Categories > Guides and Tips

A Complete Travel Guide for Takakkaw Falls Canada

A Complete Travel Guide for Takakkaw Falls Canada

Takakkaw Falls, with its thundering waters cascading from dizzying heights, is a hidden gem that beckons travelers with a promise of awe-inspiring beauty.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the enchanting trails leading to the falls, share tips on the best viewpoints, and reveal why this place should be on every nature lover’s bucket list. 

So, buckle up and get ready to explore one of Canada’s most spectacular natural wonders!

Time Zone

Canada Standard Time (GMT-5)

Things to Know

Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: English 

Calling Code: +1

Address: Yoho National Park, BC V0A 1G0, Canada

Contact Details: +12503436783


Cost: Free of charge 

What is Takakkaw Falls’ history?

Takakkaw Falls is known for its spectacular beauty and impressive height. The name “Takakkaw” translates to “magnificent” in the Cree language, aptly describing the falls’ grandeur. 

These falls are formed by the meltwater from the Daly Glacier in the Waputik Mountains, and they consist of several nearly vertical drops.

The falls have a total height of 373 meters (1,224 ft), making them the second tallest waterfall in Canada. However, the main drop of the waterfall is 254 meters (833 ft) high. 

Takakkaw Falls was once thought to be the highest waterfall in Canada, but a survey in 1985 revised its height, finding it to be shorter than initially thought.

Takakkaw Falls is fed by snow and ice melt from Daly Glacier, which helps maintain the volume of the falls during the warm summer months. It’s a major tourist attraction, particularly in late spring when the heavy snow melts and the falls are at their peak condition.

Best Time To Visit

If you’re like us and love catching nature’s most dramatic displays, then June and July are the prime months to visit Takakkaw Falls. 

This is the time when the Daly Glacier, the primary source of the falls, begins to melt. The result? An impressive surge in the waterfall’s flow, creating some truly awe-inspiring views. 

But don’t worry if your schedule has you visiting in mid-September. Even then, Takakkaw Falls remains a magnificent spectacle. 

By October, which marks the end of the visitor season, the falls become smaller in scale but still offer a stunning and memorable experience. Just remember, the road to the falls typically closes in mid-October and reopens in June, so plan accordingly.

How to Get Around 

From Calgary

Bus: Rider Express operates a bus from Calgary, AB—Westbrook Mall to Field once daily. The journey takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes. Ticket prices range from $30 to $170.

Car: If you’re driving, it’s approximately a 216 km drive from Calgary to Takakkaw Falls and takes about 2 hours and 41 minutes.

From Banff

Bus and Taxi: The best way to travel from Banff to Takakkaw Falls without a car is to take a bus and taxi combination. The journey takes about 1 hour and 25 minutes and costs between $90 to $120. Rider Express operates a bus from Banff, AB to Field once daily, taking around 1 hour and 5 minutes.

Shuttle: Another option is to take a shuttle bus from Banff, AB – Mount Royal Hotel to The Great Divide Lodge with Powder Express. This option is quicker but more expensive.

Car: If driving, the distance is about 93 km and takes approximately 1 hour and 21 minutes.

What to Do in Takakkaw Falls 

Go hiking within the Takakkaw Falls’ vicinity 

Exploring Takakkaw Falls is a delightful experience that’s within reach for most of us. You’ll find that while you can get a sneak peek of the falls right from the parking lot, the real enchantment lies along the hiking trail. 

We’ve found this hike to be quite accommodating, not too strenuous or long, which is perfect if you’re like me—always keen on enjoying nature without an overly taxing trek.

This hike to Takakkaw Falls is a manageable 1.4 km round trip, with a modest elevation gain of just 36 meters, ensuring a pleasant walk on a well-maintained path. 

Crossing the bridge is where the adventure truly begins. Here, you’ll feel the raw power of the falls, and depending on when you visit, a light mist may greet you which is why we always recommend bringing a rain jacket, just in case.

Camp nearby and experience nature 

If you’re planning a trip to Takakkaw Falls and considering camping, the Takakkaw Falls Campground is a superb choice, particularly if you’re into tent camping. 

This walk-in campground, available on a first-come, first-served basis, offers a truly immersive experience in the natural splendor of the Canadian Rockies. You’ll need to walk a short distance into the campsite, but don’t worry—carts are available to help transport your camping gear.

Do keep in mind, especially during peak summer months and on weekends, this popular campground can fill up quickly. So, arriving early is a smart move if you’re set on securing a spot here.

Check out the Spiral Tunnels 

When you’re at Takakkaw Falls, don’t miss the chance to check out the Spiral Tunnels. This is a fascinating spot along the Trans-Canada Highway that showcases some truly clever Canadian engineering. 

The Spiral Tunnels are part of the Kicking Horse Pass National Historic Site and are a testament to the innovative solutions engineers came up with to tackle the steep gradients of the Canadian Rockies.

Here’s the fun part: these tunnels are literally spirals carved into the mountains. Trains entering these tunnels loop around inside the mountain, climbing or descending to emerge at a different elevation. 

It’s an extraordinary sight, especially if you catch a train in action. You might even see the front and end of the same train simultaneously as it navigates these spirals!

Cross the Natural Bridge

Exploring Yoho National Park is not complete without a visit to the Natural Bridge. This unique rock formation, carved by the erosive force of the Kicking Horse River, creates a natural bridge over the river.

The Natural Bridge can be found just 3 km (1.9 miles) from Field on Emerald Lake Road. It’s an easy-to-reach destination by car, making it accessible for everyone. 

The bridge itself is a result of the Kicking Horse River’s water cutting through softer rock below the hard limestone band, which eventually formed this remarkable natural arch.

The area around the Natural Bridge offers several vantage points for visitors, complete with interpretive displays that explain the geological processes that created this formation. 

Explore the areas of Town of Field

Field is this adorable little town that feels like a hidden gem in the Canadian Rockies—and it’s also close to the falls area! 

Imagine a place where only about 200 people live, tucked away among some of the most breathtaking mountains you’ve ever seen. It’s got this cozy, everyone-knows-everyone vibe, which is super charming.

If you’re into a bit of adventure, Field won’t disappoint. In the winter, it’s all about getting cozy and enjoying the snow. 

Think cross-country skiing or snowshoeing through a winter wonderland. Also, you’ve got to check out the Spiral Tunnels nearby.

Hike along the snowy planes of Iceline Trail

Hiking the Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park is an adventure you’ll absolutely love! It’s renowned as one of the best day hikes in the Rockies, taking you through a landscape dotted with stunning glacial lakes and breathtaking mountain views.

The trail is a bit of a challenge, but it’s totally worth it. It’s about 20.8km long with an elevation change of 710m, and generally takes 7-9 hours to complete as a loop. 

The difficulty is rated as moderate, but it offers some steep sections that will get your heart pumping. 

Starting the hike in a clockwise direction is often recommended because it allows you to tackle the steep climb early on, and you get to the Iceline quicker, which is great if there’s a chance of afternoon thunderstorms​​​​.

Where to Eat

Truffle Pigs Bistro & Lounge

Address: 100 Center Street, Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada


Contact Details: +12503436303

Opening Hours: Per booking basis 

Truffle Pigs Bistro & Lounge is famous for its diverse menu that caters to various tastes. Their Moroccan braised lamb shank and Korean-style short ribs are particularly renowned. 

The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, making it an excellent spot for both casual diners and food connoisseurs. 

It’s an ideal place to unwind and relish a sumptuous meal after a day of exploring Yoho National Park.

Eagle’s Eye Restaurant

Address: EE, 1500 Kicking Horse Trail, Golden, BC V0A 1H2, Canada


Contact Details: +12504395413

Opening Hours: Daily 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Situated at a high elevation, this place provides a unique dining experience with vistas of the Canadian Rockies. 

The menu features a selection of Canadian cuisine, and the location makes it a fantastic choice for a memorable meal, especially for those looking to combine great food with stunning scenery.

Mount Burgess Dining Room

Address: 1 Emerald Lake Rd, Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada


Contact Details: +18006636336

Opening Hours: Daily 7:30 AM to 11 AM; Reopens 5 to 10 PM

Mount Burgess Dining Room offers an upscale dining experience with a focus on Canadian dishes. 

The restaurant is known for its elegant ambiance and exceptional views, making it a perfect choice for special occasions or a fine dining experience in the heart of the Rockies. Guests often compliment the combination of exquisite food and the scenic backdrop.

Cilantro Café

Address: 1 Emerald Lake Rd, Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada


Contact Details: +12503436321

Opening Hours: Monday and Tuesday, closed; Wednesday to Sunday 2 to 7 PM

Cilantro Café is a charming spot known for its laid-back atmosphere and picturesque setting. It’s a great place for a relaxed lunch, especially after outdoor activities like kayaking or hiking. 

The café offers a variety of dishes with an emphasis on Canadian cuisine, and its location provides a serene backdrop for a leisurely meal.

Where to Stay

Emerald Lake Lodge

Address: 1 Emerald Lake Rd, Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada


Contact Details: N/A

Price: $$

Emerald Lake Lodge is an iconic and luxurious stay, known for its rustic charm and stunning views of Emerald Lake. 

The lodge offers beautifully appointed cabins, each providing a cozy and intimate atmosphere. Guests can enjoy amenities like an outdoor hot tub and an excellent on-site restaurant. 

Lake O’Hara Lodge

Address: Near Field, BC, Canada


Contact Details: +12503436418

Price: $$

Lake O’Hara Lodge offers an exclusive and serene getaway. This lodge is renowned for its exceptional service and stunning natural setting beside Lake O’Hara. 

It’s a great choice for those seeking tranquility and a chance to connect with nature. The lodge provides easy access to some of the best hiking trails in the area, making it a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts.

Cathedral Mountain Lodge

Address: 1 Yoho Valley Rd, Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada


Contact Details: +12503436442

Price: $

Cathedral Mountain Lodge in Field is celebrated for its luxurious log cabins set amidst a breathtaking mountain landscape. 

The lodge combines comfort with adventure, offering a range of outdoor activities right at its doorstep. 

Also, its cabins are well-appointed, and the lodge’s restaurant is known for its gourmet cuisine, making it a top choice for a luxurious stay in the wilderness.

Field Guest House

Address: 504 Stephen Ave, Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada


Contact Details: +12503436062

Price: $

Field Guest House offers a more personal and intimate accommodation experience. This guest house is perfect for travelers looking for a home-like atmosphere. 

With its convenient location, guests have easy access to the park’s attractions. The guest house is known for its warm hospitality and comfortable rooms, providing a cozy retreat after a day of exploring.

Yoho National Park Campgrounds

Address: Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada


Contact Details: +12503436783

Price: $$

For adventure seekers, the campgrounds in Yoho National Park offer an immersive experience in the Rockies. 

These campgrounds vary in amenities and locations, providing options for both seasoned campers and those new to camping. It’s an excellent way to connect with nature and enjoy the park’s stunning beauty up close. 

The campgrounds are well-maintained and offer different experiences, from lakefront views to forested settings.

What is the weather like in Takakkaw Falls?

The weather at Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park can vary significantly depending on the season. During the early summer, the snow and ice melt, fueling the cascading water of the falls and creating picturesque mist through the pines. 

This is also the time when you might witness rainbows at the base of the falls. The summer months, particularly July and August, offer the best weather with average temperatures ranging between 20-25°C, typically dry conditions, and clearer skies.

In contrast, the winter at Takakkaw Falls brings much colder temperatures, averaging around -5°C. 

The trails at Takakkaw Falls are best visited from April to September for walking or hiking. It’s important to note that the road leading to the trail is closed seasonally, and visitor services are available only from May to early October.

Related topics