Yoho National Park – Canadian Rockies 4

Yoho National Park – Canadian Rockies 4

West of Banff, and back across the BC border, is the beautiful and relatively unknown Yoho National Park. “Yoho” is the Cree word for awe and wonder. Besides being stunningly beautiful, it is also home to the Burgess Shale, one of the world’s most celebrated fossil beds.

We stayed at a hostel in the tiny town of Field. It was still raining during most of the visit, but we did manage a couple of excellent side trips during the breaks in the clouds. First stop was Takakkaw Falls, the second highest falls in western Canada, and reachable only through a steep series of tight switchbacks. It’s name comes from the Cree, “it is magnificent”. And it was pretty awesome.

Next stop was the aptly named Emerald Lake, a brilliant green lake surrounded by mountains and glaciers. We hiked entirely around the lake. One one side is a dry micro-climate, the other is rain-forest like. The two sides were completely different in their trees and plants. The dry side was repeatedly overrun with avalanches – as evidenced by the lack of trees on that part of the mountain (which you can see in the picture at the top).

One of the mountains surrounding the lake is home to the Burgess Shale. This site is famous because of its fabulously well preserved fossils from the Cambrian Explosion, a time when life madly diversified. We really would have like to have hike up to it, but it’s an extremely strenuous all day hike up a steep mountain side, and we decided we weren’t fit enough yet. Maybe next year.

Enjoy the pictures of  our Emerald Lake Hike. 

Invalid Displayed Gallery

Previous  Next

Comments are closed.