Hike to Wapta Falls, Yoho National Park

Wapta Falls Trailhead

This short and easy hike features a massive waterfall, rainbows, and turquoise pools.

This short 1.2 mile hike leads you through a relatively level forest to a spot on the Kicking Horse River where the water crashes off a river-wide cliff, producing almost a guaranteed rainbow at the bottom. The trail starts at the Wapta Falls Trailhead, which is a short drive off the Trans Canadian Highway just south of Field.

After gaining roughly 45 feet through a heavily forested area, the trail drops about 180 feet to the falls. There is a small lookout point at the top of the falls, but the rainbow is only visible if you scramble down to the base of the falls. You can either go straight down from the vista point or backtrack a couple hundred feet to a trail that leads to the river's edge.

There is a large mound in front of the falls that has a trail topping its ridge line. This provides an awesome view of the entire falls if you are willing to get soaked by the spray.

Pack List

  • Photography Gear
  • Water
  • Snack or Lunch
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RT Distance 2.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 180 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Winter Wonderland

We came here in mid-December and were so surprised to find no one else! The road to the trailhead is closed but we parked off the highway and walked the additional 2km to the trail head. A family friendly trail with some stunning views of the falls.

How are not more people here?

I did this hike in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday and there were only a handful of other people on the trail. It was overcast but the color of the river was bright, bright blue. The falls are gorgeous and if you don't mind stripping off your socks and boots you should wade across the shallow river to the island in the center. Awesome hike! Awesome waterfall!

Stunning Waterfall Destination!

This hike is practically a hidden gem compared to the popularity of most the hikes in Yoho and Banff. One of the most amazing waterfall landscapes I've ever seen complete with mountains, rainbows, and pools! So rewarding especially considering how easy the hike is! Make sure you jump in the river for a polar plunge


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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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