Emerald Lake Trail

MODERATE 112 reviews
#1 of 35 trails in

Emerald Lake Trail is a 10.8 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Columbia-Shuswap A, British Columbia, Canada that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.8 km
ELEVATION GAIN
373 m
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wildlife

muddy

snow

Think Lake Louise without the crowds and with better chances of seeing North American wildlife. This trail is the Rockies at its best. It combines a circuit of a green glacial lake surrounded by mountains, with a diversion to Emerald Basin through forests and avalanche chutes to see the glacier that created it all. In the warmer months, you can add canoeing to the activity list. The hiking will be more limited in winter, but you have skating, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing options to make up for it. The trail as moderate because of some steep sections in the climb to Emerald Basin, but you can just stick to the lake circuit if you want an easier level stroll. The hike to the basin is rewarding not just for the views - it also gets you up close with friendly colonies of ground squirrels and marmots. It is popular by Yoho standards, but you are not going to get the pedestrian traffic jams of nearby Lake Louise or Banff. The good news is that even on busy summer days, most Emerald Lake visitors don't venture too far from the car park at the start of the trail to capture their photo opportunity. And once you are off the lake circuit, the basin trail feels like true wilderness.

11 days ago

beautiful and scenic, easy strolling. what emerald glow!

19 days ago

This is a nice easy trail around the lake. It goes through a very damp dense forest into a big opening and around the other side of the lake is pretty sunny. We use this as a nice 5 km stretching our legs for a big hike tomorrow. Go early as it gets very crowded. Emerald Lake was a beautiful Clay see you awake the colors are gorgeous and if you go before the crowds and canoeing starts the lake is like glass and you can catch the mountains reflections

hiking
21 days ago

This review is only for the “hike” around the lake. I put hike in quotations because it’s more of a stroll. Beautiful stroll through. If you want to enjoy a fairly easy hike, this will do it. It’s about 50/50 in terms of shade/exposed. Emerald Lake is really a sight to see - gorgeous water and towering Canadian Rockies. I went mid July, late morning and the weather was fine. Rained a little, but nothing to write home about. Recommend getting to the lake as early as you can - parking fills up quick (at least during the summer season).

22 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

Emerald Lake is phenomenally beautiful. The walk around the lake is basically flat and a very enjoyable stroll. We continued on to the basin, which honestly wasn’t really worth the trip. The streams at the top were fun to dip your feet in, but the views are much better on the other trails we’ve done during our week in Canada.

22 days ago

Fantastic hike. Truly a mix of all the Rockies has to offer. A glacial lake, a pine forest, waterfalls, streams and a glacier. Can’t go wrong. Lost almost all the tourists by the time we turned off toward the basin. Saw a few folks on the way. Very quiet around the back rim of the lake. It is crowded, but parking does open up as most people don’t stay too long and there’s parking along the road in. Arrived around 1pm and found a spot quickly.

hiking
26 days ago

The emarald color of the lake is incredible. Trail is mostly flat around the lake and little step at the end to see the lake from above

1 month ago

The first part of the hike, around the lake, was very easy and flat. We actually saw a moose and her two babies swimming here, very cool. I highly recommend extending the hike to get all the way up to Emerald Basin. The hike is moderate, and very secluded, great chance to escape the crowds. Don’t be alarmed by the initial steep start, it flatter out after about 30 minutes. The view from the top does not display the lake, although it is still incredible and serene. I liked Emerald Lake better than Lake Louise, personally.

hiking
1 month ago

Best hike so far. Just gorgeous.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Not the typical steep mountain views you get at the end of a hike but still gorgeous. We did it in the middle of a downpour and it took us around 5.5 hours. The lake is gorgeous, and even the day before Canada Day the crowds were not out of control... we had a good portion of the trail to ourselves.

hiking
1 month ago

Smaller in size than Lake Louise but personally like this better because of the mountain position relative to the lake and it has less people. Hiked the basin trail, not crowded and mostly in lush green forest

1 month ago

the rain was pouring down and because of a heavely flowing mountain stream we couldn't reach the actual basin and the peaks of the surrounding mountains were hidden in the clouds... Still it was a nice walk

nature trips
2 months ago

Beautiful views. We only did the lake circuit, but we loved it.The first hundred meters of the trail are very crowded, but it thins out as you progress. For the First 2km’s or so, you walk on a heavily used gravel path. Then, you’re into a lush forest with wonderful huge trees. Second part is more of an easy hike with lots of roots and muddy spots. We ended up here because there were no parking spots left at Lake Louise and it was TOTALLY worth it.

2 months ago

We brought our 4 dogs yesterday June 7 and had a blast. We hiked up to the top but were too tired to go further and heard from another couple there was still snow farther up. Not sure what else was to view? We took our time and it was 13km total an about 4-5 hours with lots of down time. Beautiful streams along the path . An the waterfall was gorgeous . Busy in parking lot an around lake but fine up on the trail up the mountain . Hardly saw anyone .

2 months ago

Hiked up to the Basin today! Trail around the lake was in great condition, up to the basin was clear until the avalanche chutes. Still lots of snow remaining, but very much passable. Snow is packed and you stay on top in almost all sections. Beautiful views, short section of uphill climbing but 100% worth it.

hiking
3 months 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.

walking
6 months ago

A beautiful and easy hike. Can be busy though.

hiking
8 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
10 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
11 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!!

hiking
11 months ago

Ballade faite en fin d'après-midi.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Easy loop around the lake..just beautiful

hiking
Wednesday, August 02, 2017

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.

Monday, July 03, 2017

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.

hiking
Friday, June 02, 2017

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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
Saturday, October 22, 2016

Nice little Hike with the family

walking
Saturday, October 01, 2016

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

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