Yoho National Park is full of truly spectacular waterfalls. In my previous post, I showed off the impressive Takakkaw Falls; But if you start from there, you can hike on to both Laughing Falls and Twin Falls. Both of these have their own campsites as well as a bunch of other super fun trails. We were lucky to snag a campsite at Twin Falls, so got to sleep far within the wilderness. However even if you can’t camp you’d be able to see all of this on a long-ish day hike.
If you like waterfalls, you will love this area! As well as the big ‘uns, we also found four smaller waterfalls along the trail. So you’ll get to visit seven waterfalls on this single hike!
Twin Falls Trail Map
Twin Falls (& Laughing Falls) – the basics
Distance: 15km (8.4 to Laughing Falls)
Cumulative Elevation gain: 750m (320m to Laughing Falls)
Highest Point: 1800m if you stop at the Twin Falls Chalet.
Time: 7-8 hours
What to bring:
The 10 Essentials
Hiking poles were useful but the trail never gets very steep
There are loos at each of the campgrounds at Takakkaw Falls, Twin Falls and Laughing Falls.
Each campground also had either bear hangs or lockers for food.
Dogs: Yes (on a leash) Dogs will LOVE this area.
How hard is it? Intermediate. The trail is easy to follow and never gets too steep.
Yoho Twin Falls trail – Getting started
This trail starts at the wonderful Takakkaw Falls (click on the link for more photos of that gem!) There are two areas to park, the first is the day use area; If you keep driving, there is a second car park for people who are planning to camp in Yoho overnight. You’ll probably want to have a look at Takakkaw Falls before you set out on the main trail. Then, to continue further into the National Park, walk through the Takakkaw Falls Campground and continue up into the valley. You’ll see there are a whole bunch of possible hikes here. (Squee)
We had a bit of a soggy start to our adventures in the Rockies. The previous night had been torrential rain. So much so that we had not felt safe camping in our slightly leaky tent, so we’d had to book a last minute hotel after our 8 hour drive from Vancouver!
We woke up to cloudy skies, but it wasn’t raining so I was reeeally excited to get out onto the trails. However the first part of the trail to Laughing Falls was a bit flooded…
The water all looks milky as it was full of rock flour (the ground up rock that gives glacial lakes and rivers their crazy blue colours.) The super wet part of the trail was only about 100m long, but it made the start of the hike into a bit of an obstacle course – we jumped on logs and weaved into the trees to avoid the giant puddle.
Point Lace Falls – Bonus waterfall
Less than 2km into the walk there are a couple of turn offs where you can visit extra waterfalls. Most people seemed to be ignoring these side trails, but they are all short (200m) and worth a peek! The first one takes you to Point Lace Falls. This is teeny compared to the other giant waterfalls in the area, but we thought it was picturesque.
Angel’s Staircase Falls
You can climb up next to Point Lace Falls to see pretty views into the Rockies aaand to see a great view of the next bonus waterfall, Angel’s Staircase Falls. My photo is a bit far away, but you can see the idea – Angel’s Staircase seems to have water-covered steps the whole way up the mountain. Once you get back to the main trail, there is a mini bonus walk to another view of this waterfall from the river.
The next mini bonus walk will lead you to the pretty sub-alpine Duchesnay Lake. Most people seem to stick to the main trail, even though this is only an extra 200m-ish. We had the whole lake to ourselves again.
Slightly further along the trail you will start to hear the Yoho river crashing through a gorge as the rapids attempt to squeeze through the narrow rock faces. This culminates in another small (but very energetic) waterfall, Yoho Gorge Falls. Then you get to cross this amazing river on a wobbly foot bridge. This is the location for the next beautiful campground at Laughing Falls.
Laughing Falls itself is gorgeous! This waterfall crashes down around 30m with spray flying out in all directions. This waterfall is surrounded by forest and rocks which funnels the noise to make it feel even more impressive. The sound of the water will reverberate the whole way though your body so you can feel the sound while you watch the water thunder past.
This is the view away from the falls. It’s another fantastic spot for a campground.
Beyond Laughing Falls, the trail is a little narrower but it’s still easy to follow. You walk between Twin Falls creek on one side and the Yoho river on the other side. The trail slopes up gently so it’s easy and very pretty.
Twin Falls Campground
It’s only a couple of kilometers between Laughing Falls and the Twin Falls Campground. The camp site has small, secluded spots for each tent as well as a communal area where you can cook and eat. This is Grizzly bear country so you need to hang up your food (there is a pole set up for this.) Remember to cook and eat all your food well away from your tent.
We set up our tent before continuing to walk a little closer to Twin Falls.
Once we’d set up our tent, there was still plenty of daylight, so we decided to keep hiking up to the Twin Falls and the Whaleback. I had no idea that on the way we’d get to see this impressive gorge with another bonus waterfall!
The World Waterfall Database calls this one Marpole Falls, but it doesn’t have an official name. I guess when you’re located in an area with sooo many impressive waterfalls, even the most beautiful gorges and waterfalls can be overlooked!
Twin Falls Chalet
You only need to climb up around 150m from the Twin Falls Campground to the best views of the falls and the Twin Falls Chalet. Normally it is possible to stay at this beautiful lodge or stop there for tea. The same lady has been looking after it for 57 years! However in 2020, rather than tea-drinkers, the lodge was being repaired. I hope it’ll be open again in the future!
This is the view from near the chalet – isn’t it spectacular!?
There is a small loop where you can see the Twin Falls from all directions. I loved the views from down near the river.
But the very best views come from right underneath the waterfalls. Just as we got there, the sun lit up all the spray, creating this amazing view with ghostly tree shadows being illuminated through the mist.
You can finish this version of the hike by taking the bridge across Twin Falls Creek to the Marpole Lake Connector trail (which links Twin Falls to Little Yoho Valley.) This will take you back to Laughing Falls and the trail back to Takakkaw Falls and the car park.
After this, we continued on to another viewpoint above Twin Falls; You can look through the gap where the water spurts out from the cliff face! However as I’ve already shown off seven waterfalls on this single hike; I’ll save the Whaleback trail for my next post.
I hope you like the look of the epic waterfall-filled part of Yoho National Park!