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Emerald Lake Trail

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Yoho National Park

Emerald Lake Trail is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Field, 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: 6.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,223 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

partially paved

views

waterfall

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.

hiking
5 days ago

2020-Jul-03 Westside of Emerald Lake much better then Eastside (very muddy, few views). Hike up to Basin had short steep section, then grade levelled off and continued through a lush forest. Few downed trees, easily navigated. Hiked up to the falls with microtraction. Lots of marmots and chipmunks came to check us out. Popular trail.

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
5 days ago

Very fun hike! We followed it as the path shows, once you vere off from the lake the path is quiet. Saw no more than maybe 6 or 8 people after that until coming back to the lake. We went a little farther up the mountain which is fun, larger rocks to traverse. An ankle burner but very fun to traverse the rocks through the streams/creeks up there. The rocks have plenty of spiders amongst them so don't lie down for a nap. But it ends with some amazing close and clear unobstructed views of the mountains. Around the lake is quite muddy but do-able with reasonable footwear. Would recommend this hike for sure. Didn't see any bears.

muddy
12 days ago

Beautiful little hike and fairly straight forward. The start of the trail up to the basin is a little tough but beyond that very enjoyable, even on a rainy day. Very fortunate to see a loon and it's young on the way around, also (conversely?), a few people skinny dipping mid morning! Bit cold for that eh!

hiking
muddy
over grown
12 days ago

good moderate hike! some trees down in areas but not too hard to go over or under. some good views and cool to see the Basin at the end of the hike! Emerald Lake is beautiful! A good amount of people out on the trail today, mostly doing the lake loop though, less on the way up and down to he basin.

hiking
13 days ago

Très belle randonnée facile à faire. Le sentier est mal entretenu avec beaucoup d’arbres tombés. La vue est magnifique.

hiking
blowdown
rocky
13 days ago

Lovely hike. Glad I had my poles for help stabilize around the roots and rocks on the way up and down. Heavily trafficked. Lots of people.

walking
flooded
rocky
scramble
13 days ago

what a gem, barely anybody on the trail, saw maybe a dozen people total, beautiful warm with lush foliage, hiked up to the waterfall thats raging right now.

hiking
25 days ago

Pleasantly surprised by this trail! Low risk/high reward. Tiny patches of snow and a minor creek crossing but overall in great shape! Perfect early season hike.

hiking
28 days ago

Lovely

muddy
snow
30 days ago

8 June 2020 hike. The parking lot was only 20% full at 11am. We hiked along the lake clockwise from the parking lot. The trail peels off to the Emerald Basin trail about 1/3 way round. We had to jump a small stream but the trail was then dry. The hike to the basin goes from flat to steep very quickly, but the trail is well worn. You ascend into the trees (make lots of noise). After the initial climb it's undulating until you reach the basin. There was still some snow, maybe 10m worth to walk/slide over. I believe this will be gone in a week or so. The basin itself was dry. Saw a couple of marmots and lots of flowers. The way down was quick and we continued the loop around the lake. Here there were some swampy/muddy patches, but nothing a few jumps over couldn't help. Overall, a good leg stretch with fantastic views!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike, not too spectacular

hiking
flooded
icy
rocky
snow
washed out
1 month ago

Hiked on the 2nd, June, 2020. No one else on the trial. Very snowy up the top too but manageable with out poles or any flash equipment. Just don’t step off of the trail. Definitely goes up and is a little difficult at the start if you’re not super in shape. We did it in 3 and a half hours with plenty of breaks. Not easy but not hard, would do again.

2 months ago

Emerald Lake Parking           51.438311030784895       N    -116.5406469628215       W       

4 months ago

entrance location 51°26'20"N 116°32'29"W

hiking
snow
7 months ago

Around lake was packed and good for hiking. Went up to Emerald basin and snowshoed breaking trail with about 6 inches of fresh snow (on top of about a 3 foot base). Beautiful sunny day and a great 11k hike.

hiking
off trail
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Lovely trail for a morning or afternoon walk. Very scenic. We took it at end of October and it was not busy.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
8 months ago

Did this trail on 10-22-19. Trail is worth it only if you do one of the side trails like emerald basin or yoho pass. We chose emerald basin and the views at the end were very pretty. Photo opportunities along the 1.4 mile side of the lake where if the sun is right u can get a great pic with reflections of the lake (I posted a pic). Trail was very muddy along lake so don’t wear nice shoes or pants. At some points there was no way around the mud. The basin trail had a section with short steep climb but any level of hiker in somewhat good shape could certainly do it. A lot of snow at end. Did trail without spikes or poles but slipped once or twice. :-/ We also came back around the lake the way we started to add extra mileage for the day. (1.4+ vs 1 mile) Also there are big crowds at the start and buses of people. So there’s long lines for bathrooms at start and end. But only saw a few people on the trails. And you have to walk on the resort property at the start if you go right.

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