Explore the most popular paddle sports trails in British Columbia with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
12 days ago

Note to all, the area north of the park has been extensively logged in preparation for a new development. The trail turns into a rough clear cut as soon as you leave the park boundary.

The loop around the lake is as beautiful as always.

hiking
12 days ago

Has anybody hiked up any of the mountains surrounding Widgeon Lake?

Emerald Lake is a spectacular and serene turquoise glacial lake in Yoho National Park surrounded by mountains. It is so picturesque. I visited in August 2017.

The drive from the Trans Canada Highway along the narrow but newly paved road to Emerald Lake was absolutely gorgeous as it cut through the dense forest. From Field, it took around 15 minutes to arrive at the parking lot and I was one of the first people to arrive there at 8 am. The lake was visible from the parking lot and a wooden bridge crossed a portion of it leading to the Emerald Lake Lodge and a restaurant called Cilantro on an island.

Emerald Lake was so breathtaking and the colour of the water was an incredible and vibrant turquoise colour. The lake was surrounded by snow-peaked mountains on all sides and it was quite an inspiring landscape.

Upon arriving to the lake, I did the easy 5.2 km walk around the entire shoreline of the lake going in clockwise direction. The hike started off along a paved trail through the beautiful forest with many openings through the trees along the way to provide stunning views of the lake and mountains. The beginning of the trail passed through an avalanche path along the slope of the mountain which was filled with lush grasses and colourful flowers but no trees and was interesting to see.

The trail continued along the lakeshore with wooden benches positioned perfectly along the way providing lovely views of the peaceful lake through the openings in the trees. I was the only person walking this trail at 8 in the morning and the atmosphere was so serene and pleasant with only the calming sound of a loon on the lake. The pathway turned from pavement to gravel and reached the far end of the lake where there was an open area with incredible views of the mountains and lake from a different perspective. It then looped back around on the opposite side.

The second half of the hike passed through much different terrain than the first half of a largely pine tree forest, which made it really interesting. The vegetation was lush and almost tropical as mosses and other unique jungle-type plants thrived on this shaded portion of the walk, due to this side of the lake being protected by the shadow of the towering mountains much of the time and seeing lots of rain. I enjoyed reading the interpretive signs along the entire path from start to finish which explained more about the history and vegetation around the lake. There were fewer openings with views of the lake along this half of the trail and it mostly passed through the dense forest along a narrower and slightly less maintained path. As I got closer to the end of the hike though, there were some stunning views in openings through the trees. The early morning reflections of the pine trees and snow-capped mountains on the pristine and glass-like waters of Emerald Lake were absolutely amazing and so pretty.

Close to the end of the trail just before it met back up with the Emerald Lake Lodge, it passed through a gorgeous meadow area along the lake with colourful flowers and then returned to the beginning of the loop. Walking this trail and being in the presence of such awe-inspiring natural beauty was such a great experience. The trail provides plenty of spectacular views of the turquoise-coloured lake and mountains from all angles and is completely flat the entire way making it great for accessible for almost everyone. Even if you don’t do the hike, you can still find beautiful views of the lake from the road that crosses over to the lodge and restaurant. There are so many wonderful photo opportunities at Emerald Lake and it’s a gorgeous place to relax and explore for a half-day. It took me just over 2 hours to complete the 5.2 km walk at a relaxed pace and making many stops along the way to take photos.

Emerald Lake is much less crowded and quieter than other glacial lakes in the Rockies like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake and is just as beautiful, making it a fantastic place to visit if you’re looking for a more peaceful atmosphere with less of a touristy feel. If you are in the Yoho National Park area, I highly recommend making a trip to this lake. It’s also definitely worth arriving here early in the morning to experience the tranquility of the lake and area.

Beautiful snowy trail run - a few trees to climb over or under but for the most part great trail conditions with a few hills to shake it up . Go early tho - as we were finishing the onslaught of dog walkers with off leash dogs appeared. Beautiful and quiet . Great views

hiking
1 month ago

I have done this trip a few times and it is quite enjoyable. It can be pretty rowdy at times though due to the easy access and party people who tend to go. There is no shortage of garbage in the area, most likely including beer cans and cigarettes. I urge anyone who travels to these amazing places to leave it cleaner than when you came. That being said there are some great places to see for those willing to explore. I would like to tell people of an amazing place where one can swim in the area but fear contamination from the hordes of party goers. I will instead post a picture of a hidden pool free of litter. This pool is about 30 feet deep at most and has a stunning waterfall that enters it. Furthermore in the larger pool above it, there is two streams which join together, one colder than the other. This results in a strange phenomenon where you can lay across the narrow section and have one part of your body in colder water than the other. This area also has a decent cliff jump and is worth the trip. If you find it please respect the area... I don't know of anyone who has been there before but my friends and I have chosen to call it Peridot Pool due to the hue of the water in that area.

Sunny, crisp fall day with a little ice on the lakes. Easy walk; lots of

Gorgeous greenery at this time of year, a little light rain usually keeps most people to the walking trails, which means more solitary time on the hiking trails. Only negative is hearing traffic.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely gorgeous trail along the coastline of South Pender Island. Many beautiful photo ops. We were there on August long weekend and the trail traffic was moderate. The trailhead area was a little busy but that's because it shares a starting point with the Mt. Norman Trail. The Beaumont Trail is a little hilly in spots with a couple of steep, short climbs. You can camp near the end and there is an compost outhouse at the very end. I will definitely be doing this hike again the next time I'm on Pender.

Beautiful hike and very easy. It was snowing for much of our hike, but the trail was already well packed. There is very little elevation change so it was easy to bring our younger niece with us. The lake was mostly frozen, but the far end (from the trailhead and resort) was unfrozen and there were opportunities to see the reflection of the mountains and forest off the water. We also saw moose in the avalanche chute at the start of the trail along the lake (but made sure to stand there for too long).

paddle sports
2 months ago

What a gorgeous paddle! It took us about an hour to paddle in through the sloughs to the campsite and we saw 5 eagles on the way there. We did the hike to the falls as a loop and took the trail there and the old road back. The paddle back to our car was faster but the tide was changing as we crossed the lake so we had to work a little harder. All in, the whole trip was about 3 1/2 hours but we didn’t spend much time at the falls. We’ll be back when the days are longer to hike to the lake.

It’s perfect for a relaxing run. No need to rush. Just take it in and enjoy!

2 months ago

Very easy trail. Most of it is paved and is suitable for wheelchairs. West is the Campbell River, east is Discovery Passage with Quadra Island on the other side. Lots of benches to watch the ship and plane traffic. Summer months bring the cruise ship traffic. Eagles are abundant. Orcas and dolphins are often seen. A short piece is unpaved gravel which takes you to the point. Picnic tables and a outhouse type bathroom are available. Down the road are two fish and chips restaurants. Bring cash. Open during the summer months only.

Its a beautiful, easy walk; lots of dogs! can here traffic on parts, though.

hiking
2 months ago

Sadly they dont have the north coast trail here. We hiked cape scott trail via north coast trail. We spent 6 night out there. The 10k of swamp to start the trip is brutul (even with the lil boardwalks provided) really makes you appreciate the rest of the hike for what is. 1st night we stay at nahwitti camp. Next day was started with cable car ride across the river then spent the rest of the day in and out the the bush on different types of beaches until we reached irony creek. Next morning hike down the beach to a lil forest walk to the next cable car. Much of the rest of this day is like the last until we reached ______ (cant remember its name. Last beach before entering cape scott). Next day was an easy hike to nels bight where we let loose for 2 nights just wandering around the cape (guise beach and experiment bight so beautiful and the lighthouse was cool. The wardens were scaring off a black bear. After nels bight , we trekked to san josef beach in good time to get to hike up mount st Patrick for some awsome views(highest peak in the park you can see the ocean to the north and everything you just hiked thru). After we hiked down, we meet some good company shared stories called it a night. Next was an extremely short n easy hike out to our shuttle. Try the north coast!!!

A nice hike close to the city. Good variations and nice views from the dam.

Nice and easy

hiking
3 months ago

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer.

The trail is rated as easy and that is accurate. There are a few muddy spots so hiking boots are recommended. I'm 62 and had no trouble with the hike. But be aware that I didn't complete the entire loop. I found a beautiful spot for photography on the east bank and I stopped after getting the picture I wanted.
This a trail that requires some patience. I started at the lodge and the trail is a bit difficult to find. Also, the lodge area is madhouse with tour buses dumping off 50-60 people at a time and there must have been 200+ milling around. Quickly leave the lodge area by walking east and you'll come to the trail.

The photography is frustrating at first because the trail doesn't run adjacent to the lake but is up the ridge and the view is obstructed by trees. But after a mile or so the trail is right beside the lake and you'll notice small herd paths that give you outstanding views of the lake. If you are there in late summer or early fall the sun will be to your left so you won't be shooting into it. If you can try to go early in the morning since the winds my be calm and you can get some outstanding reflections in the lake.

The weather wasn't the best, but it was a nice, easy hike.. Took about 1.5 hours.

walking
3 months ago

Very beautiful.

A great local trail! A perfect afternoon loop!

We had a good

nature trips
4 months ago

Such a beautiful lake with a turquoise color!

Really great views along this trail of the water, many nice places to pause for a break. Not busy at all. Falls are worth seeing!

hiking
4 months ago

Had a great hike up to the second lake.
She's a steep knee grinder both ways so beware.
I brought my dog and we got through it in 6.5 hours with a bit of a lunch hangout at the wrecked platform.
Met two nice guys searching for old mine shafts and found an old Spear head while hiking this trail.
Totally recommend!

hiking
4 months ago

Very scenic, the trail goes up and down lots which I prefer over a long continuous uphill. The falls were pretty a definite must do.

hiking
4 months ago

It was a rather hot day that we did this hike. It was well planned as the canopy & proximity to the lakes kept us nice & cool. It's more of a walk than a hike, but it was worth it.

hiking
4 months ago

Make sure you go on a clear day for the view! Fun and challenging hike. The first, flat section of the trail was boggy so be prepared to sink into some mud if it's rained recently! Definitely happy I was wearing boots and not trail runners.

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing views at lake. This is a westcoast trail its not Garibaldi. tough slog if camping over night. 5 star views, 2 star trail. We stayed over night it was 6 hours up with a heavy pack. Quite, not much traffic.

hiking
5 months ago

Kids friendly easy trail great for the whole family!

5 months ago

It was nice easy to moderate hike.

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