11 of the Best Hiking Trails in Yoho National Park

11 hiking trails in beautiful Yoho National Park


In the southeastern part of British Columbia, pressed against the border of Alberta, lies one of Canada’s most picturesque parks. Yoho, a Cree word meaning “awe and wonder,” perfectly describes the effect this park has on its visitors. From incredibly blue lakes to lush forests, stunning waterfalls to towering mountain peaks (including 28 over 3,000 metres tall), Yoho offers something for every type of explorer. If you’re visiting Yoho National Park, add these 11 hikes to the top of your list.


Takakkaw Falls

Length: 1 km roundtrip 
Time: 20 minutes

As an introduction to the National Park, take a look at the powerful Takakkaw Falls. Standing 384 metres tall, Takakkaw is one of Canada’s highest waterfalls. Translating to “magnificent,” Takakkaw’s cascading water almost looks like it’s falling in slow motion. On a sunny day, rainbow reflections dance off of the sharp rocks below. This trail is a short paved pathway along flat terrain that leads you to the base of the waterfall. It’s easily accessible for all hiking levels and a great first peek at what the park offers.

Read morepc.gc.ca

Bloggers who have lived the adventure: hikingwithbarry.com 


Twin Falls

Length: 16.4 km roundtrip
 2 days
Elevation Gain: 300 m

Twin Falls is a beautiful, moderate day hike. Starting from Takakkaw Falls campground, hikers will head into the woods and follow the Yoho River past Laughing Falls. Soon, you’ll arrive at the majestic double cascade. Stop by the Twin Falls Tea House National Historic Site, where you can camp (note: reservations fill up months in advance). This hike has a few different routes to choose from that will vary your hiking time and distance, but all guarantee breathtaking views of the waterfall.

Read morepc.gc.ca 


Emerald Lake Loop

Length: 5.2 km roundtrip
Time: 1 – 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 50 m

Imagine a lake just as beautiful as world-popular Lake Louise, but without the crowds of tourists. The largest lake in Yoho National Park, Emerald Lake is a stunning turquoise green colour. Although many hiking trails begin here, one of the nicest is the simple loop around the lake, which is relatively level most of the way and features beautiful views of the lake from all angles.

 Read moreoutdooractive.com 


Wapta Falls

Length: 4.6 km roundtrip
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 30 m

Wapta Falls is an easy, short day hike, although the definition of “short” depends on whether or not the gate is open. If it is, start the trail just after the parking lot. However, if the gate is closed, the hike begins at the bottom of the road, which takes a bit longer. Sitting at about 30 metres high and 150 metres wide, Wapta Falls is the Kicking Horse River’s largest waterfall.

Read moregoldenhikes.ca 


Yoho Lake

Length: 8 km
Time: 2 – 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 300 m

Featuring waterfalls, wildflowers and lush wilderness, Yoho Lake is a beautiful day hike. This trail is rarely busy, even though it is relatively short and not very difficult, so take advantage of the isolation. Beginning at Takakkaw Falls and passing the pristine Emerald Lake, this hike offers a variety of sights and sounds to enjoy. Along the trail hikers will come across planks put out to help against muddy conditions, but good hiking boots are still highly recommended.

Read more10hikes.com 


Emerald Basin

Length: 9.2 km roundtrip
Time: 3 – 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 225 m

Emerald Basin is another relatively easy day hike. Beginning at Emerald Lake, hikers follow the shoreline before climbing up a glacial bowl surrounded by mountain peaks and waterfalls. The rushing water might sound closer than usual: the sound is amplified because of the way the valley and surrounding rock walls stand.

Read morepc.gc.ca 



Length: 20.8 km
Time: 2 days
Elevation Gain: 710 m

For those looking to get deep into Yoho National Park, the Iceline trail is a beautiful multi-day hike. More preparation and gear is needed for this trail, but you’ll be rewarded with alpine meadows, thick forests, towering mountains and, most notably, an up-close-and-personal look at the glacial moraines. This trail is known to offer hikers a bit of everything, showcasing such diverse landscapes and completely different environments around every corner. It’s impossible to be bored on the Iceline trail, making it a fantastic choice for the experienced hiker.

Read more: pc.gc.ca 

Bloggers who have lived the adventure: hikebiketravel.com 


Hoodoo Creek

Length: 5.2 km roundtrip
Time: 2 – 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 325 m

Hoodoo Creek offers hikers exactly what the name would suggest: a spectacular cluster of hoodoos deep in the National Park. This trail starts out easy, with a short flat route that leads you over the Hoodoo Creek. However, it soon becomes more of a tough climb as the trail becomes very steep right after the rustling waters. Thankfully, you’ll be met with beautiful views of the the canyon, river and unique hoodoo rock formations.

Read more: goldenhikes.ca 

Bloggers who have lived the adventure:  okienomads.com 

Lake O’Hara

Length: 2.8 km circuit
Time: 1 – 2 hours
Elevation Gain: Minimal

If you’re lucky enough to experience Lake O’Hara, you’ll have enough stunning views to last a lifetime. Luck is only needed because this lake is mainly accessible by booking a bus, and because of its beauty, reservations need to be made months in advance. There are often cancellations though, so don’t lose hope if it looks completely booked up. If you truly don’t wish to miss out, there is also the option to hike the 11-kilometre access road. The exclusivity is truly worth it as you are surrounded by incredible views for almost the entirety of this trail, along with the breathtaking view of the lake itself.

Read morepc.gc.ca 


Hamilton Lake

Length: 11 km roundtrip
Time: 5 – 6 hours
Elevation Gain: 850 m

If you’re looking for more of a challenge, Hamilton Lake is the perfect choice. Along with heavenly views of crystal blue water and bustling waterfalls, hikers are most likely to have it all to themselves. The lack of crowds is due to its difficulty—yes, you read that right: the elevation gain is 850 metres. Regardless, the sights are absolutely worth it.

 Read morepc.gc.ca 


Sherbrooke Lake

Length: 6.2 km roundtrip
Time: 2 – 3 hours 
Elevation Gain
: 165 m 

For those looking for an intermediate day hike with a gradual incline, Sherbooke Lake fits just right. This trail leads you through classic Canadian forests full of spruce and pine trees dripping in moss. Wildflowers grow along the pathway, giving an array of colour before reaching the sparkling blue and green waters of Sherbrooke Lake. This trail can get busy during summer months, but the large lake offers tons of different spots to disappear from crowds and enjoy the view.

Read more: trailpeak.com 



Have you hiked these trails in Yoho National Park?

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