Yoho Valley Road is a very scenic journey located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains along the western slope of the Continental Divide in southeastern British Columbia. It’s closed from October to June.
This narrow, steep and winding road with a set of intense hairpin switchbacks runs up the Yoho Valley passing through a deeply carved valley with impressive peaks, plunging waterfalls, roaring rivers and hanging glaciers. It’s 13.7-kilometre (8.51 miles) long running through a deep valley and offers beautiful views of mountain peaks, glaciers, waterfalls and rivers.
The scenic drive into Yoho Valley should not be missed by anyone visiting Yoho National Park. The road still remains an adrenaline-pumping journey especially if you have a RV or motorhome (where the famous switchbacks cause drivers of larger vehicles consternation -- more on that later). A sign at the bottom of the switchbacks has an instructional illustration showing how to do a reverse maneuver that is necessary for longer vehicles to navigate the tight turns.
Two very tight switchbacks that cause much stress and panic among drivers
Known as Takakkaw Falls Road, from kilometre 6.1 to 6.5 is a series of switchbacks in the road that are one of the highlights of driving up the Yoho Valley. The three-tiered S-curve in the road is comprised of two very tight switchbacks that cause much stress and panic among drivers. Regular-sized vehicles don’t have much problem negotiating the two 180-degree hairpin turns. But if you drive a motor home, you’ll need to be skilled at driving in reverse to negotiate through the switchbacks.
This road, with many beautiful views along the way, is open seasonally from late June until mid-October. The views are good anytime of the day but is especially wonderful from sunrise to mid-morning and then again in the evening to sunset. At the end of Yoho Valley Road you find the Whiskey Jack Hostel, parking for Takakkaw Falls and the Takakkaw Falls Campground. It’s also the start of the hike to Takakkaw Falls, at 384 m (1260 ft), the second highest known waterfall in Canada.