Yoho National Park is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains near Field, British Columbia. Yoho National Park is small but mighty with its towering mountain peaks, majestic waterfalls, and incredible alpine lakes. With over 200 miles of hiking trails and plenty of water and biking activities, you could easily keep busy for weeks! However, since this park is often paired with several other national parks in the area, below you will find a 1-day itinerary taking you to some of the most scenic places in Yoho. Please reach out with any questions, and I hope you have a wonderful adventure!
Adult: $10.50 CAD/day
Senior: $9.00 CAD/day
Youth (17 & under): FREE
Family/Group: $21.00 CAD/day
I highly recommend the Discovery Pass for this itinerary if you have more than 2 adults in your vehicle and plan to see other parks while in the area. The Discovery Pass gives you unlimited admission to all Canadian national parks and national historic sites. It is valid for 12 months and will make entering the park easy and fast! Discovery Passes can be purchased here- Discovery Pass.
Family/Group: $145.25 CAD
Adult: $72.25 CAD
Senior: $61.75 CAD
Yoho National Park has 4 campgrounds- Kicking Horse, Monarch, Takakkaw Falls, and Hoodoo Creek. Kicking Horse is the only campground that accepts reservations, which can be made here- Yoho Camping.
The park also has backcountry camping, with a permit. More information on permits and sites can be found here- backcountry camping.
The Emerald Lake Lodge and Cathedral Mountain Lodge are both located inside the park. Reservations can be made here for Emerald Lake- Emerald Lake Lodge and here for Cathedral Mountain- Cathedral Mountain Lodge.
If you prefer not to camp, the small town of Field will have a few options and is just steps from the park. Banff and Golden are larger towns with more hotel and Airbnb/VRBO options. Golden, B.C. is approximately 16 miles (27 km) from the park. Banff, Alberta is approximately 40 miles (66 km) from the park.
Yoho National Park Visitor Center- Truffle Pigs Bistro & Lounge (just across the water from the visitor center in Field).
Cathedral Mountain Lodge- The Riverside Dining Room.
For dining options outside the park, check out the towns of Golden, B.C., and Banff, Alberta.
Must Know Before You Go:
- Bring lots of layers and rain jackets-even if rain isn’t forecasted. At the end of June, we saw all 4 seasons on the same day!
- Start your days as early as possible. Crowds are significantly better at 8 am.
- Yoho is home to lots of wonderful wildlife. Always carry bear spray with you and know how to safely use it and please review all wildlife safety here- Wildlife Safety.
- And as always, please remember to Leave No Trace.
There is no cell service inside the park.
1 Day Itinerary
Emerald Lake Loop- Your first stop in Yoho National Park is the stunning, turquoise-colored, Emerald Lake. The perfect way to see the lake is to start with the Emerald Lake Loop Trail. This 3.4-mile (5.4 km) loop has 200 ft of elevation gain and is perfect for all ages. It has gorgeous lake and mountain views the entire way😊 Despite how the trail looks from the parking lot, the complete loop is not stroller friendly.
Emerald Basin Trail- If you are looking for a longer hike, add the Emerald Basin Trail to your Emerald Lake Loop. The trailhead can be found approximately one mile into the Emerald Lake Loop at the far end of the lake. The Emerald Basin Trail will add another 3.6 miles (5.8 km) and 600+ feet of elevation gain onto your hike.
Canoe on Emerald Lake- After hiking around the gorgeous lake, head to the boat dock to rent a canoe through The Boathouse Trading Co.
The canoes are $90 CAD/hour. And while the price is certainly steep, it is significantly cheaper than canoeing on Lake Louise or Lake Moraine.
Each canoe can fit 3 adults, 2 adults and 2 children, or 2 adults and 1 dog. You are also able to bring lunch or snacks with you in the canoe.
1-2 hours is plenty of time to explore the entire lake.
Canoe Rentals are available from 10 am – 4:45 pm.
There is also a very lovely shop right on the dock that I definitely suggest checking out😊
Natural Bridge- After spending the morning exploring Emerald Lake, head to Natural Bridge. The parking lot for Natural Bridge is off Emerald Lake Road, on the right-hand side, if you are coming from the lake- if you hit the highway, you’ve gone too far. Make sure to explore both sides of the bridge for different viewpoints of the very cool rock formation. This stop requires minimal walking with no elevation gain.
Takakkaw Falls- The last stop of the day is one of our favorites! At over 1200 ft, Takakkaw Falls is the second largest waterfall in all of Canada!
While you can see the waterfall from the parking lot, I highly recommend getting an up-close look at the falls with a short hike. From the parking lot, turn right onto the main trail- towards the restrooms. It is 1.1 miles (1.8 km) roundtrip with 200+ feet of elevation gain. The trail is both wheelchair-accessible and stroller friendly, making it perfect for all ages!
This is a crowded area, and the parking lot is small. Be prepared to wait for a spot.
Wapta Falls- If time allows, or you’re like us, and go from morning to night on adventure days, consider checking out Wapta Falls before calling it a day.
It is located on the southern end of Yoho, so it is approximately 35 miles (56 km) from Takakkaw Falls. The trail is 3 miles (4.8 km) roundtrip with 400+ feet of elevation gain. This massive waterfall is 350 feet wide and is worth a little extra driving and hiking if you are up for it. It is also a great way to end your time at Yoho National Park😊
Hope you have an incredible adventure!
Looking for another Canadian National Park nearby? Check out our 4-day Banff National Park itinerary!
Also, check out our favorite hiking gear below!