Explore the most popular hiking trails near Columbia-Shuswap A with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

14 days ago

Completed this blast June. Was unable to do the entire loop due to avalanche snow cutting off half the loop. The lake is truly stunning and well worth it.

It’s safe to say that all lakes in Banff/Yoho have mountains associated with them. But the mountains that surround Lake O’Hara take it to a whole new level. The lake is surrounded by an amphitheater of mountains on three sides. Even better, these three mountains have a trail that is continuous across all of them. This alpine circuit for hikers is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s well marked and above the treeline, so the views are exceptional. Above all, because only a handful of people can reserve either lodging or camping, it can feel like you are the only people there with the circuit all to yourself. Difficult to get to because of restricted access but well worth the effort of calling 3 months in advance so you can be one of the few with accommodations and thus access to this hiking playground.

3 months ago

A beautiful and easy hike. Can be busy though.

5 months ago

I did the Emerald Lake Loop the last weekend of November. It was snowing heavily, but the trail was fairly well packed from plenty of foot traffic, making it easy to walk in the snow with a good pair of boots. (However, I'm sure it will be a snowshoe or cross-country-ski-only trail quite soon with all the snow falling at Emerald Lake.) The trail was beautiful and an easy walk. Plaques along the walk had colourful descriptions about the landscape, glacier, and lake. I spent two hours doing the loop at a comfortable pace through the snow with plenty of stops for photos. And, I only saw one other group on the trail at this time of year. Though I had planned to hike up Emerald Basin, the falling snow was already too deep and making the trail hard to see and navigate; I'll have to return in the summer to enjoy that part of the hike.
I highly recommend the loop for short and easy, yet beautiful walk.

A must hike if you are into fossils and also beautiful scenery. This hike starts around the Takakkaw Falls and pretty much follows the Iceline Trail until little Yoho Lake. From there you have another couple of hours until you reach the Walcott Quarry. This is a guided hike only as the area is restricted and monitored being a UNESCO world heritage site for one of the best hard & soft body parts fossil preservation of Cambrian marine animals from 540 million years ago. Our guide was a geo-physicist from the Burgess Shale Geo-Foundation ( they organise the hikes) and her wealth of knowledge was unbelieveable. It is a long hike (22km) and a long day. We had snow, sun,showers, wind etc so be prepared and extra layers of clothing + good hiking shoes are recommended.

Medium challenging hike rewarded by amazing views

8 months ago

Great shoulder season trail. Wasn't too busy. Not sure I would enjoy it very much in the busier Summer months but in late September with a dusting of snow on the mountains and fewer crowds it was quite pleasant. Very easy trail - more of a walk than a hike - but also very scenic. Pretty much no altitude gain. Beautiful setting. Lake views as well as gorgeous mountain-scape. Would be a great place to walk a dog.

8 months ago

This by far the best walk I have done in a while! We did the 5.6km loop ( not up to Togo) and would recommend that, it was perfection this loop!

Views in every direction!

Easy walk and mostly flat, a bit of mud at the end.

Not too many people but enough you weren't worried about bears.

Dragonflies by the lake and beautiful colours of the water from different angels. Gorgeous reflections at some points too.

Loved it and highly recommend!!

We tried to do this hike last week. I don't understand how some of the activities associated here day 3.5 hours moving time and 7.5 total time... This will probably take you 6 hours moving time. It's a long hike. That being said, we went only out to the ridge above Helen Lake and it was so very worth it. Amazing views even from there! Next time I'll be in the area I'll plan better for the whole hike, the views from the top must be stunning.

Absolutely stunning! Ran into our first grizzly on this trail. The hike to Helen lake was filled with wildflowers, (mid August) and the scramble to the summit was so rewarding. Don't forget to look back on your way up!

8 months ago

Ballade faite en fin d'après-midi.

I hiked in the Alps, North Cascades, Hawaii, Yosemite, Patagonia and bunch of other places. This is the best hike I have done in my life considering the effort.

Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

It is not easy but incredibly rewarding - 360 views of bow lake, mount hector, waputik range and bunch of other mountains I cannot name. I am not super fit and it took me three hours and forty five minutes to go up (with a lot of breaks to take photos). You must definitely bring polls, it just makes everything easier.

Unlike most hikes, the way down is also incredible as you get to enjoy the views for two thirds of your way down. Unexpectedly, it is also easy on the knees as you can slide down the scree without any impact on your knees.

Pick a clear day to go there. STOP READING THIS REVIEW AND JUST GO THERE!!!

Difficult but well worth it.

One of my favourite hikes this year! You get a bit of everything - elevation, views, lakes, wildflowers!! Very easy start and moderate steep scramble for the last 1km. Look for the inukshuks to help guide you on the remaining 2km before reaching the summit. Bring some extra layers for the wind at the top!

Amazing Views.

Easy loop around the lake..just beautiful

9 months ago

A lovely trail! Take the easy route around the lake only, or add the moderate hike up Emerald Basin. Heavily trafficked, and there were no sign of bear. Lots of blueberries to snack on! The trail up ended in a gorgeous basin with over a dozen creeks cascading down the cliffs, and stunning views all around! At a leisurely pace, it took me about four hours.

Great hike, plenty of variation.

Easy scramble, lots of lakes.

Loved this easy peaceful day hike! Cool in the shaded part on July 2nd 2017 warm in the sun. Beautiful sights! Recommend to take it backwards through town first.

11 months ago

Emerald Lake was a simple trail around the lake. It is pretty easy although much of the trail was muddy and part of it was snow covered. There are lots of interesting plants there, and beautiful Mountain and lake views.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hiked this on May 13th and there was quite a bit of snow on the one side of the lake. We tried to go up to the Emerald Lake Basin and it was still way too snowy. Pretty hike and scenery, and a very easy hike around the lake, most of it semi paved.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

This is a great little trail perfect for photos and fresh air. The trail runs around the lake so there is no incline and is great for a quick jog or run with the dog! We went in November and there was not a soul out there so it was very peaceful! Wasn't planning to hike so we ended up walking around the lake in uggs and were fine. A little muddy by the cabins but after 2hrs it was worth the walk! Definitely recommend even just for the view.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Emerald Lake is a very scenic and beautiful place. We recommend the 5.6km loop trail (easy trail although uneven at times) as there are some really nice spots for viewing the lake at different angles. We also did the Emerald Basin trail which we would rate as moderate but we were slightly disappointed with it. On a positive note, the amphitheatre at the end of the trail offers some nice photo opportunities.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Nice little Hike with the family

Saturday, October 01, 2016

A relaxing walk around the Emerald Lake, the color of the water is stunning, views of mountains all around

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wonderful hike around the lake and up in to the basin. Great fall colors and early snow.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fabulous Hike. I was able to take epic pictures all throughout the trail. We did the trail around the lake and would recommend it to all skill levels.

Friday, September 02, 2016

This beautiful lake is very underrated, due to its close proximity to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. But, for me personally, I liked this lake slightly more than Moraine Lake because of the hiking trail that goes completely around the lake, which Moraine Lake and Lake Louise don't have. Also, this is a good trail to take to escape a lot of loud, annoying tourists, which can be found all over Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Beautiful trail and views!!!

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