Yoho National Park is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains on the border of British Colombia and Alberta. Less visited than its neighbors, Jasper, Banff, and Kootenay National Park, the crowd is non-existent and a perfect place for a winter getaway. From the town of Golden a 30 minutes 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 in nearby Revelstoke Natonal Park. The Kicking Horse River runs through Yoho and forms one of our favorite waterfalls, the Wapta Falls. The falls are nearly frozen in the winter with sections of following water. It is a beautiful sight, and can easily be explored with some good snow boots or snowshoes.
How to Get There
Wapta Falls in Yoho National Park is just off Highway 1 right after you enter Yoho National Park from Golden. There is a road 2km long road that leads to the trailhead, which is open in the summer. In the winter it is closed, but it is plowed enough to park at the highway and begin the hike there.
When to Go
Year-round. While many go to Yoho in the summer, this park is also an excellent winter getaway. For more ideas on things to do in the winter, check our post on the Top 15 Winter Activities in the Canadian Rockies.
Distance: 5.6 Miles return (9.0 kms)
Elevation gain: 705 feet (215 meters)
Time: 2 hours 57 minutes
During the winter, the road is closed from Highway 1. There is a small area to park of the highway. If the road is not closed, continue on the turnoff for 2km to the trailhead parking lot. This hike is entirely flat and can be done with children. The trail is clearly marked, even when snow covered. From the trailhead, it is 2.4km 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.
*The river freezes over in the winter and it may be possible to go onto the river bed and get a closeup of the mostly frozen waterfalls. Stick to the edges of the river and do not go near the edge of the waterfall. There is still moving water underneath the ice!
*We cannot recommend hiking down to the river bed in the winter. If attempting this please use safety and precaution.