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    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
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    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.

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    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

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    Burgess Shale Hike Reviews

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