Burgess Shale Hike

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
22.0 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
1,243 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Be the first to add a review!
Directions to Trailhead
Burgess Shale Hike

The Burgess Shale Hike is an amazing experience that will take you uphill along the slopes of Wapta Mountain for some stunning views overlooking the Emerald Basin within Yoho National Park. While out on this trail, you will also make your way to the Walcott Quarry, a unique area with a large deposit of fossils dating back millions of years. Hikers should take note that this area is a UNESCO heritage site that is off limits without the presence of a guide. Tours can be arranged with the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation.

Download the 10Adventures App

View Burgess Shale Hike on Map

View Map

Join our newsletter

Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

Route Description for Burgess Shale Hike

If you are looking to experience some breathtaking views of Yoho National Park while learning about the area’s interesting geological history, then the Burgess Shale Hike will make for an amazing day out on the trails. The route sets out from the parking area near Takakkaw Falls and heads to the south to climb through some steep terrain on the way to Yoho Lake. From here, you will work around the lower slopes of Wapta Mountain and gain some amazing views overlooking the Emerald Basin and its dramatic peaks. Pay close attention to your guide as they lead you through the area towards the Walcott Quarry and explain the rich geological history of this fascinating landscape, complete with visible fossils that date back hundreds of millions of years. After exploring the site, you will retrace your steps and make the long journey back to the trailhead where you began your journey back in time.

Getting to the Burgess Shale Hike Trailhead

To reach the car park for the Burgess Shale Hike from Field, make your way northeast for 3.5 km along BC-1 and turn left onto Yoho Valley Road. After 13.4 km, you will arrive at the parking lot.

Route Information

  • When to do


  • Backcountry Campsites

    Takakkaw Falls Campground

  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Burgess Shale Hike Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

Check Area Weather

Burgess Shale Hike Reviews

Add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Nearby Trails

Nearby Regions

Get travel inspiration and discounts

Join our weekly travel newsletter