Are you ready to experience the natural beauty of British Columbia’s Yoho National Park?
This much lesser-known national park, located in Canada’s jaw-droppingly beautiful British Columbia, is home to some of the most amazing scenery in ALL of North America!
From towering mountains and still blue-green lakes to rushing waterfalls and ancient fossils, Yoho National Park’s attractions are so varied that you’ll really never feel bored!
My first exposure to this national park was through a longer, 6-day road trip of the Canadian Rockies.
Our main objectives during this week-long road trip were to see Banff and Jasper National Parks, but due to an unforeseen wildfire within Jasper NP, we had to change our plans and find other things to do near Banff to avoid breathing in the smoky air near Jasper.
This is how I inadvertently stumbled across Yoho National Park and accidentally discovered all the beauty that lies within this park! After spending way more time at Yoho NP than I ever intended to, I completely fell in love with this park.
Let me tell you, people are sleeping on this national park! In my opinion, it totally deserves just as much love as Banff and Jasper do!
In this blog post, I’ll share with you all the incredible things to do in Yoho National Park, from the park’s most popular hiking trails to hidden gem landmarks, and everything in between!
Get ready to be amazed by the majestic natural wonders that await you in Yoho National Park!
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Table of Contents
Where Is Yoho National Park Of Canada?
Yoho National Park is located in the province of British Columbia, Canada, in the Rocky Mountains. It is situated on the western side of the Continental Divide, adjacent to Banff National Park in Alberta.
Specifically, Yoho National Park is located approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Banff National Park. The two parks are connected by the Trans-Canada Highway, which runs through both parks. They’re literally right across the road from each other!
The drive from the town of Banff to Yoho takes just 40-50 minutes, depending on traffic and road conditions.
While these two national parks are super close to each other, they offer different landscapes and experiences.
The closest international airport from Yoho National Park is Calgary International Airport (YYC). If you are flying into Canada, this is where you’ll likely be catching a flight into and renting a car from.
The drive from Calgary to Yoho National Park is approximately 2 hours long.
What Is Yoho National Park Known For?
The word “Yoho” comes from the Cree expression meaning “awe,” which is exactly how this park should be described as!
Yoho National Park is known for its stunning waterfalls, including the famous Takakkaw Falls, as well as its beautiful lakes (such as Emerald Lake) and seemingly endless amount of hiking trails.
During your visit to this national park, you can expect to see towering mountains, shimmering lakes, and lots of rushing waterfalls. The park is also home to several unique geological features, including the Burgess Shale fossil beds, which contain some of the oldest and most well-preserved fossils in the world.
I personally love Yoho NP and I think it’s worth spending at least 1 full day here while you’re in the Banff/Jasper area!
Best Things To Do In Yoho National Park
The Spiral Tunnels are a series of very unique railway tunnels located in Yoho National Park.
These were built in the early 1900s to help trains navigate the steep terrain of the Kicking Horse Pass. People often make a stop here because of its unique shape!
If you time it right, you can see a train exiting from the top of the tunnel while its final cars are still entering at the bottom! Watch from the main viewing area on the north side of the highway.
Another way to experience the Spiral Tunnels is to take a scenic train ride through the tunnels and surrounding area, which offers a unique perspective on the landscape that you can’t get from the ground.
After you’ve marveled at the Spiral Tunnels, it’s time to head to Takakkaw Falls, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies area. Located in Yoho National Park, these falls are fed by the Daly Glacier and drop a staggering 804 feet (245 meters) into the valley below.
The best way to experience Takakkaw Falls is to take a short hike to the base of the falls, where you can get up close and personal with the cascading water. The trail is approximately 0.6 miles (1 km) long and is suitable for all ages and skill levels. You and the whole family will reach it in no time at all!
Laughing Falls from Tekakkaw Falls
If you’re feeling more adventurous, there is also a longer trail option that forms a 5-mile loop hike called Laughing Falls from Tekakkaw Falls. This one is more challenging than the trail to the base of the falls, but you’ll get some really unique perspectives of the falls in exchange for the effort! Plus, it’s so nice to feel the mist from the Laughing Falls on your face/body at the end of the hike!
If you choose the latter, be mindful that it can be a bit muddy and slippery in some parts (depending on when you go) so waterproof shoes with good grip are recommended. It’s also best practice to carry bear spray with you as well.
Regardless of which trail you choose, a visit to Takakkaw Falls is a must-do activity in Yoho National Park!
- Length: 5.5 miles (8.8 km)
- Elevation gain: 410 feet (125 m)
- Hike Duration: 3 hours
- Trailhead: Takakkaw Falls parking lot
Wapta Falls is another stunning waterfall located in Yoho National Park, and a true hidden gem of British Columbia! The falls are approximately 100 feet (30 meters) high, but more impressively, they are almost 500 feet (150 meters) wide!
As you approach the falls, you’ll be struck by the sound of the rushing water and the mist that rises from the base of the falls.
To best see Wapta Falls, you can follow a short trail from the parking lot to the falls. The trail is approximately 3 miles long (1.5 miles each way) and is suitable for all skill levels, though there will be some ups and downs along the way. The trail can be buggy depending on when you go, so bring some bug spray with you on this one.
When you reach the falls, you’ll be treated to the breathtaking view and roar of the waterfall!
Natural Bridge Lower Falls
Visiting Natural Bridge Lower Falls is a must-do activity for anyone taking a road trip through Yoho National Park of Canada! It’s such an easy stop to make from the main road.
The waterfall is created by the Kicking Horse River, which flows through a narrow canyon and over a series of cascades before plunging into a deep pool at the base of the falls. The water then flows under a natural rock bridge, a unique geological formation that has been carved out by the river over thousands of years.
The falls are easily accessible from the Trans-Canada Highway and are located just a short walk from the parking lot. Once you reach the falls, you can walk out onto the natural rock bridge and feel the spray of the waterfall on your face!
The sound of the rushing water and the beauty of the surrounding scenery make for an unforgettable experience. Plus the fact that there aren’t that many railings will make you feel like you’re living on the edge!
Go canoeing on Emerald Lake
Emerald Lake is a stunning glacial lake located in Yoho National Park. The lake is known for its vibrant turquoise color, which is caused by light reflecting off the fine glacial silt in the water.
This was one of my favorite lakes in the entire Canadian Rockies, partially because it wasn’t overrun by tourists! Unlike what you’ll experience at Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, Emerald Lake is actually tranquil and calm.
One of the best ways to experience Emerald Lake is by canoeing on its calm waters. Of all the lakes that offer canoeing, this is where I recommend you rent canoes and take off for the waters! At the time of writing, rental rates were around $90 per hour per canoe, with each canoe fitting 3 people max.
Not the cheapest, but also not as bad as the rates over at Lake Louise / Moraine!
The lake is very calm, making it a great place for beginners to try their hand at canoeing. You don’t even have to be good to begin moving — that’s how still and serene this lake is!
Highly recommend getting out on the water for a bit — it’s fun, and a great little arm workout!
Walk the Emerald Lake Loop
You already know Emerald Lake is drop-dead gorgeous, so why not extend your time here with an easy hike around the lake?
Emerald Lake Loop is the perfect morning activity for the whole family. Clocking in at a little over 3 miles (5.2 km), this one can be done in 1-1.5 hours. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the rest of the park after this scenic stroll around the lake!
- Length: 5.2 km
- Elevation gain: minimal
- Hike Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours
- Trailhead: Emerald Lake parking lot
Burgess Shale Fossil Beds
The Burgess Shale fossil beds are a unique geological formation estimated to be over 500 million years old.
So why are they special? Well first of all, 500 million years old means they’re way older than dinosaurs! Secondly, they contain some of the oldest and most well-preserved fossils in the world.
The Burgess Shale fossil beds are known for their diverse collection of fossilized marine animals, including trilobites, sponges, and worms. The fossils are so well-preserved that they provide scientists with valuable insights into the evolution of life on Earth!
To visit the Burgess Shale fossil beds in Yoho and Kootenay National Parks, visitors will have to take a guided hike with Parks Canada.
One of the hikes takes visitors to the Walcott Quarry, where many of the most famous Burgess Shale fossils were discovered. This hike is a challenging 13.7-mile (22-kilometer) round trip and takes about 10 to 11 hours to complete, but the views of the surrounding mountains and the chance to see some of the world’s most important fossils make it well worth the effort!
If that’s too long, there’s also the Mount Stephen hike, which is rated as difficult and involves very steep elevation gain (2600 feet / 795 m) over the relatively short distance of 4 km. The total hike length is 5 miles (8 km).
Lastly, there’s the Stanley Glacier hike which is about 6.2 miles (10 km) long in total distance, with the hiking tour lasting about 7.5 hours.
Have lunch in Field
Next up on your Yoho National Park itinerary is the charming village of Field, which is located just outside of the park. Established in the 1880s as a siding for the Canadian Pacific Railway, almost all the humans that live inside of Yoho NP actually live in this town!
Because of how small it is, there isn’t a whole lot to do in Field, but it still is a great little place to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat, and explore the local shops and galleries.
There is no better place to eat in Field than Truffle Pigs Bistro & Lodge! It was so crazy how with a group of 7 people, every single one of our dishes was incredibly delicious!
Be sure to visit the historic train station within Field, which is now home to a museum and gift shop.
Iceline via Little Yoho
The Iceline Trail is a rather challenging but ever-popular hiking trail in Yoho National Park.
This 20-kilometer loop circuit takes about 6 to 8 hours to complete and will grant you with spectacular glacier views, descending to meadows in the Little Yoho Valley and returning past Laughing Falls in the Yoho Valley.
The trail starts at the Takakkaw Falls parking lot and takes hikers through all the emotions (awe, struggle, and everything in between) as you endure the steep climb up the Iceline Trail.
Once hikers reach the Iceline Summit, they are treated to stunning views of the Yoho Valley and the surrounding peaks. The trail then descends to the Little Yoho Valley, where hikers can experience the beautiful Laughing Falls.
The Iceline Trail is a challenging hike that requires a good level of fitness and experience. Hikers should be prepared for steep climbs, rocky terrain, and changing weather conditions.
You’ll need to allocate the majority of your day to tackle it, but it’s a great choice! Expect the whole circuit to be simply stunning, offering waterfalls, glacier views, glacier lakes, and beautiful wildflowers if you hit it in the right season!
If you’re interested in turning this into a backpacking trip and want to take your time with this one, you can! There are campsites along the trail, though they’ll have to be booked in advance in the summer season. This trail passes the Little Yoho and Laughing Falls backcountry campgrounds.
- Length: 12.9 miles (20.8 km)
- Elevation gain: 2330 feet (710 m)
- Hike Duration: 6 to 8 hours
- Trailhead: Takakkaw Falls parking lot
Sherbrooke Lake is a less-frequented turquoise lake that sees far fewer visitors compared to Emerald Lake, Moraine Lake, or Lake Louise. Which means it’s perfect for people who want to see that blue gemstone lake action without the crowds!
You’re going to have to put in just a bit of work for this one though. There are a couple of steep parts just enough to get your heart pumping a bit, but it’s really not all that difficult!
The Sherbrooke Lake trail is a perfect family-friendly adventure, or a great introduction to Rocky Mountain hiking because of how easy it is compared to other hikes in this park.
The trail (which is very well-marked) will move you through the woods for several miles until you reach the lakeshore. Once you get there, enjoy the still, glass-like lake and the views of Mount Ogden and Mount Niles!
- Length: 3.9 miles (6.2 km)
- Hiking time: 2 to 2.5 hours
- Elevation gain: 540 feet (165 m)
- Trailhead: Parking lot on the north side of the Trans-Canada Highway, 11 km east of Field, B.C. across from Wapta Lake.
I hope you’re reading this well in advance of your trip to Yoho National Park — specifically for this one! Lake O’Hara is almost like an exclusive, remote outdoor hangout area. This stunning alpine lake is only accessible by reservation, but it’s well worth the effort of trying to secure reservations!
At an elevation of 7,200 feet (2,200 meters), the lake area spends most of the year hibernating under a sheet of ice.
Lake O’Hara’s alpine environment boasts exquisite hanging valleys, jewel-blue lakes, and stunning vistas. The region is home to an excellent trail network that is maintained by both the Lake O’Hara Trails Club and Parks Canada.
To preserve the unique alpine environment, access to this area is limited, ensuring that the visitors who have reservations can have high-quality and meaningful experiences.
If you’re planning to visit, it’s important to plan early and make reservations for the bus to Lake O’Hara for day use and/or camping. Reservations are required from mid-June to early October, so be sure to book ahead to secure your spot!
You can find out more about how to plan your Lake O’Hara visit here.
Hamilton Falls / Hamilton Lake Trail
The Hamilton Lake trail is a challenging hike that involves a constant uphill climb with high elevation gains. However, the effort is well worth it for the stunning views and serene alpine tarn that awaits you.
The cliff-encircled lake provides the perfect spot to rest and enjoy lunch while taking in the breathtaking scenery. As you hike, you’ll pass through lush forests that rise steeply into subalpine and rocky alpine habitats.
After about 1 mile (1.5 kilometers), you’ll come across the magnificent Hamilton Falls. If you’re just here for the falls, feel free to turn around at this point.
For those of you looking to get all the way to Hamilton Lake, the trail then continues its constant ascent until you reach Hamilton Lake. Be prepared for some creek crossings along the way and make sure to bring an extra pair of socks and waterproof boots!
- Length: 6.3 miles (11 km)
- Elevation: 2790 feet (850 m)
- Hiking time: 5 hours
- Trailhead: Emerald Lake parking lot
Twin Falls via Yoho Valley Trail Hike
More advanced hikers looking for a longer adventure will love this one! Twin Falls via Yoho Valley Trail offers multiple waterfall views in just one day’s effort!
This 9.7-mile hike is one of the most pristine backcountry experiences within all of Canada’s Rocky Mountains. This forested trail passes Laughing Falls and carries on along the Yoho River to a spectacular double cascade (Twin Falls) as well as the Twin Falls Tea House National Historic Site.
Hikers will have the chance to ogle at Takakkaw Falls before being hit with back-to-back views of awesomeness, including Angels Staircase, Point Lace Falls, Duchesnay Lake, and Laughing Falls as they make their way to Twin Falls — the grand finale!
At Twin Falls during certain seasons, you’ll see two rushing 80-meter waterfalls doing their thing — side by side! Watch for goats above the falls, too!
- Length: 9.7 mi (16 km)
- Elevation gain: 2,526 ft (770 m)
- Hike Duration: 5 to 7 hours
- Trailhead: Takakkaw Falls parking lot
- Trail Type: Out and back (there’s also a loop option, but that one’s not recommended)
Camping is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of Yoho National Park. There are several campgrounds in the park, each with unique features and amenities. Here are a few of the best camping options.
Kicking Horse Campground is the largest campground in Yoho National Park, with over 90 sites. It’s located near the town of Field and is open from mid-May to mid-October. The campground is situated in a beautiful forested area and has several amenities, including picnic tables, fire pits, and flush toilets.
Takakkaw Falls Campground is another awesome option located near the stunning Takakkaw Falls and is open from mid-June to mid-September. The campground is smaller and more rustic than Kicking Horse, with 36 sites in total. This campground has got pit toilets and no showers. While it sounds like a worse deal than the previous campground, the stunning views of the falls make up for any lack of amenities!
Monarch Campground is a small, secluded campground located near the town of Field. It’s open from mid-June to mid-September and has only 17 sites. The campground is situated in a beautiful forested area and has several amenities, including picnic tables, fire pits, and flush toilets.
Whichever campground you choose, be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles and respect the natural environment. Keep food and garbage stored safely away from wildlife, and always practice fire safety!
Go fishing in the lakes
Yoho National Park is a great place for fishing enthusiasts to spend a day out on the water! Several lakes, rivers, and streams are stocked with trout and other fish species. For pointers on places to try your luck, check out the Parks Canada site on fishing.
Make sure you have a valid fishing license before you start fishing! You can purchase a license at several locations in the park, including the Visitor Center and the Lake O’Hara Lodge.
It’s important to follow the regulations and guidelines for fishing in the park. During some years, you can only keep a certain number of fish. In other years, most species must be catch-and-released. There are also restrictions on the size and type of bait you can use.
Make sure you know the rules before you start fishing!
Yoho National Park: Essential Tips For Your Visit
- From mid-June through mid-September, campgrounds are busy. Arrive before noon at first-come, first-served sites to claim the best spots!
- During the summer season, if you’re planning on staying at a hotel/lodge in Field, book your accommodation well in advance.
- Plan your route in advance: Make sure you have a clear idea of where you want to go and what you want to see in that day. Cell phone service is spotty and even non-existent in some parts of the National Parks lands.
- Parks passes are required at all Canadian national parks. If you don’t get the yearly pass ($145 for a family or group for one year), it will cost ~$10 per person per day (depending on if you’re an adult or senior). Youth (up to age 17) are FREE!
- Traveling with a larger group? The family/group rate ($21 per day) is going to be the best deal. Family/Group = up to seven people arriving in a single vehicle in a national park.
- Emerald Lake is best seen in the morning, before the crowds from Banff start heading over! To get the lake practically all to yourself, aim to arrive by 10am.
- Takakkaw Falls is only accessible to cars and small RVs due to very tight switchbacks. Parking can fill quickly here during summer, so plan to visit early (for the early birds) or later (after most people have left the park) in the day.
- For convenience, I recommend packing snacks and a picnic lunch every day you’re in the park. If you forget your food or don’t want to pack lunch, there is food within the national park! Your options are Siding Café, Truffle Pigs Bistro, Cilantro on the Lake, the Mount Burgess Dining Room, or booking ahead at the ‘guests-only’ Cathedral Mountain Lodge.
- Always check current trail conditions before setting out in the park. You can find the latest and greatest here on the Parks Canada site.
- Grizzly bears and black bears can be found in BC/Alberta’s national parks. If you see a bear, be sure not to approach it – and stay far away from it. Learn more about the bears of Canada and about wildlife safety here.
- Check the weather every morning before your day begins: The weather in the Canadian Rockies can be really unpredictable, so it’s important to check the forecast before you set out. Pack accordingly, including warm clothing and rain gear. Better yet, just keep a rain jacket or travel umbrella in the trunk of your car in the case of random rain showers.
- Bring a map with you in the car: It’s always a good idea to have a physical map on hand, especially if you’re going to be exploring some of the more remote areas of the Rockies. At the entrance of the national parks, be sure to grab one from the park ranger. Make sure you also have a GPS device or smartphone with a reliable map app. We like to have Google Maps downloaded for offline use!
- Pack plenty of supplies: This is a road trip! Expect hours of driving. Make sure you have enough food, water, snacks, and other supplies to last the duration of your trip. It’s also a good idea to pack a first aid kit, a flashlight, and a spare tire.
- Be prepared for wildlife encounters: The Canadian Rockies are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including bears, moose, and elk. Be prepared for encounters by making noise when hiking, keeping a safe distance from wildlife, and storing food properly.
- Respect the environment: The Canadian Rockies and the national parks are a beautiful and fragile ecosystem, so make sure to leave no trace and follow Leave No Trace principles when you’re out exploring.
- Stay safe: Always drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings. Follow the speed limits and be mindful of other drivers on the road.
ARE YOU ROAD TRIP READY? YOUR QUICK CHECKLIST:
License and registration | This is a no-brainer, but always good to check you have all documents before it’s too late and you get too far away from home. Do NOT leave home without them. They are road trip essentials!
Spare Tire | In addition to carrying a spare tire with you, don’t forget to check your current tire conditions before you set off as well.
Jumper Cables / Car Jump Starter | A must-have for any road trip! If you’re looking to invest in something exponentially more powerful/convenient than simple jumper cables, get the NOCO Boost HD Car Battery Jump Starter Box. This tool was sent from heaven and serves as a car jump starter, portable power bank, LED flashlight, and 12-volt portable power–all in one!
iOttie car mount | This is my partner in crime on any road trip. It’s got an amazing grip and popping your phone in and out of the mount could not be easier. If you’re renting a rental car and you’re not sure if it has a navigation screen, bring a phone mount with you. The iOttie attaches by suction, so it’s easy to transport from car to car.
Roadside Emergency Kit | You never know what kind of car trouble you may encounter on the road. This convenient little kit contains 42 roadside emergency components, including jumper cables, an aluminum flashlight and batteries, 2-in-1 screwdriver, duct tape, poncho, cable ties, bandages, towelettes, and zipper-lock bags.
Trunk Organizer | With any road trip comes lots and lots of stuff to pack. Keep your road trip essentials organized with a trunk organizer. Not only will this make it so much easier to find what you need, but it will also lead to more space in your trunk for you to pack other necessities.
Portable Cooler | Coolers are a must for any road trip. Not only will you be able to keep beverages cold and refreshing, but you will also be able to keep perishables fresh. A portable hard cooler will allow you to pack picnic lunches, bring cheese and jams, and more.
Best Time To Visit Yoho National Park
The best time to visit Yoho National Park is during the hiking season, which runs from June to October.
If you choose to visit during the summer months, from June to August, the daylight hours are longer, the weather is warm, and the hiking trails are free of snow.
July and August are easily the busiest months in Yoho National Park, but it’s nowhere near as busy as Banff or Jasper. Aside from Emerald Lake, you likely won’t experience crowding anywhere else.
The fall months from September to early November, bring similar conditions. Trails will still be free of snow, but the weather will be cooler. There’ll be added beauty in the trees around you as the surrounding foliage turns to vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow!
My personal favorite month to visit is September (but only if there are no wildfires plaguing the area)!
Winter months, from December to February, offer opportunities for winter sports like skiing and snowshoeing, but a decent amount of the hiking trails may be inaccessible due to snow.
Spring months, from March to May, can be a good time to visit for those who want to avoid the crowds, but the weather can be unpredictable and some of the park’s facilities may be still be closed due to snow.
Where To Stay In Yoho National Park
The two absolute best lodges in the Yoho National Park area are as follows:
Emerald Lake Lodge – easily the best hotel in Yoho! This lodge is located on the shores of Emerald Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in the Canadian Rockies. The lodge offers a range of rustic cabins and suites, each with its own fireplace for relaxing in front of after a long day of exploration.
Cathedral Mountain Lodge – located on the banks of the Kicking Horse River, surrounded by towering mountains and pristine wilderness! The lodge offers a range of luxurious cabins and suites, each with its own private deck opening out to nature.
If you are detouring to Yoho National Park as part of a larger trip to Banff National Park, you can always make the town of Banff your home base as you explore Yoho NP.
Where To Stay In Banff
- Canalta Lodge – free breakfast for guests
- Peaks Hotel and Suites
- Fairmont Château Lake Louise – the ultimate splurge ($$$$), but soooo perfectly located
Entrance Fees For Yoho National Park
You will need a National Parks Pass to visit Yoho National Park. You can purchase a Parks Canada pass at any park gate. Day passes costs are as follows:
- Adult: $10.50
- Senior: $9.00
- Youth (up to 17): Free
- Family/group of 7 people: $21.00
- Day passes expire at 4 pm the following day.
Alternatively, you could opt for a Parks Canada Discovery Pass, which gets you entrance to ALL Parks Canada destinations for the year.
If you’re traveling with others, the best deal is the family pass which costs ~$145 CAD. Again, “family” is defined as up to seven people arriving in a single vehicle in a national park.
Depending on how many days you plan to be road-tripping around the Canadian Rockies, the Discovery pass may or may not be worth it for you. It really depends on how many people you have with you as well as how many vehicles you have among your group!
You can learn more about all your entrance fee options on the Parks Canada site here.
Got More Time? Other Nearby Destinations To Visit
If you have a few extra days to spare, here are a few other destinations I recommend you make time for:
- Banff National Park – By far Canada’s most famous park! Banff is a breathtaking natural paradise in Alberta, world-renowned for its hot springs, bright-blue glacier lakes, and stunning views of the Canadian Rockies.
- Jasper National Park – Located northwest from Banff, Jasper is a stunning natural wonderland in Alberta, Canada, known for its towering mountains, turquoise lakes, and abundant wildlife.
- Glacier National Park of Canada – Located approximately 2 hours west of Golden, Glacier National Park of Canada is known for its rugged mountains, glaciers, and abundance of wildlife. It offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and wildlife watching.
- Kootenay National Park – Located just 30 minutes away from the town of Banff, this national park is famous for its hot springs, glaciers, and mountain landscapes (including Paint Pots, Marble Canyon, and Stanley Glacier).
- Radium Hot Springs – This small town, set in a valley inside the southern border of Kootenay National Park, is known for its natural hot springs, which are a perfect way to relax and unwind either before or after a visit to Banff/Jasper!
- Revelstoke – Located approximately 1.5 hours west of Golden, Revelstoke is a charming mountain town that offers a range of outdoor activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and hiking. It is also home to the Revelstoke Mountain Resort, which is known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding.
- Vancouver and Richmond, BC – Located approximately 8 hours west of Calgary (or a short plane ride away), Vancouver and Richmond are bustling cities that offer a range of attractions and activities. Vancouver is known for its stunning natural beauty, multicultural neighborhoods, and world-class dining and shopping. Richmond is known for its vibrant Asian community, delicious food, and historic sites.
Yoho National Park: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time of year to visit Yoho National Park?
The best time to visit Yoho National Park is during the main hiking season, from June to October. The summer months, from June to August, are when the weather is warmest and the hiking trails are free of snow. The park is also beautiful during the fall months (late September to October), when the surrounding foliage turns to vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow!
What are the must-see attractions in Yoho National Park?
Some of the must-see attractions in Yoho National Park include Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Lake, Wapta Falls, Spiral Tunnels, Natural Bridge, and the Burgess Shale fossil beds. The park is also home to a variety of awesome hiking trails, including the Iceline Trail and the Whaleback Trail.
If you’re short on time and can only see a couple of attractions, I’d recommend you prioritize Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake.
Which hiking trails are suitable for beginners?
Several hiking trails in Yoho National Park are suitable for beginners, including the Emerald Lake Loop Trail and the Wapta Falls Trail.
What is the best way to get around Yoho National Park?
The best way to get around Yoho National Park is by car. The park is located off of the Trans-Canada Highway and is easily accessible by car. Driving along the highway is pretty straightforward with minimal twists and turns and is not scary.
However, if you’re inclined to avoid driving and would like to see Yoho National Park, there is a Lake Louise & Yoho National Park guided excursion so you can experience the park without having to worry about a thing!
Are there any wildlife or safety concerns that I should be aware of when visiting Yoho National Park?
Visitors should be aware that Yoho National Park is located in bear country, and it is important to take precautions to avoid encounters with wildlife. If you see a bear, be sure not to approach it – and stay far away from it. Learn more about the bears of Canada and about wildlife safety here.
Visitors should also be aware of the risks associated with hiking in the mountains, including changing weather conditions and steep terrain.
Do you need a Parks Pass for Yoho National Park?
Yes, you will need a National Parks Pass to visit Yoho National Park. You can purchase a Parks Canada pass at any park gate. Day passes are $9 to 10.50 per person per day, or $21.00 for a family/group of 7 people. Youths under 17 are free.
Alternatively, you could opt for a Parks Canada Discovery Pass, which gets you entrance to all Parks Canada destinations for the year, and costs ~$145 for a family.
Is Yoho National Park crowded?
No, Yoho National Park is not as crowded as Banff and Jasper National Parks. While Yoho National Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, it receives far fewer visitors than its more famous neighbors.
This means that visitors to Yoho National Park can enjoy a more peaceful and secluded experience, with fewer crowds and less traffic on the roads. Score!
And while you will likely have most of the park to yourself, it’s important to note that some of the park’s more popular attractions, such as Emerald Lake and Takakkaw Falls, can still get busy during peak season.
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