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Emerald Lake Trail

MODERATE 313 reviews
#1 of 62 trails in

Emerald Lake Trail is a 10.8 kilometer moderately 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: 10.8 km Elevation Gain: 373 m 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
muddy
scramble
1 day ago

We only hiked around the lake. Started on the side opposite the lodge and the trail was easy. There is a great avalanche area to see up close. The lake is pretty and it was busy with people canoeing. As we got to the last side of the lake it was a muddy, tree rooted mess. Couldn’t look at anything but our feet. Glad when it was over. Maybe only do an out and back.

hiking
4 days ago

Was a great hike, but the east side of the lake was a tree root mangled muddy mess. If you start on the west side, the trail is much smoother and not as muddy! Worth the hike.

hiking
muddy
5 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

As far as hikes go in Yoho this is a good hike but not a great one. The lake is picturesque for sure and the ascent to the Glacier attractive, but the path around the south side really detracted from the walk. So much vegetation being trodden on by tourists and so much mud.

hiking
muddy
7 days ago

Very pretty views from several vantage points. Varied vegetation (lodgepole pine, cedar, bracken, wild berries etc.). First half of the trail (opposite side of the lake from the lodge) was easy to walk at a fast pace, interrupted by photo stops. Second half (ending at the lodge and restaurant) was seriously muddy. Overall lots of value for the effort!

hiking
11 days ago

One of the most stunning views for sure - I was blown away by the beauty! Its so worthwile to take the time enjoying the hike.

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

We arrived pretty early in the morning and could catch a few minutes of calm before the tour buses and crowds arrives. Mostly middle ages tourists walking around with ipads.... The hike isn’t really a hike, rather a long stroll around the lake. The stroll is rather uneventful, but it does bring you a bit further from the crowds an offer a nice view of the lake. We also took the trail up the bassin. The water level being quite low at this time of year the view is not quite as spectacular as it might be in the beginning of the summer, but still quite nice and brings you closer to the glacier. Would not call this an intermediate hike by any means, perhaps if you are a very occasional hiker or tourist. The lakes does look gorgeous but unfortunately the crowds really ruins it for me :-(

hiking
13 days ago

I was a bit worried when I drove up to an overflowing parking lot but you quickly leave most people behind. The trail up to the basin is lovely and quiet for the most part. It took me about 45 minutes to the top. The loop around the lake is lovely but lots of people...suited me fine as I was hiking solo and didn’t want to worry about bears.

hiking
13 days ago

The trail and drive is definitely worth it! Great hike with great views

hiking
muddy
16 days ago

Beautiful way. But who is not there early in the morning, must expect massive crowds. The path is absolutely comfortable and has a part with many roots and stones. When it rains, it is the purest marshland! Partly hard to get around. As surely no "normal" shoes wear. The restaurant by the bridge is just cheeky expensive! A small pizza Margerita 22.-, two sandwich also 20.-. So take something with you.

hiking
muddy
off trail
19 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

This is my most favourite lake to paddle. The loop trail is easy!

hiking
muddy
24 days ago

We didn't go up the trail very far but mainly walked around the lake, which was pretty. Some other hikers saw a bear but we didn't.

hiking
26 days ago

Trail along the lake was nice but the loop uphill was not worth the time. Canada has more to offer dont waste your time going up into the forest for nothing Special. Dont understand the good ratings. Would recommend the loop around the Lake !

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
28 days ago

The lake is awesome! Easy trail to start...peels off to the basin and after a relatively flat gravel path, escalates quickly and is a significant climb on roots and steps. Gets a little sketchy towards the end and you have the option to walk up loose rocks to get right up by the waterfall. Overall worth it to the “rock amphitheater”. Definitely saw more tiny furry friends at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

First hike of the day. Lots of spider webs after the steady incline. We cleared the webs out for the rest of the hikers to follow us. Poles would help with the up and down of the trail. Narrow through the forest. The end is rewarded with a small river in the bowl of 3-4 peaks. Great spot to relax.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful lake with great photography opportunities. Not much of a hike tho

hiking
1 month ago

An epic mountain trek. Achievable by all. We were able to get a good half hour alone at the basin. worth the extra couple hours.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
1 month ago

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