Takakkaw Falls is a seriously amazing waterfall that you can drive (almost) right up to. I wouldn’t really consider this a hike, but it is a fantastic place to stop and eat your lunch while taking in the epic splashy views. Takakkaw (apparently pronounced Tah-kuh-kah), means “it is wonderful” in the local Cree language. It is easy to see why this name was chosen; The massive 250m+ drop blasts water out in a huge spurt that sprays the whole area with mist.
This is also the starting point for quite a few spectacular hikes in Yoho National Park. If you are exploring some of the other trails in this part of the Rockies you should definitely take a peek at Takakkaw Falls while you are nearby!
Takakkaw Falls Map
Takakkaw Falls – The Basics
Waterfall Height: 373m (with a main drop of 254m)
Cost: Free (although you’ll have paid for a Discovery Parks Pass to be in Yoho National Park)
How much time do you need: You don’t need long if you’re just planning to take a peek. However if you *do* have a few hours to spare, there are some fantastic hikes that start by this waterfall.
Facilities: Decent toilets (with loo roll)
There is a fabulous campground nearby too
Opening Dates: The road to Takakkaw Falls is normally closed from mid-October to mid-June.
Mini hike distance: The car park to the falls is 600m (or 1.2km in both directions)
If you’d like extra views, you can walk to the Takakkaw Falls campsite which is 500m away.
The best part about this waterfall is that you can see it almost as soon as you have parked your car! This means the mini walk up to the falls provides countless views as you walk into the mist and spray from the falls.
Takakkaw Falls Waterwheel
Near the top of the waterfall there is a waterwheel; A groove that funnels the water and spurts it upwards before crashing down the 258m fall. This makes the drop look even more spectacular as it sprays the water out to cascade down the cliffs. We got to the base of the falls just after it had rained, so it was really raging.
This waterfall is fed by melting glaciers, so it seems like it is always impressive – it just gets an extra boost whenever it rains. If it is this fun to watch late in the summer, it must be truly awe-inspiring to see it in the springtime!
Takakkaw Falls – what to bring
The weather can change very quickly in Yoho National Park (and anywhere in the Rockies), so even in the middle of summer, you should bring a waterproof coat at the very least! We had the falls almost to ourselves as so many people had run back to their cars to avoid the rain.
Go for a wander
The scenery around here is pretty stunning, even if you just explore a teeny bit. If you don’t have time for a long hike, it is still worth walking up to the Takakkaw Falls Campground to see the falls from afar. The view above is looking over the Yoho River (Takakkaw Falls was behind me.) The view below is from just beyond the campground.
Takakkaw Falls Campground
The campsites here look fantastic. Each space for tents was spread out, with small trees to give campers a bit of privacy. Plus there was a loo with a view, lockers for food as well as a covered space for eating (although that was closed in 2020 due to covid-19). This would be a fab place to base yourself for hiking in this area.
If you can – hike further
We couldn’t stop with just one waterfall, so we kept going further up the trail into Yoho National Park to Laughing Falls, and then Twin Falls beyond that. The trail was so cool that I’ll write a separate post about that next. But here is a sneak peek at Laughing Falls (left) and Twin Falls (right). We even got to hike to the top of Twin Falls and peek through the gap as the water surged through the narrow opening up on Whaleback Mountain.
Hopefully you’ll come back to read the posts about the trails to the other waterfalls later. But, even if you are not at all interested in hiking, you can still appreciate (and visit) Takakkaw Falls.
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