Yoho: Awe and Wonder


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Trails of Yoho
Area Trip Type Rating
Chancellor Wapta Falls Walk D1
Emerald Lake Emerald Lake and Basin Half-day Hike D2
Lake O'Hara Consummation Peak Scramble D5
Yoho Valley Kerr, Mt. Scramble D6
Yoho Valley Yoho Peak Scramble D5/6

The name "Yoho" comes from Cree word for name and wonder.  After Banff, it is second oldest Canadian NP and smallest in size when compared to 4 contiguous Mountain parks - but it more than makes for it with spectacular scenery!  Lying west of Continental Divide it receives more precipitations than Banff.  Central hub is small town of Field in deep valley of Kicking Horse river below towering Mt. Stephen, ~20 min west of Lake Louise on Trans-Canada Highway.  It has Parks office,  groceries, gasoline and motels. Best option for car-camping are Monarch and Kicking Horse  about 4km north.

Real gem is Lake O'Hara;  beautiful and compact area on the west side of giants in the backdrop of Lake Louise.  It is accessed via 11km long gravel road, but cars or bicycles are not allowed.  Parks operate shuttle bus May - October with 2 daily departures; it is booked solid throughout the season and for fit person hiking in/out is acceptable option.  Second major gem is Yoho valley on the north side of Trans-Canada.  Here is Takakkaw - spectacular waterfall fed by Waputik Icefield and accessed via 12 km narrow road that is not plowed in winter.  Hostel and several back-country camping options are available - including ACC Stanley Mitchell Hut in the heart of Little Yoho. 

Hiking options range from day trips to multi-day backpacks.  Included here is just a small sample of this wonderful area.  In sunny August/September when air is clear, it is simply the best Canadian Rockies can offer!