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Emerald Lake Loop is a 3.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Field, British Columbia, Canada that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.2 miles Elevation Gain: 377 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

paddle sports

walking

running

forest

lake

views

wildlife

Emerald Lake is a spectacular and serene turquoise glacial lake in Yoho National Park surrounded by mountains. It is so picturesque. The drive from the Trans Canada Highway along the narrow but newly paved road to Emerald Lake is absolutely gorgeous as it cuts through the dense forest. From Field, it takes around 15 minutes to arrive at the parking lot. The lake is 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 is 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 is quite an inspiring landscape. The hike starts 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 is interesting to see. The trail continues along the lakeshore with wooden benches positioned perfectly along the way providing lovely views of the peaceful lake through the openings in the trees. The pathway turnes from pavement to gravel and reaches the far end of the lake where there is an open area with incredible views of the mountains and lake from a different perspective. It then loops 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 makes it really interesting. The vegetation is lush and almost tropical as mosses and other unique jungle-type plants thrive 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. There are interpretive signs along the entire path from start to finish which explain more about the history and vegetation around the lake. There are fewer openings with views of the lake along this half of the trail and it mostly passes through the dense forest along a narrower and slightly less maintained path. Close to the end of the trail just before it meets back up with the Emerald Lake Lodge, it passes through a gorgeous meadow area along the lake with colourful flowers and then returns to the beginning of the loop. Walking this trail and being in the presence of such awe-inspiring natural beauty is 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. 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, we 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.

1 month ago

Boat rentals are really expensive.

snowshoeing
snow
3 months ago

hiking
snow
3 months ago

Great for cross country skiing or snowshoeing, no crowds, went around the lake clockwise, great views, enjoyed part of the trail in the woods, would definitely recommend! They also rent if you don’t have your own equipment.

snow
4 months ago

easy, snow boots are sufficient. nice leisure walk

hiking
snow
6 months ago

Lovely walk along Emerald Lake, very flat. Becoming quite snowy and icy on the right hand side of the loop, a few fallen trees on path. Still very doable in winter boots.

hiking
muddy
snow
7 months ago

What a lovely trail around the lake. Took my elderly parents all the way around and we had a great time. There’s starting to be snow and ice on the trail but the lake itself hasn’t frozen over yet.

recorded Emerald Lake Loop

hiking
7 months ago

Easy hike, ground mostly frozen but no snow today! The lakeshore at the car park is very busy but very few continue around the loop!

recorded Emerald Lake Loop

hiking
muddy
7 months ago

Cloudy with light sprinkle. Light traffic. Don’t drop your Kleenex! Pack it out! Please....

hiking
7 months ago

Definitely agree that the second half the trail is muddy, but still worth it if you like feeling like you’re hiking in the mountains/forest. Lots of planks that assist with walking over the mud. If you are doing this for the pure sake of a lake view - then you will want to consider going back the way you came in. The muddy side does have some areas to peel at the lake - but not as many as the first half of the trail. Overall, beautiful hike!

hiking
muddy
7 months ago

hiking
muddy
8 months ago

For the views of the lake alone it is worth the effort. It’s a nice stroll for a sunny day.

hiking
8 months ago

First half of the trail is nicely paved, along the lake side. The second half is really muddy with not as great of view of the lake. Overall, it was gorgeous!

hiking
8 months ago

Gorgeous stroll around the lake today. The weather changed from sun to cloud to showers but it was amazing to see the colours around the lake change. Even captured a rainbow at the back of the lake. The blueness of the water was incredible. Definitely recommend this if you want an easy 2 hour walk with constant views.

hiking
muddy
8 months ago

hiking
muddy
8 months ago

The weather cooperated and we were able to see the beautiful color and some reflections in the lake. Worth the drive. There is a small cafe with reasonably priced food. As you face the lake at the parking lot end, the trail to the left is all paved or packed stone. The opposite end is a bit marshy. The right side is mostly mud and tree roots. According to the signs this side of the lake is unique. The mountains shade the forest and the forest stays wet most all of the time. Not a place to wear your Blue Suede Shoes to hike. We found a few headed toward the mud side in white tennis shoes and suggested they turn around. The entire loop is worth doing in the right foot wear

hiking
8 months ago

The lake is beautiful, but was a little disappointed on how commercialized the lake was. didn't do my research and was a bit shocked to find out about the hotel being there.

hiking
8 months ago

Worth the traffic to see the spectacular colours of this lake. Turquoise water makes you want to strip down and jump in but it’s packed with tourists. Easy leisurely walk around. Gets a little more off road on the east side as you cross through what feels like a rainforest.

hiking
muddy
9 months ago

hiking
muddy
9 months ago

Easy going hike, perfect for a chill afternoon activity!

hiking
9 months ago

Took our dog along this loop as a pit stop through the Rockies. Don’t let the crowds fool you at the beginning in the parking lot- the amount of people on the trail quickly thins out. It was scenic and absolutely worth it!

hiking
9 months ago

Went in early evening without the crowds and it made for a lovely walk. Minimal mud now...we all wore sandals.

hiking
bugs
muddy
9 months ago

As everyone else said, first half is easy, second half is muddy and a bit frustrating but still easy. Wear shoes you can ruin. Beautiful lake, don’t miss the photo op on the big rock nearer the end. Very nice the whole way. It’s almost entirely flat, and add another 1k to the trail if you are doing it between 11am and 6pm, you will have to park very far from the entrance on the road, there are lots of tourists here. We arrived at 12ish and as we were leaving the tour busses came flooding in. Nonetheless do this trail on a clear day!

hiking
10 months ago

Amazing walk along the lake; Did the canoeing too, the color of the lake, mountains all round :)

hiking
10 months ago

Trail is pretty but not amazing. Way to many people for my liking. 1/2 the trail was a paved path the other half was a little rougher but still easy, muddy in spots. Make sure to stop and see the natural bridge on your way out!! It's worth the stop.

hiking
10 months ago

Gorgeous view of the lake from all sides. Half of the lake is paved and basically a nature walk, half is a somewhat rough but still easy. Muddy from recent rain today but well worth it

hiking
10 months ago

Easy walk with kids very beautiful. Car park full but parks within 500m along entrance.

hiking
muddy
10 months ago

Très joli chemin, un peu boueux mais vu magnifique sur le lac. S’y rendre tôt pour éviter la foule qui arrive avec les cars vers 10:30-11:00.

hiking
muddy
10 months ago

Super pour la famille. Belle installation. Le stationnement est rapidement plein.

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