Yoho National Park

Yoho National Park has some of the best hiking trails in the Rockies. Yoho gets its name from a Cree expression for awe and wonder. If you visit, you’ll understand where that comes from as there is natural wonder on almost every hike in the park. If you spend any time on the hiking trails near Lake O’Hara, the stunning Emerald Lake or the booming Takakkaw Falls, it’s easy to see why we love hiking here.

Click ‘+MORE INFO’ below a list of the 10 Best Hiking Trails in Yoho National Park.

The top 10 Hikes near YOHO NATIONAL PARK

Yoho has some great selling features: Lake O’Hara, Wapta Falls, Takkakaw Falls and Emerald Lake and Emerald Basin. Despite the fact that Yoho is so close to Banff (you can see Banff National Park from the summit of Paget Lookout) it is much quieter, especially on weekdays. We think Yoho is one of the Rockies best kept secrets – so you better get to the trails before the word gets out!

#1. Lake O’Hara All Souls Route (15.5km, 800m, 5-7h): The All Souls Route at Lake O’Hara is one of the finest hikes in the Canadian Rockies. Crowds are kept at bay on this hike due to limited access to Lake O’Hara by bus. We love hiking this trail!

#2. Iceline (13.2km, 770m, 4-6h): The Iceline hike is a wonderful alpine trail along a ridge with beautiful vistas across the Yoho Valley to Takkakaw Falls. You hike with fast-receding glaciers towering above you. You can make the Iceline hike longer or shorter depending on your energy.

#3. Emerald Basin (10km, 242m, 3-4h): Emerald Basin is a moderate hike, taking you on a tour of Yoho’s fantastically varied terrain. You’ll hike along Emerald Lake and then up an avalanche-scoured glacial bowl ringed by waterfalls, towering peaks, and glaciers.

#4. Lake McArthur (8km, 310m): The hike to Lake McArthur is a gem. This is another walk in the Lake O’Hara region, so access is limited by Parks Canada. Lake McArthur is an awe-inspiring hike that you should absolutely put on your hiking bucket list.

#5. Yoho Valley Circuit (28.5km, 1,395m, 8-11h): Hiking through the Yoho and Little Yoho valleys is spectacular! This challenging route takes you along a circuit that takes in some of the best hiking in Canada. Hike to Twin Falls then up and over Whaleback before descending to the ACC’s Stanley Mitchell Hut. The trail leads up from there and along the Iceline hike. Wow!

#6. Paget Lookout & Sherbrooke Lake (10.4km, 535m, 3-4h): We love the combination of hiking to Sherbrooke Lake and Paget Lookout. Start with a classic Yoho leg-burning hike up to Paget fire lookout with stunning views. Then come down and take the mellower hike to Sherbrooke Lake, a beautiful alpine lake. For an easier day only choose one of the hikes to do.

#7. Wapta Falls (4.8km, 83m, 1-2h): Wapta Falls is a family and pet-friendly hike in the quiet, west end of Yoho National Park. The easy, well-maintained trail to Wapta Falls travels gradually through the forest to the “Niagara of Yoho,” a 150m wide, 30m high, thundering waterfall on the Kicking Horse River.

#8. Twin Falls and Whaleback (19.8km, 950m, 6-8h): We love the hike to Twin Falls. If you have the energy you must hike up and over Whaleback, one of our favourite places in Yoho. This walk also takes in Twin Falls Chalet, a charming backcountry cabin.

#9. Hamilton Lake – (11.2km, 832m, 4-6h): Hamilton Lake is a fantastic Yoho hike that is a bit of a secret. This high alpine lake is tucked away in a spectacular hanging valley at the end of a steep, relentless trail from Emerald Lake. The challenge of hiking to Hamilton Lake might scare some people off, but we think the extra work is worth it.

#10. Niles Meadow and Sherbrooke Lake (21.7km, 1,040m): The hike to Niles Meadow is a wonderful trail. Walk past the beautiful Sherbrooke Lake and hike up a lightly used trail to Niles Meadow. Be warned that the trail from Sherbrooke Lake to Niles Meadow could use some maintenance!

#11. Yoho Lake (8.1km, 304m, 2-3h): Yoho Lake is one of the shorter hikes in Yoho National Park, and it’s a great opportunity to get away from the crowds. You’ll find excellent views of Takakkaw Falls – for those who don’t want to make the trip up to the Iceline Trail – and it finishes at a peaceful backcountry lake. It’s rare to find an easy hike with low crowds, so take advantage of this awesome trail!

#12. Emerald Lake Circuit (5.3km, 50m, 1-2h): The Emerald Lake circuit is a family-friendly hike packed with amazing scenery. Hiking around Emerald Lake should be on your list of must-do’s on your next trip to the Canadian Rockies. It will be a highlight, trust us!

01. LAKE O’HARA ALL SOULS ROUTE

01. LAKE O’HARA ALL SOULS ROUTE

  • Difficulty
  • 15.5km
  • 800m
  • 5-7h

02. ICELINE

02. ICELINE

  • Difficulty
  • 13.2km
  • 770m
  • 4-6h

03. EMERALD BASIN

03. EMERALD BASIN

  • Difficulty
  • 10km
  • 242m
  • 3-4h

04. LAKE MCARTHUR

04. LAKE MCARTHUR

  • Difficulty
  • 8km
  • 310m
  • 3-5h

05. YOHO VALLEY CIRCUIT

05. YOHO VALLEY CIRCUIT

  • Difficulty
  • 28.5km
  • 1,395m
  • 8-11h

06. PAGET LOOKOUT & SHERBROOKE LAKE

06. PAGET LOOKOUT & SHERBROOKE LAKE

  • Difficulty
  • 8.4km
  • 365m
  • 3-4h

07. WAPTA FALLS

07. WAPTA FALLS

  • Difficulty
  • 4.8km
  • 83m
  • 1-2h

08. TWIN FALLS AND WHALEBACK

08. TWIN FALLS AND WHALEBACK

  • Difficulty
  • 19.8km
  • 950m
  • 6-8h

09. HAMILTON LAKE

09. HAMILTON LAKE

  • Difficulty
  • 11.2km
  • 832m
  • 4-6h

10. NILES MEADOW AND SHERBROOKE LAKE

10. NILES MEADOW AND SHERBROOKE LAKE

  • Difficulty
  • 21.7km
  • 1,040m
  • 6-8h

11. YOHO LAKE

11. YOHO LAKE

  • Difficulty
  • 8.1km
  • 304m
  • 2-3h

12. EMERALD LAKE CIRCUIT

12. EMERALD LAKE CIRCUIT

  • Difficulty
  • 5.3km
  • 50m
  • 1-2h

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity”

– John Muir