Explore the most popular lake trails in Yoho National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
9 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.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Hiked this when moderately out of shape and was quite tough but well worth the view. Recommended you hike clockwise as the last 2 hours are intense with brutal switchbacks that are best done on the decent.

Used this as approach to scramble up Mount Daly in August 2017. Made for a long 14 hour day but after three years of hiking in the Bow Valley, this is probably my favourite approach hike of all time. Will likely do this again this year to bag Mount Niles

walking
3 months ago

A beautiful and easy hike. Can be busy though.

backpacking
3 months ago

Beautiful short hike. Only takes 30 minutes. Lots of spots to cut of and go do other hikes to different lakes and some waterfalls.

hiking
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.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful hike on Sept 24th with great sunny sky. Hiked clockwise with stunning views of the aqua blue lake and rocky snowy peaks all around. After tracking past the lake the hike took us past rocky river bed until we started the ascent. Wonderful views of the waterfall towards the left. Once we started on the second part of triangle the views were spectacular and path took us past rocky cliffs. Saw about a dozen mountain goats grazing. Once past the peak on the third leg of the hike the switchbacks down were never ending...but beautiful. We have hiked all over the US and Canada and this hike was in our top three ever. Would do again.

The Iceline section of this hike may have been my favorite hike ever. Did the steep part first(hiked clockwise) and found it challenging but not brutal. If you do it this way the second half of the hike is a gradual descent through mostly woods and not nearly as exhilarating as the first half, but then again what is?

Nice views, good deal of work. Greatest reward is the Yoho lake waiting for you.

Nice peaceful hike through the forest at the start, very few people which is nice for a change. It is a long uphill people that haven't done much hiking before may find it hard. Good views at the top and views of he glacier. We completed it in just under 4 hours but with fast hiking.

hiking
7 months ago

Lovely trail. We hiked to the Niles Ampitheatre and did not see a single other person on the trail (September). Very nice scenery along the whole hike starting with the beautiful Sherbrooke Lake and then the gorgeous waterfalls. I thought the falls were prettier than Wapta and Takakkaw but you have them all to your self which makes it so much better. Lovely meadow section with mountain views. Pretty hard to beat the scenery and the trail is fairly easy. A few creeks you need to hop across and some less than ideal bridges to cross (broken logs etc) and some precarious steep sections but just take your time and be careful and it will add to the adventure.

We completed the Iceline trail in late September and it was fairly snowy, but still manageable without cleats. The views at the higher elevations on this trail are truly awesome - and that is an accurate use of the word, not a figure of speech. :-) We opted to complete a loop via Celeste Lake and Yoho Valley. This created a really enjoyable, varied hike: up through forest then gorgeous icy mountain views on Iceline and then down through mature forest, lakes, rivers, and water falls via Celeste Lake and Yoho Valley. If you go this way, be warned that the last hour or so is painfully boring. The Yoho Valley stretch at the end is very flat and not at all interesting. You could drive a small car on the trail it's so flat and wide, but I personally think it's better to end that way then to start that way. We saw others doing the same loop counter-clockwise which would mean starting out with the boring bits on Yoho Valley and ending with Iceline. I guess it comes down to personal preference. Doing the loop was a great deal more enjoyable than an out and back trip on Iceline alone would have been, so I do recommend this option if you are up to covering a bit more distance.

hiking
7 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.

walking
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!!

Smoke is gone, not too busy, raining last 1/3rd and 6C at Mitchell Stanley hut. Scenery changes every 15 mins. Amazing hike.

Amazing hike, amazing views. Starts off steep but levels out, some areas were trickier than others due to the small/loose rocks. Overall, worth the hike for the nice views!

Took for a bit during our hike to the Iceline. Good place to stop for some lunch and photos.

backpacking
8 months ago

Beautiful falls

hiking
8 months ago

Petite rando pas trop fréquentée

Amazing hike, amazing elevation gain. All elevation gain is pretty much in the first hour on switch backs, then levels out in the rocks. Completely worth it to feel like you're on top of the world.

hiking
8 months ago

We hiked it a couple days ago. Saw deer and Mtn goats. Brutal switchbacks for last 2 hours, stopped at Yoho lake for lunch. 8 hour hike, must be tough.

hiking
8 months ago

Ballade faite en fin d'après-midi.

En fait nous avons fait le grand tour via Little Yoho. Très belle randonnée.

The hike was really amazing with great views. There was a little bit of everything which made the hike really enjoyable. We made it nearly to the top but had to turn back as it was really rocky and didn't want to risk it with my dog. If you are going to climb up to the top it is really steep and loose shale, trekking poles are highly recommended.

Lots of steep climbs. Challenging, but worth the effort.

Amazing day hike. We started towards Laughing Falls first, which is definitely the easier direction. The wildflowers are in full bloom near Celeste lake and were beautiful. A couple other hikers did not go this route because they were told the bridge was out, but it has been rebuilt. Very low traffic made this a peaceful hike.

hiking
9 months ago

A moderately challenging hike with persistent elevation gain. Take your time and drink in the scenery! The trail leads through gorgeous forest and is well maintained, but vegetation becomes quite sparse as you ascend: remember to bring sunscreen.

Visitors arriving to the viewing area will be met with jaw-dropping panoramic vistas across the valley floor, as well as the dramatic mountain peaks surrounding.

If you have the energy and agility, scramble up the rocks beyond the lookout hut and journey upwards to the edge of the tree line.

Highly enjoyable, a "must-do" if you are in the area!

hiking
9 months ago

Tough climb at times near end ... especially in the heat! Great view from lookout hut!! You'll feel quite rewarded for putting in the effort to this moderate (nearly difficult) hike.

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