With Canada reaching it’s 150th birthday milestone this year, we know the parks will be flooded with people like yourself, looking to experience the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. Luckily, Golden, BC is located in the heart of six national parks, meaning we have access to hundreds of trails, right in our backyard.
Since our team here loves adventure, we have some experience exploring each of these national parks, and want to share what we think are some of the best hikes in the area.
Each week, we will post new trails from each national park. So, let’s start with the closest to us - Yoho National Park, shall we?
A rather strenuous 29km hike up 2633 meters to a wondrous panoramic view of the Yoho Valley. With two camping options along the way, this hike can be divided into multiple days. Or, you can make the loop in one day for a big accomplishment.
This hike starts at the Takakkaw Falls parking lot. You have a few options to complete this route. You can begin at the Whiskey Jack Hostel and immediately start a steep climb to the Iceline Trail, where you will eventually venture off to the left towards Whaleback. This option includes a very steep climb up to the top of the mountain, where you will see the stunning mountainous views.
Otherwise, you can start via Laughing Falls and walk alongside the Yoho River, gradually climbing until you reach Twin Falls. From here, you can hike up to Whaleback, with a very steep downhill section. This is a lot easier down than up! Although, be prepared for the steep descent. You will finish via the Iceline trail, which will take you to the Whiskey Jack Hostel parking lot.
This hike is magnificent in its own right, and you will cross paths with many well-known trails in the area. It’s well worth the effort, though!
This short, steep hike is moderate in its level of difficulty, but is one that provides stunning views of the Rockies. This trail is well marked and ends at an old fire lookout. If you feel like heading a challenge, you can scramble up to the peak and see some lovely views of the valley below.
This trail is easily accessible and is located near Field, B.C. It can be accessed via a parking lot across the highway from Wapta Lake.
One of our favourites! This is a fun, beautiful loop that gets you an “above and beyond” look at the stunning Emerald Lake - a gem in the Canadian Rockies. It takes you through Burgess Pass and Yoho Pass and is close to the famous Burgess Shale area that is closed off from visitors unless you are in the presence of a Parks Canada guide.
You will gain 918 meters of elevation on this path, and the 20 km loop takes around 8 hours to fully complete.
You can access this trail from the Emerald Lake Lodge parking lot, heading left towards the back of the lake until you hit sign that links up with the Burgess Pass trail. Follow that all the way to Yoho Pass, and then descend back through the forest towards the Lodge.
You also have the option of linking to the Iceline Trail - one of the Glacier team’s most recommended trail in the area, which we will talk about next 🙂
We always tend to recommend this trail to guests who are staying in the area and want a good, but not too strenuous day hike. This 20 km trail starts at the Takakkaw Falls parking lot, and loops around to end at the Whiskey Jack Hostel. Since it is a loop, you can complete this trail in two ways:
Start at Whiskey Jack: A steep climb at the beginning, leading to a flat open shale valley, until you make a long gradual descent through a forest towards Laughing Falls, and back down a well-used trail to the parking lot.
Start at Parking Lot: As you can probably guess, this route starts with a long, gradual incline along the Yoho River to Laughing Falls, and then a quick descent at the end back to the Whiskey Jack Hostel.
You will gain roughly 700 m of elevation on this trail, no matter which route you decide to take. Both directions boast beautiful views, and the middle of the hike is perfect because it is actually fairly flat. You also have the option of cutting the trail by 4 km or so by taking the Celeste Lake trail, rather than up Yoho Pass. Both are beautiful options, and we don’t necessarily think you are missing anything too spectacular by taking the Celeste Lake option - the entire hike is magnificent in its own right!
Yoho National Park has so many other beautiful hikes to choose from, but we have to admit these ones are our favourite. There is an abundance to see and do here, so the choices really are endless! Plus, it is worth noting that many of these trails link up with one another, so take a look at the map if you are feeling creative.
Now go live an adventure!
Cheers from all of us here at Glacier