Burgess Shale Hike
Burgess Shale Hike

Burgess Shale Hike

Yoho National Park
View Photos
Burgess Shale Hike

Burgess Shale Hike

Distance: 13.7mi
Elevation: 4,078ft
Time: 7.5-10.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
No ratings yet

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.

Burgess Shale Hike Map

Getting there

To reach the car park for the Burgess Shale Hike from Field, make your way northeast for 2.2mi along BC-1 and turn left onto Yoho Valley Road. After 8.3mi, you will arrive at the parking lot.

I’ve done this 0 people have done this
I want to do this 0 want to do this route


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

Burgess Shale Hike Description

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.



Similar hikes to the Burgess Shale Hike hike

Lake O’Hara Alpine Circuit

Lake O’Hara Alpine Circuit


Hiking the Lake O’Hara Alpine Circuit is an amazing experience that will see you traverse the rugged, yet beautiful terrain…

Linda Lake Hike

Linda Lake Hike


The Linda Lake Hike is a fantastic excursion that will lead you through some beautiful terrain in Yoho National Park…

Schaffer Lake and McArthur Pass Map

Schaffer Lake and McArthur Pass


The Schaffer Lake and McArthur Pass Trail is a challenging adventure in Yoho National Park that will take you uphill…