Guide to Snowshoeing Wapta Falls in Yoho National Park

Guide to Wapta Falls in Yoho National Park

Yoho National Park is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains on the border of British Columbia and Alberta. Less visited than its neighbors Jasper and Banff, it is a perfect place for a winter getaway.

From the town of Golden, a 30-minute drive provides access to several hikes, lakes, scenic drives, and stunning mountains to explore. The top activities in the winter are snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding in nearby Golden, ice skating, and alpine skiing.

The Kicking Horse River runs through Yoho and forms one of our favorite waterfalls – Wapta Falls. The Wapta Falls are nearly frozen in the winter, which makes for a beautiful sight. It can easily be explored with some good snow boots or snowshoes. Read on to learn more about your guide to Wapta Falls!

Content and photographs provided by Yana Kogan and Timon.

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How to Get to Wapta Falls

Yoho National Park Winter: Trailhead Entrance
Trailhead Entrance

Wapta Falls in Yoho National Park is just off Highway 1 right after you enter Yoho National Park from Golden. It is located 15 miles west of Field and 20 miles east of Golden along the Trans-Canada Highway.

There is a 1.25 mile-long road that leads to the trailhead, which is open in the summer. The road to the trailhead is closed in the winter, but the entrance is plowed for a parking area along the highway.

Wapta Falls Hike: First Sight of River
The first sight of the river, with the falls just to the right
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When to Go to Wapta Falls

Wapta Falls Winter: Wapta Falls Overlook
1st Overlook View of Wapta Falls

Wapta Falls is a year-round destination. This park and waterfall are more popular in summer, but it is also an excellent winter getaway. For more ideas on things to do in the winter in the area, check out our post on the Top 15 Winter Activities in the Canadian Rockies.

Hike Distance and Elevation

Wapta Falls: Front View
View of the Falls from the Front

Distance: 5.6 miles return (9.0 km)
Elevation gain: 705 feet (215 meters)
Time: 2 hours 57 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

The Wapta Falls Hike

Yoho National Park Hikes: Wapta Falls
Wapta Falls, Yoho National Park

The road is closed from Highway 1 during the winter months. There is a small area to park off the highway. If the road is not closed, continue on the turnoff for 1.25 miles to the trailhead parking lot.

This hike is entirely flat, so this is a great hike to enjoy for the entire family. The trail is clearly marked, even when snow-covered.

From the trailhead, it is 1.5 miles to the waterfalls. There are three overlooks, all providing excellent views. Some of the best views are before these overlooks down to the Wapta River.

For safety reasons, we do not recommend hiking down to the frozen river. It is hard to tell how thick the ice is and is very dangerous. With that said, it is possible. If you do choose to venture closer, stick to the edges of the river and do not go near the edge of the waterfall. If attempting this, please use safety and precaution.

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We hope you have a lovely time in your Wapta Falls, Yoho adventure!

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About the Author:

  • Yana and Timon

    Yana & Timon met at college in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating, they started their professional careers. They moved to San Francisco in 2010, a city they loved living in for nearly six years.

    After working and saving up money for several years, they quit their jobs and set off on an adventure of a lifetime. They started living a nomadic lifestyle in December 2015 and have not looked back since.

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