Activities and sights in Yoho National Park:
High in the Canadian Rocky Mountains is a fossil find of epic proportions, The Burgess Shale – “the world’s most significant fossil discovery”!
2009 will mark the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park by Charles D. Walcott. The Burgess Shale not only challenges the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin, but provides a glimpse of what life was like on Earth – 505 million years ago!
The Picturesque Lake O’Hara Region is truly one of Yoho’s most beautiful spots, first surveyed in 1892 by the Dominion of Canada and named after a visit from Robert O’Hara, a Colonel in the British Army. Once you arrive at O’Hara the trail system for the peaks, the lakes and the valleys are readily accessible and offer some of the most striking mountain scenery. Please contact Parks Canada for further information, by phoning, 250-343-6433 or www.pc.gc.ca and follow the links to Yoho National Park and Lake O’Hara.
The short trail up to Lake McArthur passes through a gorgeous mountain valley and heads up to a deep blue lake fed by the Biddle Glacier.
At 84 meters, Lake McArthur is the deepest lake in Yoho National Park.
Take a canoe for a paddle in the appropriately named Emerald Lake, or hike one of the many trails. Emerald lake is the starting point for some of the best hikes in Yoho National Park and is just a short drive from your doorstep. No matter how you decide to see it Emerald Lake is a must see when in the area.
Takakkaw Falls is just a short drive from town, up into the Little Yoho Valley on Yoho Valley Road, accessed from Kicking Horse Campground. A short walk from the parking lot and you can have a shower in the mist of the second tallest waterfall in Canada. You also have a good chance, here, of seeing a Rocky Mountain Goat. While in the Little Yoho Valley you could also go on one of the many, superb, day hikes in the area, the Ice Line trail or the Twin Falls hike just to name a couple.
Other nearby attractions include: the Natural
Bridge, a 5 minute drive, Mother Nature as an engineer. Wapta Falls, at the West End of the Park, a very wide and large waterfall, all the water in the Yoho watershed eventually falls at Wapta, a 15 minute drive. Lake Louise, a 20 minute drive East and here you can visit the world renowned Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Valley of the Ten Peaks.
The Spiral Tunnels were an engineering marvel completed in 1909 that dramatically changed the way the trains traveled in the Rocky Mountains. No longer were the heavy engines subject to grades as severe as 4.5%. With the tunnels the trip took longer but the grade was now no larger than 2.2% For almost 24 years over the time of 1885 – 1909 train travel for passengers and goods met a challenge with each trip up and down The Big Hill. While you’re here you’ll want to add the Spiral Tunnels Interpretive station into your itinerary.
The Lake Louise Ski Resort is 20 minutes drive away and offers spectacular skiing or all abilities and ages with amazing mountain scenery.
X-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
Ice climbers know already about the six Ice Climbs on Mt. Dennis, known as the “beer gullies”, located just off the Trans-Canada and 2 minutes west of Field. Or how about the four Ice Climbs just east of Field including Massey’s and Cool Spring on Mt. Stephen. Several more Ice Climbs on Mt. Field and Ogden are accessed by Yoho Valley Road and in the back country of Emerald Lake. A quote from the Waterfall Ice, Fourth Edition Guide says, “Roadside waterfalls abound, making Yoho National Park one of the main Ice Climbing venues in the Rockies.”
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