Twin Falls – Yoho National Park – Hiking British Columbia

 

Spectacular Twin Falls in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

 

 

Part 4 of 4 of the round trip hike from Takakkaw Falls to Twin Falls in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada.


 

From Laughing Falls, the hike continues north on Yoho Valley Trail.  Elevation gain on this 5.0 KM (3.0 mile) segment is near 985 ft (300 m) on more rugged trail. 

Yoho National Park in British Columbia, Canada is one of the most prolific fossil repositories on the planet.  Nearby Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park contains one of the richest fossil beds in Canada.  Ascending the Yoho Valley Trail encounters a sample slab of rock that was once part of an ancient sea bed.  The action of waves over sand is undeniable.

 

 

Most of the ascent is through forest alternating between flat trail and steep ascents.  Periodically there are fabulous views of rushing water through rugged wilderness.  The sound of roaring river is ever-prevalent.  Weather is fickle.  There is constant transition between light rain, sun, cloud, corn snow, breeze and calm but all are very brief, not more than a few minutes at a time.  The temperature does not shift more than a few degrees during the diversity of weather events which are not uncommon in the mountains.  It is always expedient to be prepared for anything at any time in the mountains.

At the Twin Falls Wilderness Campground the trail presents one final ascent, with several false indications of arrival as the echo of falling water bounces through the valley, occasionally loud, then waning into the distance.  Eventually the trail arrives at Twin Falls Chalet.  The Twin Falls Tea House is designated a National Historic Site.

 

Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

 

The original single-story building was constructed in 1908 by Canadian Pacific Railway as a rest stop for backpackers.  In 1923, the two-story structure was added and still functions today as an overnight lodge and tea house.  Reservations are required.  One of the custodians comes out to chat with me.  He is a young, very friendly, mountain man and we exchange animated stories.  It would be impolite to ask but it seems fairly certain the custodian is related to ZZ Top.

 

Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

 

There is a labyrinth of trail in the area and hiking towards spectacular Twin Falls is easy and straightforward.  A bit of scrambling is required to achieve safe up close and personal position beside the frothing white water.  In close proximity to the falls, a late lunch tastes better than it should while basking on a large rock beneath the warmth of the sun and enjoying the sound and mist from the falls interrupted by an occasional light dusting of corn snow.  Magic!  Absolutely amazing!  It does not get better than this!

 

Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

 

The decision is taken to choose an alternate return route past another sub-alpine lake.  Crossing a bridge over the river which is cascading through narrow rock channels and hiking a kilometer (⅝ miles) in dense forest down a hill past multiple streams crossing the trail arrives at views through the trees of Marpole Lake beneath the trail on the left.  Above there are excellent views of the Waputik Range and the glaciers the Waputik Icefields host.

 

Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

 

At the shoreline of Marpole Lake there are wonderful mountain reflections floating on the surface of crystal-clear and pristine, emerald water. 

At the end of the lake, there is an immediate recognition that examining the hiking guide more carefully might have been an excellent idea at the top of the hill.  Looking ahead, the first obstacle is a mound of snow remaining from a winter avalanche.  On the other side the next daunting task is navigating a route up, through and over millions of tons of limestone rock fall.  The entire cliff face above must have collapsed hundreds or thousands of years ago. 

The route is chosen dynamically in short spontaneous sections for 1.8 KMs  (1⅛ miles) of uneven scrambling combined with bouldering and hiking on the occasional bit that remotely resembles a path.

 

Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada 

 

Marpole Lake eventually disappears in the distance behind and beneath the rockfall. Small rock cairns from previous hiking victims help to determine direction.  After more than a mile of uneven steps through rock fall on the Marpole Connector Trail, the steep and rustic 1.6 KM (1 mile) trail leading down to Laughing Falls is almost a relief. 

The return to the Takakkaw Falls parking area from Laughing Falls is via the same route taken in, without side hikes, on 4.8 KMs (3 miles) of excellent, flat, hard-packed trail.  The hiking day has been an outstanding adventure to incredibly beautiful places over a wide variety of terrain using a broad range of skill-sets and gear.  The overall experience has also been a long and arduous day.

Following are a few additional images from this segment of the hike, between Takakkaw Falls and Twin Falls in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

 

Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada Twin Falls – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

 

Overnight is spent at the Best Western in Golden, British Columbia, Canada.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

As you well know, if you are interested in seeing a wide variety and numerous waterfalls within a small radius of territory, then Twin Falls in Yoho National Park is an excellent choice. Spectacular waterfalls abound beginning with Takakkaw Falls at the parking area. Huge glaciers above and annual snowfall at high elevation ensure a phenomenal annual experience for many decades to come. Perhaps we shall meet on the trail as my son and his wife are planning to travel to Calgary this year and after last summer's foray into fabulous Waterton Lakes National Park, we plan to do some hiking this year at Yoho. I shall look forward to receiving your Summit Stones and throughout the season I will place them in special places where those who find them can take away a memory and the words of others who discovered the magic long before we arrived. When I began my personal journey and relationship with nature, I had no idea of where it would lead and the great fortune I would inherit. Thank you for your comment, D.

I have been wanting to return to some waterfalls this upcoming season. These would be great adventure options. Something about the rainbows we can discover there when the light and time of day is just right... Also, I promise to send some little rocky musings on their journey soon too, Barry. D

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