The term Yoho means magnificent in the Cree language, and summarizes this area to a tee. Twin Falls are two of many stunning waterfalls in the Yoho Valley . These falls are unique with two channels of rushing water that fall 80 metres side by side from a rocky precipice before braiding together and crashing into the Yoho River below.
Time: Full-day hike
Distance: 8.5 km (5.3 miles) one-way
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 300 m (975 feet)
Maps: Hector Lake , 82 N/9 West; Lake Louise, 82 N/8 West; and Blaeberry River, 82 N/10 East (these maps refer to the Yoho Valley , of which Twin Falls is one destination. Numerous hikes branch off from this starting point.)
Starting Point: Drive the Trans-Canada Hwy west from Banff , past Lake Louise and towards the town of Field (approx. 1.5-hour drive). Turn off at Yoho Valley Road , and follow road 13 km (8 miles) to the Takakkaw Falls parking area. Trail sign marks start of the hike. Note: The Yoho Valley Road is narrow and windy. It is not appropriate for large RVs or trailers.
Summary: This hike begins with dramatic flare.opposite the raging Takakkaw Falls that plunge 380 m into the Yoho River . Viewpoints along the way – Laughing Falls , Trolltinder Mountain and Mount Gordon , and ultimately, the Twin Falls themselves – maintain the impressiveness of the Yoho Valley.
The first half of the hike is relatively flat, with one major hill (your reward is another flat section along the valley bottom). Along the way, the trail shifts from being open and scenic to narrow and forested. The final push to the Twin Falls Chalet is a steady climb beyond the campground. Note: the chalet is an old Canadian Pacific Railway building (1923); snacks and lodging for small groups (with reservations) are available.
Duchesnay Lake is a short side-trip from the main trail at the 4-km mark (2.5 miles).
Laughing Falls is another easy destination from the Takakkaw Falls parking lot, approx.
0.5 km (0.3 miles) beyond Duchesnay Lake on the Twin Falls trail.
Keep in Mind:
The Twin Falls trail has an array of other trails leading from it. Know your route, use a map or a guidebook, read trail signs.
Bring a water bottle and snack. Quick water stops are important every 20-30 minutes (more often if it is hot), especially if you are not used to higher elevations.
You are in the mountains – always carry an extra layer of clothing and rain gear.
Wear appropriate day-hiking shoes.
Slow your pace; slow your breathing. Enjoy short side trips to scenic viewpoints.
Plan your trip
Stay on marked trails
Pack garbage out
Be cautious of wildlife
Be safe, be smart – hike within your limits
Walking and hiking in the Canadian Rocky Mountains is inherent with risk due to a number of constantly changing conditions. These conditions include (but are not limited to) unpredictable weather, rain, flash floods, falling rocks, mudslides, falling trees and more.
Other dangers include (but are not limited to) wild animals such as black and grizzly bears, elk, sheep, goats and insects, all of which can be aggressive.
These hiking descriptions are designed to provide you with a good idea of what the hike will have to offer and some general guidelines about the hike. You are responsible for your own safety and well being while hiking! While these details have been put together through research by local professionals, you may encounter conditions not mentioned in the hike descriptions. Trail heads, signage, parking, etc. are also subject to change as well.
In order to get the most recent conditions and details for any hike you undertake we strongly recommend that you contact Parks Canada at the Banff Information Centre prior to your hike and they will provide you with the most current conditions and hike details for your enjoyment and safety of your hike.
Parks Canada can be found at The Banff Information Centre at 224 Banff Avenue and is open from 9AM to 7PM in the Summer. They can be reached by calling 403.762.1550.