Points of interest
Yoho National Park boasts towering rock walls, spectacular waterfalls and 28 peaks over 3 000 metres in height. The word “Yoho” is a Cree expression of awe and wonder.
Open year round:
- Village of Field, B.C.
- Emerald Lake and the Natural Bridge
- Kicking Horse River
- Wapta Falls
- Lake O'Hara (bus only runs in summer)
Open Spring through Fall (dates vary):
- Spiral Tunnels
- Kicking Horse Pass National Historic Site
- Takakkaw Falls and the Yoho Valley
- Burgess Shale Fossil Beds
Note: All distances below are approximate.
Lower Viewpoint: 18 km west of Lake Louise, AB and 7.5 km east of Field B.C. on Hwy 1 (map) Upper Viewpoint: 20 km northwest of Lake Louise, AB and 7.5 km northeast of Field B.C. on Yoho Valley Road (map)
This engineering marvel reduced the railway grade in the treacherous Kicking Horse Pass. Up to 30 trains pass through the tunnels at varying times daily. Two viewpoints are open mid-June through mid-October.
Location: On Highway 1, 17 km west of Lake Louise, AB and 9 km east of Field, B.C. (map)
A steep, narrow pass shepherds the Trans-Canada Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railway across the Continental Divide. The audacious route was chosen in the 1870s for its proximity to the U.S. border and the Pacific Ocean. It brought B.C. into Confederation and connected Canada with Pacific ports when the nation was new.
Location: 39 km northwest of Lake Louise, AB and 17 km northeast of Field, B.C on Yoho Valley Road (map)
Tumbling 254m (830 feet) in one stretch and 384m (1,260 feet) in total, these falls are among the highest in Canada and the gateway to some of Yoho’s most beautiful hiking. Feel the spray at the base of the falls or enjoy views from afar. Accessible mid-June until mid-October to small vehicles and bicycles only due to steep, tight switchbacks.
Avalanche Safety: In winter, the Yoho Valley Road offers beautiful skiing. If you wish to venture beyond the switchbacks, however, you must have avalanche training, skills and equipment (i.e. beacon, probe and shovel).
Location: 26 km west of Lake Louise, AB on Hwy 1 (map)
This charming village of fewer than 200 people is an authentic mountain retreat with accommodation year-round, artisan crafts, and culinary delights (including many gluten-free options). Established in the 1880s as a siding for the Canadian Pacific Railway, it is now home to almost all human residents of Yoho National Park and the Yoho Visitor Centre. A lovely town at any time of the year.
Location: 36 km west of Lake Louise, AB and 10 km northwest of Field, B.C on Emerald Lake Road (map)
This turquoise lake offers superb walking, paddling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Picnic on the lakeshore or dine in luxury at one of two restaurants. Stop at the Natural Bridge along the way and admire the Kicking Horse River as it carves a path through ancient rock. These are beautiful places year-round.
Avalanche Safety: From November through June, please avoid the avalanche slide path clearly marked on the left bank of Emerald Lake. Do not walk, ski or snowshoe on or below this slide path. Thank you.
Follow this Canadian Heritage River from its source at Wapta Lake, over the Kicking Horse Pass, and down to expansive, braided gravel flats near the Village of Field. The river and pass were named for an incident in which doctor James Hector was kicked by a packhorse while travelling with the famed Palliser Expedition.
Location: 52 km west of Lake Louise, AB and 26 km west of Field, B.C off Hwy 1 (map)
At 30 metres (98 feet) high and 150 metres (490 feet) wide, this is the largest waterfall on the Kicking Horse River. The trail to the falls is a gentle 2.4km (1.5 mile) hike through verdant forest departing from a trailhead 2 km off the Trans-Canada Highway. Accessible mid-June through mid-October.
Trailhead: 12 km west of Lake Louise, AB and 13 km east of Field, B.C. on Hwy 1 (map)
A magical world of hanging valleys, jewel lakes, soaring cliffs, and sub-alpine forest trails linked by an excellent, volunteer-supported trail system. Access to this fragile place is limited through the summer and demand is high – reservations are required.
Avalanche Safety: In February and March, the road to Lake O’Hara is trackset and offers excellent skiing all the way to the lake. Use caution as the road crosses Class 1 avalanche terrain. Beyond the road, avalanche training, skills and equipment (i.e. beacon, probe and shovel) are required.
Location: Secure locations. Access by guided hike only
These are some of the oldest and most significant fossil beds in the world. They are a crown jewel in the Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site and the source of major scientific discoveries about the evolution of life on earth. Choose from three guided interpretive hikes (one in Kootenay National Park) or explore the interactive Burgess Shale exhibits at the Visitor Centre and Emerald Lake. Available late-June through mid-September.