Emerald Lake Trail

MODERATE 57 reviews
#1 of 20 trails in

Emerald Lake Trail is a 10.9 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.

10.9 km
363 m

dogs on leash



nature trips


trail running







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.

7 days ago

A beautiful and easy hike. Can be busy though.

2 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.

4 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.

5 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!!

5 months ago

Ballade faite en fin d'après-midi.

6 months ago

Easy loop around the lake..just beautiful

6 months ago

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.

7 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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.

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.

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.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Nice little Hike with the family

Saturday, October 01, 2016

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

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wonderful hike around the lake and up in to the basin. Great fall colors and early snow.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fabulous Hike. I was able to take epic pictures all throughout the trail. We did the trail around the lake and would recommend it to all skill levels.

Friday, September 02, 2016

This beautiful lake is very underrated, due to its close proximity to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. But, for me personally, I liked this lake slightly more than Moraine Lake because of the hiking trail that goes completely around the lake, which Moraine Lake and Lake Louise don't have. Also, this is a good trail to take to escape a lot of loud, annoying tourists, which can be found all over Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Beautiful trail and views!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Did not do the whole trail but did walk on the NW side of the lake, Gorgeous views!

Monday, August 08, 2016

I advise you to quickly move from crowded sides of the lake to catch an breathtaking view from the yoho Valley pass! The trail begins very flat and gets steeper the more you reach the pass

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