What national park instantly comes to mind when you think Alberta, Canada? The vast majority of people will say Banff. While it’s no doubt worthy of such worldwide recognition, YOHO National Park Canada certainly deserves to be recognized in its own right. For one of the best hikes in Banff, head one hour Northwest to this stunning park. Take a look at this picture tour to show you the fantastic spots of this park in Canada.
We were in the area in early May. Unfortunately, several hiking trails were not yet open due to the snow and threat of avalanche, therefore, we only explored YOHO National Park Canada that was reachable mainly by car.
YOHO can be found just 50 miles northwest of Banff so it’s easily accessible for a day trip.
Our first stop as we entered the national park was to see the Natural Bridge. It was our first glimpse of the milky, green waters that we envision when we think of Canada!
Don’t worry, the bridge above is not considered natural! It does offer a great way to see the flowing water in both directions. The natural bridge is actually off to the right of this picture.
The natural bridge is formed by two rock formations that meet creating the “natural bridge” to cross the waters.
Overall this stop is easily accessible from Highway 1, requires minimal walking and takes all of 15 minutes to explore. A great first stop into YOHO National Park Canada.
As we continued up Highway 1, the next stop was Emerald Lake. Our first glimpse of the lake was awesome, we instantly understood why it was named Emerald Lake, I mean look at that water!
As we made our way across a short bridge, there were different platforms and benches around to enjoy the stunning view.
There is a luxury lodge right on the lake’s edge and would be a great accommodation option during our next trip. The lake is the largest within YOHO National Park Canada. It also includes a roughly 3 mile hiking loop around the lake.
Each turn of the trail presents a different view and hue of the lake!
I mean is this not just picturesque Canada!?!
On the other side of the loop were remnants of an avalanche. It’s common to have avalanches here, therefore, it’s commonly known as avalanche path and the vegetation has adjusted because of it.
It was fun to climb on the snow mound and see all the trees and debris mixed with the snow. It must have been amazing to witness the actual avalanche when it happened.
As we exited the lake trail, we took one last break to admire the view. Emerald Lake definitely needs to be included during your next YOHO National Park Canada trip!
Unfortunately several of the trails were closed for hiking but it’s worthwhile to know you can spend a solid afternoon exploring Emerald Lake. Renting kayaks is also an option if you want to cruise around the lake.
Lunch at Truffle Pigs
After all the walking, we worked up an appetite and stopped at Truffle Pigs for lunch. It is located just across the street from the tracks of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the small town of Fields. The tracks are still active therefore if you are lucky you may see a train go by as you eat.
Overall a fun stop for a cold beer and warm meal to refuel after your hike.
The verdict? We’d definitely recommend checking out YOHO National Park Canada for at least 1 day during your trip. Going in the summer will open more options as the trails will be open during that time of year.