Skiing and snowshoeing
Draped in snow and ice, the Rockies form a dramatic backdrop to the pleasures of travelling over crisp snow through Yoho's valleys.
Yoho’s beautiful winter trails are generously groomed and maintained by the Kicking Horse Ski Club and Emerald Sports. The best skiing and snowshoeing is from late-December through early April. The park is a natural area and travel is at your own risk. Parks Canada does not maintain or patrol winter trails in Yoho.
Be aware that cell phone coverage is not reliable in the park.
Avalanche season in the mountains extends from November to June, and even a short walk can take you into avalanche terrain. When travelling beyond marked trails, or past an avalanche danger sign on some trails, assume you are in avalanche country – your group should be prepared with the appropriate knowledge, skills and equipment.
Check the current avalanche forecast. Did you leave your trip plan with someone? For more information on backcountry travel and how to stay safe in the mountains, visit Parksmountainsafety.ca. If you plan to stay overnight in the backcountry, remember that a Wilderness Pass is required.
- Emerald Lake: There is a large, clearly signed avalanche slide path on the left side of the lake. Please do not travel on or near the slide path November through May.
- Tally-Ho Trail: The trail climbs gradually for about 1.5 km from the highway then descends to a junction and crosses an avalanche slide path. The path is not controlled or patrolled. Proceed at your own risk.
- Yoho Valley Road: After the famous switchbacks en route to Takakkaw Falls, the road crosses significant avalanche slide paths. Avalanche training, skills and equipment are required.
- Going farther? Not all signed destinations are safe for winter travel. If you plan to travel beyond machine-groomed trails, please ensure you can recognize avalanche terrain and have appropriate knowledge, skills and equipment (i.e. beacon, probe and shovel).
Pets are welcome on many trails.
- Dogs are welcome on Monarch Trail, Yoho Valley Road and Lake O’Hara Fireroad. Dogs are not permitted on other groomed, trackset ski trails.
- Please note that walking or snowshoeing on the track set portion of cross country ski trails endangers skiers who later use the track.
- When climbing, yield the right of way to those descending.
- When taking a break, step to the side of the trail.
- Leave no trace. Pack out everything you pack in.
Never feed or follow wildlife.
- If you see tracks, do not follow them toward the animal.
- If you see an animal, give it lots of space and observe from a distance with binoculars or a telephoto lens.
- Never feed wildlife.
- We recommend carrying bear spray until mid-December and after mid-March.
- A little preparation can prevent a small setback from ruining your day or your trip. Here are some tips.
Recommended packing list – travel away from avalanche terrain
- Trail guide and map
- Full water bottle or thermos
- High energy food
- Bear spray
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- First aid kit
- Repair kit
- Lightweight emergency blanket, candle and lighter or waterproof matches
- Headlamp or flashlight with spare batteries
- Toque or winter hat and gloves
- Hiking poles and ice cleats
- Hand and toe warmers
- Extra clothing that would keep you warm should you stop in case of an emergency
- Carry a cell phone or satellite communication device appropriate for the area you will be visiting. Be aware that cell phone coverage is not reliable in the Park.
- Wear a helmet when fat biking
For information on packing for travel in avalanche terrain visit Parksmountainsafety.ca.
Thank you and have a wonderful visit!