be sure to start early and bring lots of layers as this trail is totally exposed and not a good place to be stuck unprepared. I was caught in a hailstorm in August on what started out as a clear day, but with layers it's no problem! The mileage may not be huge, but you will want lots of time for the elevation gain and taking in the breathtaking scenery of this spectacular hike.

Pack List

  • Water or water treatment
  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking poles
  • Rain coat
  • Layers
  • Snacks
  • Food
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Backpack
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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After spending a lot of time in Banff, Jasper and Yoho this was hands down my favorite hike I did. Takakkaw Falls is amazing and you get to see it from below and above it you park at the base of the falls (which I recommend). The initial climb is steep with a ton of switchbacks but once you pop up above the treeline you'll be tripping over your own feet because you won't be able to look down. I also suggest doing the quick side trail to Hidden Lake on the way up. This is my favorite hike I've ever done!!

5 months ago
5 months ago

One of my favorite trails in all of the rockies. A must do for anyone visiting the area.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Christin Healey Explorer

Explorer, adventure seeker, lover of life and all things creative.

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