Hamilton Falls

Yoho National Park / Field, British Columbia, Canada

About Hamilton Falls

Hiking Distance: 1.4km round trip
Suggested Time: 30-45 minutes

Date first visited: 2010-09-17
Date last visited: 2010-09-17

Waterfall Latitude: 51.43545
Waterfall Longitude: -116.55

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Hamilton Falls was a waterfall that I visited out of convenience since I was already determined to check out the beautiful Emerald Lake nearby.

In a way, it provided a nice excuse for me to linger around Emerald Lake a little while longer while seeing a waterfall to boot.

Emerald_Lake_036_09172010 - Hamilton Falls
Hamilton Falls

But as far as its merits as a waterfall, I think it would flow best during the peak runoff period of June or July.

And as you can see from the photo above, my September 2010 visit showed that the Hamilton Falls had clearly seen better days.

This was despite the Summer being wetter than normal and our trip being plagued by heavy rains, unstable weather, and even snow.

Hiking to Hamilton Falls

To reach the Hamilton Falls, I walked from the car park about 0.7km each way going uphill all the way to the waterfall’s base.

Actually when the trail started to disappear into the creek, I still had to do some additional scrambling to even see the waterfall in the first place.

Emerald_Lake_030_09172010 - The trail leading to Hamilton Falls
The trail leading to Hamilton Falls

I could only imagine how much more difficult that scramble would be had the creek contained a lot more water than it did during my visit.

It seemed like only parts of the Hamilton Falls could be seen at any one time thanks to its twisting nature as it tumbled mostly unseen within the rocky cliff it was nestled in.

I also noticed a rather hideous man-made wall at the very base of its main plunge, which I wasn’t quite sure what that was for.

Since I did this hike solo, it took me around 30 to 45 minutes for both the hiking and photographing.

Julie and I probably spent another 45 minutes just checking out the nearby Emerald Lake.

Emerald_Lake_045_09172010 - Looking across reflections in Emerald Lake, which was the attractive lake by the trailhead to Hamilton Falls
Looking across reflections in Emerald Lake, which was the attractive lake by the trailhead to Hamilton Falls

Both features could be visited on the same visit.


Hamilton Falls resides in Yoho National Park near Field in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is administered by Parks Canada. For information or inquiries as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Emerald_Lake_015_09172010 - Looking towards the south side of the bridge at Emerald Lake before I got started on the Hamilton Falls hike
Emerald_Lake_024_09172010 - There were still lots of clouds around Emerald Lake so that kind of muted the peaks that would have been reflected in its calm waters, but you can see that the water itself was very clear
Emerald_Lake_029_09172010 - The trailhead to Hamilton Falls, which began on the opposite side of the car park for the Emerald Lake
Emerald_Lake_031_09172010 - Continuing along the uphill and narrow Hamilton Falls Trail within a forest setting
Emerald_Lake_032_09172010 - Making it up to the creek, but as you can see, the hike and scramble to Hamilton Falls is not over yet since the falls can't be seen from here
Emerald_Lake_042_09172010 - Hamilton Falls in context at the end of the trail
Emerald_Lake_044_09172010 - Making it all the way back to the Emerald Lake after having had my fill of the Hamilton Falls

Hamilton Falls shares the same car park as that of Emerald Lake.

To get to Emerald Lake from the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 and Icefields Parkway Hwy 93 junction about 3km north of Lake Louise, continue west on Hwy 1 for about 28km.

Then, turn right onto the signposted turnoff for Emerald Lake (a short distance beyond Field).

Continue on this turnoff for the last 8.5km, where the road terminates at the car park for Emerald Lake.

The trail for the Hamilton Falls starts on the south side of the car park.

Contextually, Lake Louise was about 57km (45 minutes drive) north of Banff, 182km (2 hours drive) west of Calgary, 232km (3 hours drive) south of Jasper, and 469km (4.5 hours drive) southwest of Edmonton.

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Bottom up sweep of the falls

Deliberate top down sweep starting from the clifftops and ending downstream of the falls

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Tagged with: yoho, national park, emerald lake, lake louise, canadian rockies, british columbia, canada, waterfall, columbia, shuswap, field

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Not Much Better in Early August (Hamilton Falls) November 7, 2010 8:16 pm by Muriel - I was there in early August a few years ago. Not much better then. But a hike in the bush is always nice. ...Read More

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About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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