This year is for our family vacation we took an adventure to Yoho National Park. Yoho National Park is in British Columbia settled in the midst of the beautiful Canadian Rockies. Yoho is situated next to its more well known sister park Banff. North of Yoho is also Jasper National Park.
We often get asked why Yoho when we tell people about our travels. We first learned about Yoho through a spread in National Geographic magazine and fell in love the with speculator views. The more we learned about Yoho the more we wanted to go.
So stayed tune for details on our adventure to Yoho National Park.
If you are wanting to plan your own Yoho National Park adventure, I suggest you check out the parks web page here.
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For the first part of our journey, we flew into the Calgary, Alberta airport. That night we checked out Calgary a little, but spent most of our evening in our hotel room. We both weren’t feeling very well and Little One needed some play time. The next morning was a different story…our first stop was Nose Hill!
Nose Hill, Calgary
Nose Hill is an amazing park in Calgary. It is a grassy, hilly area with many wandering trails and beautiful views. We loved spending time here, and wished we had all day to explore, but we had more to see. We went to lunch and then headed to the grocery store. After that we hit the road for Yoho National Park! It was a couple hours drive from Calgary and absolutely beautiful! I loved watching the mountains grow on the horizon.
Lake Louise, Banff National Park
On our way to Yoho we stopped at Lake Louise in Banff National Park. There is a lot to do and see in this area and I wish we had more time there. After turning off Highway 1, there is a visitor center and a a row of gift shops and eateries to enjoy. We are not into the souvenirs so much but we did get a book about the Rocky Mountains. We followed the road up the mountain to Lake Louise. I can imagine that this area is extremely busy in the summer, but they have ample parking lots and they also have a bus system that can transport people to the lake.
When we were there it was snowy and we couldn’t see the tops of the mountains, but it was still gorgeous. There were lots a people out and about but the traffic would thin out quite a bit once starting on the trails. We were planning on walking on the trails but Little One went from a nice nap in the car to a cold stroller in the snow. Needless to say he was not into it!
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is absolutely beautiful and is right on the edge of Lake Louise. I would love to stay there but it was out of our budget. Maybe someday.
After our excursion at Lake Louise we headed to Field in Yoho National Park!
Field, Yoho National Park
We stayed in Field in a cute rental, the Mount Van Horne Guest House. Field is a small town with a population of 200 people. Many of the homes have rental units for visitors. There is one restaurant, lodge, cafe and pottery studio for us to explore. Right as you enter town there is a gas station to the left and the visitor center to the right. We stopped at the visitor center multiple times to check in on trails and places to see, and the people there were a big help. We also purchased some bear spray…never had to use it but better safe than sorry!
On the first day of our exploration of Yoho National Park we headed to Takakkaw Falls. Takakkaw Falls is a short drive east of Field down Yoho Valley Road. The drive there was absolutely beautiful and we stopped multiple times on the side of the road to take in views and some pictures. There is one switch back on the road and large vehicles, like campers, are not advised. We had a mid sized car and made it just fine. The morning we went out it had snowed overnight so all the evergreens were dusted with snow. It gave a magical quality to the forest.
Takakkaw Falls has a large parking lot, but I would imagine during peak season (June, July, August) that it would be very full, so it’s best to go early or later if you’re there during those months. For us in late September there were many open parking spots. Much of the trail is paved so it is easily accessible by strollers and wheel chairs. It is a fairly short hike, taking between 10-20 minutes. It took us much longer due to stopping for photos and standing in awe of the beauty around us.
Takakkaw Falls descends 830 feet down a cliff to the river. There are plenty of opportunities for rock hopping and exploring. For those adventurous souls there are many trail heads that can be accessed from the parking lot.
Natural Bridge can be found on Emerald Lake Road, not too far off the highway. I wish we were able to explore more but it was nearing the end of the day. There is something about a river that I just need to see what is around the next bend! It was so beautiful.
Natural Bridge is a formation of rocks over the river, and the river falls under the rocks creating a bridge. There is a man made bridge over the river that offers great views of the falls.
Emerald Lake has to be one of my favorite stops on our trip. To get to Emerald Lake, continue up Emerald Lake Road. At the end of it there is a parking lot. I suggest going either early or later, since it does get rather busy. Quick note – there is a trail head at the top of the parking that goes to Hamilton Falls, which I recommend doing. At the other end of the parking lot are outhouses and the information center. There is also a small gift shop that has canoe rentals. To the right you can cross a bridge to Emerald Lake Lodge. This area is pretty busy with everyone coming and going so head down the trail opposite the bridge amazing views and less crowds.
There is a 9.2 km trail around Emerald Lake. The first part of the trail is paved and easily accessible for everyone. This portion of the trail will take you to the avalanche path. Continue and there there is a wide gravel path that leads through the trees along the lake shore to about the halfway point of the lake. After crossing a foot bring the tail turns into a rugged foot path. Personally this part of the trail was my favorite. It has more ups and downs and you really earn your progress.. I had Little One in the back pack carrier and he fell asleep, so it wasn’t terribly rough.
Our Adventure to Yoho
Unfortunately our last day in Field arrived and we said goodbye to our rental that had treated us so well. We headed back to Calgary but stopped at Lake Louise again, hoping that the snow cleared up a bit…it didn’t. But it was beautiful to see again!
We stayed one more night in Calgary and flew home the next day. Yoho National Park was an amazing adventure for our family and I can’t wait to go back some day!
We had so much fun in Yoho and definitely want to go back soon! This trip was also a learning experience for us, traveling with a toddler. Check out my posts here on 6 tips on preparing travel with a baby and my 20 tips for frying with a toddler.
Have you been ever been to Yoho? Let me know of your adventure to Yoho National Park in the comments below!