Twin Falls, Takkakaw Falls, Yoho National Park

12:53 p.m. on July 24, 2012 (EDT)
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The Canadian Rockies are awash in waters; levels haven't been this high since 1981 and the banks have been overflowing for a couple of months now! Our Friday evening drive to Yoho National park was delayed by a mudslide at Banff that closed all four lanes of the TransCanada highway until 1:30AM, so we got a late start on our hike the next day.

The Twin Falls hike starts from the Takkakaw Falls parking lot, then follows the Yoho River upstream. The destination is a teahouse built in the 1930s that is located at the spot where the river's flow pours down from the glaciers above.

The first part of the trail is an easy ramble along well-travelled paths. We started in a drizzle, but that eased off as the day progressed. Lots of mud, but not too bad. The distance to the teahouse is about 8 km going up, and our return route added another 10 km. There are a few a few steeps sections giving an elevation gain of about 350 metres (1150 ft).

The photos can pretty much tell the story:


image.jpg Takkakaw Falls

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image.jpg Stream coming into the Yoho from the side across a wide alluvial delta.
image.jpg Then some soggy trails...
image.jpg Then some muddy trails...
image.jpg some nice waterfalls along the way
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image.jpg and a number of steeper sections, with nice views every time we neared the river. Very high waters all the way.

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image.jpg Laughing Falls, then the traffic eased off. We were pretty much alone from then on.
image.jpg Twin Falls far above
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image.jpg The teahouse at the top. All the supplies are packed in and the manager lives there all summer, providing baking and tea for her guests.


image.jpg Twin Falls
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We decided to return via the Marpole Connector, a secondary loop that would take us back towards the original trail by passing beside a lovely lake. On the map it looked good; there was a lake, and it was nice, but all the rest of the Connector was a very nasty boulder field. Scrambling and clambering past rocks the size of a truck, up and down again across a generally uphill grade for about 2 kilometres!

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image.jpg Hard and annoying, and very tiring. Even the trail back down had some deadfalls to climb over...
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...but after that it was a steady switchbacked descent to the river. We rejoined the original trail and made our way back to Takkakaw Falls.

image.jpg Laughing Falls en route

image.jpg and the floodplain again, with Takkakaw Falls ahead of us.


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image.jpg At 254 metres (833 ft)  high, Takkakaw Falls is one of the higher waterfalls in Western Canada.
image.jpg A nice walk down the river...

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image.jpg and we made our way back to the hostel for the night.

A small group this time; only six people (and me):

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3:20 p.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
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Nice hike, Peter! We could use some of that water here.

4:21 p.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
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LOL PLease! Come and take some!

The Rockies are flooding with record water levels everywhere and no sign of the flow abating sometime soon. They went up in May and are still at pretty much the same levels.

10:03 a.m. on August 18, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks for the report.  That brought back some nice memories.  When we were there in mid 60's there was mostly a single tread trail to the tea house run by two young ladies.  Had wonderfully warm berry pie before heading up a scramble on the right side of the falls to the top.  Spent the night between the falls looking down at the lodge and across to Yoho Glacier. There was/is a swing bridge across the river at top.  Swinging because the high water was kicking it that first evening.  By early morning the melt has subsided enough to cross over to where a heard of Elk were grazing along the trail.

That too was a good trip ending three days later back at Kicking Horse Pass.

Had wonderful weather and no camera then.

Thanks for the pictures!

9:43 a.m. on August 20, 2012 (EDT)
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Glad you enjoyed the photos.

The bridges on the Whaleback Trail weren't put in this year - no money in the budget! Better access from Whiskey Jack.

December 26, 2014
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