The name of the park is derived from the Cree words for “awe” and “wonder. It is indeed a wonderful place. The park is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site, which consists of four national and three provincial parks.
Yoho National Park is situated in British Columbia, near the border with Alberta. The park is only accessible by car. Highway 1 is the only major route through the park.
Yoho consist of four different kinds of landscape: Alpine, Subalpine, Montane and Montane Marshlands. This allows for a wide variety of activities: hiking, fishing, biking, climbing, backpacking or wildlife viewing in summer. The options during winter and spring are skiing, snow shoeing or waterfall ice climbing.
The park is 1310 km² wide. If you have only one day to visit the park, like we did, you have to make choices. We chose four points of interest: Takakkaw Falls, Natural Bridge, Emerald Lake and the spiral tunnels.
To get a good view of the spiral tunnels it is necessary to leave the viewpoints and go hiking. We didn’t do this, so I won’t be talking about this site.
With a total height of 384 meters these are one of the highest falls in Canada. They are located 17 km north-east of Field (the only village inside the park). The water of the falls originates from The Daly Glacier in the Waputik Icefield. The falls are visible from the car park, but the fifteen minutes hike to the viewpoint is really worth the effort.
Again the name of the falls is derived from the Cree word for “it is magnificent”.
This natural wonder is located on the Emerald Lake Road, 3 km outside Field. It is a rock formation that serves as a bridge over Kicking Horse River.
At the lookout you can admire the rock formation from different vantage points. The lookout is also the starting point for a couple of trails. But be warned: This is bear country. So make sure you take bear spray or a whistle with you.
It is very clear where the lake got its name from: the beautiful water of the water. Hiking around the lake is the best way to get the most beautiful views. This trail is one of the easiest in the park. It takes about an hour to complete.
Other possible activities are canoeing, skiing, fishing and wildlife viewing. Bald Eagles, moose and osprey are frequent visitors to the lake.
The Michael Glacier and the Burgess Shale fossil beds can be viewed from the lake.
Sleeping within the park is possible at one of the numerous camp-grounds. Some camp-grounds are accessible by car, but not all of them. The village of Field offers a variety of hostels, lodges, hotels and B&B’s.
Food is only available at Field. Not in the rest of the park. So make sure to buy groceries while visiting the town.
Information about the park is available in the Visitor Centre in Field, on the Trans-Canada Highway. Park passes and tourist information about Alberta are also available here.
More information about Yoho National Park is available at this link.
Extra photos can be found here
Disclaimer: I own the copyright to all photos in this post.