Best backpacking trails in Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park is like Banff National Park’s little sibling. Bordering the famous Banff on the west, Yoho expands over 1313 square kilometres with 33 trails navigating spectacular natural landscapes with high waterfalls, several glaciers, stone bridges, and shimmering turquoise lakes. Backpacking into the Yoho wilderness is an unforgettable and brag-worthy experience.
Backpackers of all abilities flock to Yoho National Park—the trails offer something for everyone. From the challenging Iceline trail, which leads you among glaciers, to the serene trails around Emerald Lake, exploring Yoho will undoubtedly increase your appreciation for this beautiful planet. Yoho sees slightly fewer tourists than its neighbouring Banff and Jasper, so you’re sure to find a secluded site to admire the park’s majesty. The name Yoho comes from the Cree expression for awe and wonder—when you visit, you will see why.
THE TOP 2 BACKPACKS IN YOHO NATIONAL PARK, BRITISH COLUMBIA
- Lake O’Hara Backcountry Trail (17.8 km, 1,104 m, 2–3 days) - Lake O’Hara reigns as one of the most coveted destinations in Yoho National Park. Its transcendent beauty stays imprinted in every visitor’s mind. With such popularity, reservations are required, and those can be difficult to attain as you have to enter a lottery for a shuttle ticket. If you don’t get a ticket, you can extend your hike an extra 11.0 km and walk along the road. During this backpacking trek, your efforts will be rewarded with quintessential Rocky Mountain views replete with alpine lakes, snow-capped mountains, boulder fields, and meadows. If you get a spot, appreciate your time at Lake O’Hara to the fullest.
- Yoho Valley Backpacking Route (28.1 km, 1,395 m, 3–4 days) - Trek for three days among the wild Yoho landscapes filled with waterfalls, alpine lakes, and breathtaking vistas of the surrounding area. Start your journey at the famous Takakkaw Falls and head further away from civilization on a challenging route in the Yoho Valley. You’ll endure some technical climbs and steep ascents, but the campsites are stellar, and several lakes appear during the journey if you ever want a glacial dip. If you don’t want to camp, you can stay at the Stanley Mitchell Hut.
Don’t want to plan your own trip? There are plenty of exciting tours in British Columbia or nearby Alberta that will quench your thirst for an outdoor adrenaline rush! Join a group adventure or plan a custom trip tailored to you and your loved ones on a spectacular BC Hiking Tour.
View Best backpacking trails in Yoho National Park on Map
Best Backpacking trails in Yoho National Park
Lake O’Hara Backcountry
Explore the incomparable Lake O'Hara area of Yoho National Park on this backcountry trek that totally immerses you in western Canada's backyard. This adventure-based hike has you camping for two nights in Lake O'Hara campground, propelling the authenticity of your outdoor experience. Meanwhile, the hiking trails and alpine routes lead to sparkling glacial lakes and spectacular views in the Canadian Rockies.
Yoho Valley Backpacking Route
With waterfalls, mountain lakes, and stunning views in all directions, this Yoho Valley backpacking tour is both challenging and rewarding. The terrain is rugged, but the distances each day are short enough to allow you to truly enjoy your spectacular surroundings without feeling rushed.
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