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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.

Length 6.7 mi Elevation gain 1,223 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Snowshoeing

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

Partially paved

Views

Waterfall

Wildlife

Muddy

Snow

Description
Waypoints (7)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

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 is rated 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.

You need a pass for entry to any Canadian national park and these can be purchased from the visitor information centre at Field (on the Trans-Canada Highway about 2km north of the Emerald Lake turnoff). It may work out cheaper to buy an annual pass if you are staying for a week or more or are planning other park visits. The Emerald Lake Lodge is a great place to stay but if the budget doesn't stretch that far, the visitor information centre can provide details of local B&B and camping options.

Emerald Lake Parking: 51.438311030784895 N -116.5406469628215 W

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (406)
Photos (598)
Recordings (251)
Completed (900)
Flo R
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

Went clockwise around Emerald Lake to the trailhead and the beauty of this trek was not having the massive crowds plus the stunning views in the basin and on the way up! I continued around the lake after as had the time but would agree with previous reviews that it is muddy and not really worth it. The ice cold dry cider at the end from the kiosk by the marina was SO good!!

Michelle Bourne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking
View Michelle's Recording
marrianne parel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2020
WalkingBugs
Shannon Oshea
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 29, 2020
Hiking

We went there thinking that we will be going up to a summit but the trail is all around the lake. Nice point of view of the lake. On one side it is a easy flat ground and the other side you have mud, roots, rock but very doable. You can rent canoe and go on the lake. very charming spot

ashley g.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 3, 2020
Hiking

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.

Drayton Humphreys
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2020
HikingMuddyOff trailRocky

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.

View Drayton's Recording
James Osborne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2020
Muddy

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!

Chris Mahon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 26, 2020
HikingMuddyOver grown

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.

View Chris's Recording
Marc Bérubé
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 26, 2020
Hiking

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

Heather Thomas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 25, 2020
HikingBlowdownRocky

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.

View Heather's Recording
Arthur Gist
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 25, 2020
WalkingFloodedRockyScramble

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.

View Arthur's Recording
Alice Sergent
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 14, 2020
Hiking

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.

Marie Conboy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2020
Hiking

Lovely

LJ B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 8, 2020
MuddySnow

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!

Matt B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 8, 2020
Hiking

Nice hike, not too spectacular

View Matt's Recording
Katie Sutherland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 2, 2020
HikingFloodedIcyRockySnowWashed out

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.

View Katie 's Recording
Brett B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 7, 2020

Emerald Lake Parking           51.438311030784895       N    -116.5406469628215       W       

Brett B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 15, 2020

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

B Brand
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 8, 2019
HikingSnow

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.

View B's Recording
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