Distance: 4.4 kilometers round trip, 2.2 kilometers to the falls.
Access: It’s about 29 kilometers east of Golden and 25 kilometers west of Field. The pullout is on the south side of the highway and you must drive 2 kilometers to get to the trailhead on a dirt, often pothole-ridden road.
Tips: Most of the trail is on a dirt fire road and can get very muddy after a good rainfall. Make sure you have decent shoes that are somewhat water-proof. For camera freaks like me, it gets quite misty at the bottom of the falls so watch your lens doesn’t stay pointed at the falls for too long and bring something to clean it with.
Waterfalls seems plentiful here in the Rockies. It doesn’t take much effort to find a magnificent flowing body of water and an incredible waterfall somewhere along the way. That’s the great thing about Wapta Falls; it’s very accessible and easy to get to so bring your kids and old folks. The majority of this trail is a dirt road that winds its way through the forest without many views other than the trees on either side. The elevation gain is minimal, only a small push to the upper lookout and not worth huffing and puffing over. At the upper lookout the trail descends to a fork in the road; go left for the lower viewpoint, go right to make a small loop that descends to the shores of the Kicking Horse River. The descent on the left is quite steep and slipper if it’s wet so be careful and use the trees as balance when making your way down.
When we ventured out on the trail we noticed that there were several downed trees on the sides. As we hiked further we could hear trees creaking and moving in the breeze. On the way back we noticed a tree that had fallen on the trail; it had not been there on the way in so we knew that the forest was in the process of doing some spring cleaning. Watch your head!
All in all, the falls are absolutely amazing and a nice surprise after such a boring, easy hike to them. Make sure you bring your camera and prepare to stick around for a while, you don’t want to rush your way out of the area after you’ve reached Wapta Falls. It is quite a busy trail so hike it early in the morning or late in the day for less traffic.