Top 10 Things to do in Yoho National Park

Parks Canada, National Parks Yoho

Hold on to your hats, folks! Yoho National Park is calling your name and it's not for the faint of heart. This place is so beautiful it'll make your heart skip a beat and your jaw drop to the floor. It's like Mother Nature said, "Hold my beer, I'm about to show off!"

Whether you're a daredevil looking for the ultimate adrenaline rush, a tree hugger, or just someone who wants to escape their in-laws, Yoho National Park has got you covered. From scaling mountains to roasting marshmallows by the campfire, this place has it all. So, throw your inhibitions out the window, grab your bug spray, and let's dive into the top 10 things to do in Yoho National Park.

1. Hike the Iceline Trail

Canadian Rockies

Get ready to lace up your hiking boots because the Iceline Trail is the holy grail of hiking trails in Yoho National Park. This trail is so amazing, it's like taking a walk through Mother Nature's art gallery.

The 12.5 km journey will take you on an adventure that's straight out of a fairy tale. You'll be surrounded by towering glaciers, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant alpine meadows. It's like being in the middle of a National Geographic magazine, except you get to be the star of the show.

But don't be fooled by all the interesting wildflowers and beauty, this trail is not for the faint of heart. It's a long and gruelling hike that will test your stamina and leave you feeling like a superhero once you conquer it. So, make sure to pack plenty of snacks and water, and bring your A-game.

And let's not forget about the wildlife. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of some of the park's famous inhabitants, like the majestic elk or the playful mountain goats. Just remember to keep a safe distance and respect their space, or else you might end up on the receiving end of a not-so-friendly encounter.

So, get your hiking poles ready, put on your best outdoor gear, and hit the trail. The Iceline Trail is waiting for you, and it's ready to show you the adventure of a lifetime.

2. Camp at Takakkaw Falls

Right beside Trans Canada Highway

Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to be blown away by one of the most jaw-dropping natural wonders in Yoho National Park - Takakkaw Falls! This waterfall is so magnificent, it's like Niagara Falls' younger, hotter sibling.

Standing at a towering height of 302 meters, Takakkaw Falls is like a force of nature, leaving visitors mesmerized and in awe of its sheer power. It's like the water gods said, "Let there be a beauty!" and voila, Takakkaw Falls was born.

But the real cherry on top of this beauty sundae is the campground nearby. Picture this: you're cozied up in your tent, the stars twinkling above, and the sound of both the glacier meltwater waterfall lulling you to sleep. It's like nature's own personal lullaby. Just be warned, the sound of the waterfall might make it a little difficult to fall asleep, so you might want to bring some earplugs unless you're a heavy sleeper.

And let's not forget about the activities around the area. You can hike up to the base of the waterfall and feel the misty spray of twin falls on your face, or even take a dip in the refreshing waters of the nearby rivers. Just make sure to watch out for the local wildlife, like the curious bears who might want to join in on the fun.

In conclusion, Takakkaw Falls is a must-see attraction in Yoho National Park that will leave you speechless and in awe of the beauty of our natural world. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for a wild ride.

3. Explore Emerald Lake

Located in Yoho valley, British Columbia

We're about to dive into one of the most magical places in Yoho National Park - Emerald Lake! This lake is like a dream come true, with its bright turquoise waters that are so crystal clear, you can see your reflection in it. It's like swimming in a giant bottle of blue Gatorade!

And the activities around the lake are endless. If you're a nature lover, you can take a hike around the perimeter of the lake and soak in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape and mountains. Or, if you're feeling extra adventurous, you can even rent a canoe and paddle around the tranquil waters of the lake. Just make sure to pack a waterproof camera, because the photo opportunities are endless.

Now, if you're feeling like a daredevil, you can take a dip in the chilly water. Don't worry, it's not that cold... just kidding, it's like jumping into an ice bath! But hey, the thrill is worth it, right? Just make sure to bring a towel and some warm clothes to change into after your refreshing swim.

And let's not forget about the local wildlife. You might spot some of the park's famous residents, like the playful otters or the majestic eagles, soaring above the lake. Just remember to keep a safe distance and respect their space, or else you might end up with a not-so-friendly encounter.

4. Visit the Burgess Shale

Nearby national parks include Banff National Park and Banff's Lake Louise

Get ready to step back in time and discover the secrets of our prehistoric past at the Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park. This place is like a time capsule, with fossils dating back over 500 million years. It's like taking a journey through the pages of a history book, except the characters are giant trilobites and sea creatures!

Now, let's get one thing straight - this is not your average fossil site. The Burgess Shale is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meaning it's a big deal. And the fossils here are some of the oldest and most well-preserved in the world. We're talking about rare creatures that have been extinct for millions of years, like the fearsome Hallucigenia and the spiky Anomalocaris. It's like being on the set of Jurassic Park, except without the danger (we hope).

But before you go running off to explore, you need to know that access to the Burgess Shale is limited. You can't just waltz in and start digging up fossils. Nope, you need to book a tour in advance, and only a limited number of people are allowed on each tour. So, if you want to get up close and personal with these ancient creatures, you better start planning.

And let's not forget about the tour guides. These folks are like walking encyclopedias when it comes to fossils. They know everything there is to know about the creatures that roamed the earth millions of years ago, and they're eager to share their knowledge with you. Just make sure to bring a notebook and pen to jot down all the fun facts (and the occasional pun).

5. Go white-water rafting

Experience Yoho National park, Yoho valley Road

Hold on to your paddles and get ready for a wild ride because white-water rafting in Yoho National Park is not for the faint of heart! This is the ultimate adventure for thrill-seekers who crave an adrenaline rush like no other.

The rapids in Yoho National Park are no joke - they're fast, and furious, and will have you screaming with excitement (or fear, depending on how brave you are). But don't worry, you won't be tackling these rapids alone. There are plenty of experienced guides, Yoho national park tours and companies offering guided tours that will ensure your safety while still providing an unforgettable experience.

As you navigate through the rapids, you'll be surrounded by the breathtaking scenery that will make you feel like you're in an action movie. The rushing water, towering cliffs, and lush forests will leave you feeling exhilarated and in awe of all the natural beauty around you.

And let's not forget about the bonding experience that comes with white-water rafting. There's something about going through a heart-pumping adventure together that brings people closer. You'll make memories that will last a lifetime, and have some pretty epic stories to tell your friends back home (just make sure they don't steal your thunder).

6. Check out the Spiral Tunnels

Canadian Rocky Mountains

Are you ready for a train-tastic adventure in Yoho National Park? If so, then the Spiral Tunnels are a must-see attraction that will leave you in awe of the impressive engineering feat that went into their construction.

Picture this: you're standing at the edge of a towering mountain, watching as a train slowly makes its way up the steep incline. But instead of disappearing over the top, it disappears into a tunnel and emerges on the other side of the mountain, magically reappearing in front of you. It's like a real-life magic trick!

The Spiral Tunnels were built in the early 1900s to help trains navigate the steep terrain in the park, and they're still in use today. These tunnels spiral through the rocky mountains below, allowing trains to climb and descend at a more manageable grade. Watching a train makes its way through the tunnels is a unique and impressive sight that you won't want to miss.

But the Spiral Tunnels aren't just impressive from a technical standpoint. They also offer some pretty spectacular views. As you stand at the edge of the mountain and watch the train disappear into the tunnel, you'll be surrounded by the breathtaking scenery that will leave you feeling like you're on top of the world.

7. Take a dip in the Natural Bridge

Canadian National Park

Ah, the Natural Bridge! It's a stunning natural rock formation that creates a bridge over the Kicking Horse River, and it's so beautiful, it'll make your heart skip a beat. You might think it was built by some ancient civilization, but nope, Mother Nature was the architect on this one.

If you're looking for a place to cool off on a hot summer day, the Natural Bridge is the spot to be. The water is refreshingly cool and perfect for a quick dip or a leisurely swim. Just don't forget your floaties, because the current can be strong in some areas.

And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even try to cross the bridge like a daredevil tightrope walker (although we don't recommend it!). But be warned, if you fall in, you'll be swept away by the river faster than you can say "yikes!"

But seriously, folks, the Natural Bridge is a must-see destination for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike. So grab your sunscreen, your swimsuit, and your sense of adventure, and head on down to the Kicking Horse River. The Natural Bridge is waiting for you!

8. Go skiing or snowboarding

You can visit Emerald Lake

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a complete newbie, Yoho National Park has something for everyone. The park pass and ski resorts offer a wide variety of terrain, from gentle bunny slopes to heart-pumping black diamonds. And with plenty of lifts and gondolas to take you up the mountain, you'll be able to maximize your time on the snow and minimize your time freezing your toes off.

But speaking of freezing toes, let's talk about the weather. Yoho National Park can get pretty chilly in the winter, so make sure to dress warmly. We're talking layers on layers on layers, people. If you're not sweating when you put on your ski boots, you're not wearing enough clothes.

And if you're not into skiing or snowboarding, don't worry! There are plenty of other winter activities to enjoy in Yoho National Park, like snowshoeing, ice skating, and even ice fishing (if you're feeling brave enough to sit outside in the cold for hours on end).

So come on down to visit Yoho National Park, and experience the beauty and thrill of winter in the Canadian Rockies. Just make sure to bring your thermals, because it's about to get chilly up in here!

9. Visit Lake O'Hara

Yoho is a very underrated mountain parks

Let me tell you, getting to Lake O'Hara is no easy feat. You can't just drive up to lake O'Hara area and hike it like you can with some of the other lakes in the park. Oh no, you have to book a bus in advance, and even then, spots are limited. It's like trying to get tickets to a Taylor Swift concert, but instead of screaming teenagers, it's hikers in North Face jackets.

But trust me when I say that the effort is worth it. When you finally arrive at Lake O'Hara, you'll be greeted by some of the most stunning mountain scenery you've ever seen. It's like the mountains are putting on a show just for you, and you're the only one in the audience.

And the hiking trails? Don't even get me started. They're like something out of a fairytale, with babbling brooks, towering trees, and fields of wildflowers that are so beautiful, you'll want to roll around in them like a dog.

But fair warning, the hiking trails can be a bit challenging. So if you're not used to hiking at high elevations, make sure to take it slow and drink plenty of water. And if you do happen to get lost, just remember to follow the trail of empty Clif Bar wrappers. That's how you know you're on the right path.

10. Take in the view from the top of Mount Stephen

spectacular hikes right beside Visitor centre

Now, let me tell you, this hike is not for the faint of heart. It's like climbing a never-ending staircase to heaven, only instead of clouds and angels, you're met with rocks and squirrels that judge you for taking so many breaks.

But don't worry, the view from the summit is worth every single step. It's like you're standing on top of the world, looking out at a sea of mountains and forests that stretch out as far as the eye can see. You'll feel like a bird, only without the ability to fly or the weird hollow bones.

And if you're lucky enough to catch a clear day (which, let's be honest, is rare in the mountains), the view is even more spectacular. You'll be able to see for miles in every direction, and you'll feel like you're in the middle of a postcard or a National Geographic magazine.

But fair warning, don't forget your camera! You'll want to capture every single moment of this breathtaking view, so you can show all your friends and family back home (who will inevitably be jealous and start plotting your demise).


There you have it, 10 top things to do in Yoho National Park. With so many incredible experiences to choose from, you're sure to have a memorable trip to this stunning corner of Canada.

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