As I start to work on a few of these newer features on my blog, one thing I’ll be doing is occasionally going back in time, so to speak.
This feature is one that will have that regularly.
My thought process for this feature will likely be once a month. If I can get into a rhythm and have enough spots for it, then I might go twice. But for now, it’s a once-monthly feature, so I’ll be bringing back past trips and hikes.
Today it was from the geocaching trip this past fall, which took me throughout the Pacific Northwest – in the United States and Canada.
One hike I looked into was Wapta Falls, as there was an Earthcache there. Mix that with a waterfall that was supposed to be simply amazing, and it was put on the “must do” list.
The thing about geocaching trips where there are so many things to see and do, some things get skipped. This trip was no different. While in this part of Canada, we had to skip several things to make sure other things were done. I don’t regret it, but it definitely makes me want to return to explore more.
Anyway, Wapta Falls.
This hike followed a long day of travel and other stops. This day began in Kamloops, British Columbia and brought us closer to Banff National Park. Several things had to be skipped to give us a remote chance to get into this area, make the hike and see the falls. As we pulled into a drive up spot to get a pass to the park, we asked the girl working if we stood a chance at doing this before dark.
Absolutely, she said. But bring flashlights – the odds of making it back out in the light would be slim. Excellent advice.
The hike out was only supposed to be a bit more than a mile (though add more in the winter when the gates on the road are apparent;y closed). And, that’s probably about right. For the most part, the terrain isn’t too bad. But on normal walking, I can do about an 18-minute mile if I am pushing it, but usually I’m in the 20-minute range.
This took a bit more.
One thing I realized though, that despite going into a different time zone from where we started the day, there were no issues with daylight. I was actually shocked. Being from upstate New York, when the sun sets at a certain time, it doesn’t take too awful long after to get dark. And despite being in part of the Canadian Rockies, when the sun went down, it remained light for quite a while.
The hike out wasn’t too bad, with a little incline. When you get to the end and are near the falls, you have a couple of options – stay up top and view the falls in all their glory and call it good, or head down the hill with a few switchbacks to get up close and personal.
Well, we didn’t come all this way to stay up top and head back. Down we went. There were three others down there and they were indulging in some herbal enjoyment. They waved, but weren’t too close, basically giving us the run of the falls. These were impressive.
Wapta Falls is situated inside Yoho National Park. Part of the Kicking Horse River, these falls are nearly 100-feet high, and almost 500-feet wide.
From the top, the falls were amazing. But from the bottom – despite the hill that sits in front of them – they are simply breathtaking. The sound and rush of the water is incredible. The mist that comes off of the falls, too, is powerful. We were going to attempt to get to the left side of the hill as I wanted to try and get a wild photo, but with as slippery as things were, we stayed to the right side. Still, it was pretty amazing to be up that close to these falls.
The hike back was a bit more difficult. Getting back up to the trail took some work (remember, I’m not in perfect shape), but it wasn’t a bad hike back. And the girl at the booth was fully correct – a flashlight coming back out was smart. In the end, we did about 3.5 miles and it was definitely a good workout.
Positives: The trail isn’t too bad, and it’s quite easy to follow. Hearing the falls as you approach is impressive, though when you get to the end, it’s even more amazing. This is a very remote area, so you likely won’t find a lot of casual onlookers – it’s likely people who really want to see the fall.
Cons: Depending what you consider a con – but once you get out there, no bathrooms and you are in nature. I find this to be a positive – but some might avoid it because it’s remote. Finding the road in wasn’t easy.
Overall: If you like a hike in the woods with an amazing payoff at the end… and you are in this area? Make this a must stop.
Geocaching note: There is one geocache out here – an Earthcache (GC7W35A) with a rating of 1/3.5. This can be your goal as well, but what it brings you to is even more amazing. No traditionals or anything along the trail out or in the parking area.
To watch a Relive video of this hike, please see below!