Yoho National Park

British Columbia, Canada North America icon North America

Yoho National Park is located in western Canada as part of the Rocky Mountain range of southeastern British Columbia. The park boundaries cover an area of 507 square miles (1,313 sq km).

Although the smallest, Yoho is part of a contiguous collection of national parks that include Banff, Jasper, and Kootenay National Parks. The whole collection of protected areas is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The various mountain summits are all glorious and mesmerizing with Mount Goodsir serving as the highest summit at 11,703 feet (3,567 m). Takakkaw Falls is the tallest in the park reaching a height of 1,224 feet (373 m) with a single drop of 833 feet (254 m). 

Many people prefer Wapta Falls feeling it is more majestic because of its width which is 490 feet (150 m). It only falls 98 feet (30 m) but it flows at 9,000 cubic feet per second (254 cu m/s).

There are 61 lakes and ponds within the Yoho park boundaries. Emerald Lake is the largest and features a 3.2-mile (5.2 km) hike around it. Mount Burgess, standing at 8,527 feet (2,599 m) towers over Emerald Lake adding to the serenity of the hike and surrounding landscape.

Yoho is home to an abundance of wildlife. Some of the popular animal species of the park include badger, black bear, cougar, coyote, elk, grizzly bear, lynx, marmot, moose, mountain goat, mule deer, and wolverine.

Yoho Highlights

Yoho National Park is the smallest of the four parks protecting the Canadian Rocky Mountains, but that does not mean it does not deliver when it comes to providing fantastic hikes and beautiful landscapes.

Takakkaw Falls and Wapta Falls are two of the highlights for visitors venturing into the national park. Emerald Lake and the mountains that surround it are another one of the sought-after views. There are over 60 lakes and ponds for hikers to explore with an abundance of trails.

Trails in Yoho National Park

Although it is the smallest of the national parks protecting the Rocky Mountains of Canada, there are well over 60 trails that provide visitors with a great chance to explore the wilderness and discover the natural wonders the park protects. The trails range in length as well as degrees of difficulty from easy to challenging.

Wapta Falls Trail: this is a 2.9-mile (4.67 km) trail with an ascent of 413 feet (125.88 m) out to an astounding view of a breathtaking waterfall.  The trail travels through the forest and along the river making its way out to the lookout of the waterfall.  There is a chance to see wildlife, however, the waterfall is the pinnacle attraction and rightly so.

Takakkaw Falls Trail: this is another easy 0.9-mile (1.45 km) trail that traverses through the forest and along the river out to a view of Takakkaw Falls. You will cross the river providing views upriver while also having chances to see wildlife and wildflowers. The trail is user friendly to all capabilities.

Emerald Lake Trail: This is a longer 6.7-mile (10.78 km) moderate rated trail that displays the Rockies with such grandeur.  The trail is a partial loop up to and around Emerald Lake.  The mountainous landscape surrounding the lake is incredibly picturesque.  The trail features an ascent of 1,223 feet (372.77 m) while traveling through the forest, along a river, and past a waterfall. An invigorating hike with a taste of just about everything.

Iceline Trail: This is a difficult rated trail that features an ascent of 2,834 feet (863.80 m) over 8.8 miles (14.16 km). There are chances to see wildlife and wildflowers while taking in the remarkable wilderness.  The panoramic views experienced from the top of the ascent are mind-boggling. Much of the journey is up through the forest and across the rugged terrain.

Yoho Lake Loop: This is a 6.7-mile (10.78 km) loop trail that meanders through the forest while making an ascent of 2,116 feet (644.96 m). This is a moderate rated trail with views of a lake, a river, a waterfall, and panoramic views of the mountains. This is another way to see Takakkaw Falls from a different perspective and some say more impressive. There are chances to see wildlife as well as wildflowers during the late spring and early summer.

Yoho Highlights

  • Emerald Lake
  • Takakkaw Falls
  • Wapta Falls
  • Lake O’Hara
  • Kicking Horse Pass


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