Panoramic views of the Emerald Lake Circuit hike in Yoho National Park
Panoramic views of the Emerald Lake Circuit hike in Yoho National Park

Emerald Lake Circuit hike

Yoho National Park
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Views of the Emerald Lake Circuit Hike in Yoho National ParkCanoeing on the Emerald Lake Circuit Hike in Yoho National ParkThe best patio in the Rockies at the Emerald Lake Circuit Hike in Yoho National ParkEmerald Lake Lodge on the Emerald Lake Circuit Hike in Yoho National ParkBeautiful views from the Emerald Lake Circuit Hike in Yoho National Park

Emerald Lake Circuit hike

Distance: 3.3mi
Elevation: 164ft
Time: 1-1.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.9 Overall Rating
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The Emerald Lake circuit is a family-friendly hike packed with amazing scenery. Hiking around Emerald Lake should be on your list of must-do’s on your next trip to the Canadian Rockies. It will be a highlight, trust us!

Emerald Lake Circuit hike Map

Getting there

Heading west on the Trans-Canada Highway, take the right-hand exit 1.0mi after the Field turn-off for Natural Bridge and Emerald Lake. Follow this road for 5.7mi until you reach the Emerald Lake parking area.

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About

When to do

All Year

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

Trailhead

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Circuit


Emerald Lake Circuit
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Emerald Lake Circuit

From the parking lot, head north towards the lake. Do not cross the bridge to Emerald Lake Lodge, but continue heading north passing the small canoe rental shop to your right. Continue along a broad path that boasts incredible views of Emerald Lake. The Emerald Lake Lodge will also be on your right. This path further leads you through a sunny rocky mountain forest.

You’ll quickly come across an avalanche slide path. After 0.9mi you will reach the end of the lake with a beautiful basin and many chose to return the way they came. There are options to head up into Emerald Basin or over Yoho Pass for the adventurous.

Continuing along the path contouring the end of the lake, you’ll cross some streams and finally head into the trees on the other side of the lake. The path is completely different, travelling through a Columbian forest with cedar and hemlock – it’s hard to believe the different ecosystem on this side of the lake. Continue on a narrow path through the trail, eventually coming out at the far end of the cabins at Emerald Lake Lodge.

Walk through the property and then down to the patio at Cilantro’s for a drink and a snack. This may be the best patio in the Canadian Rockies. For those in a rush, grab something quick at the window at Cilantro on the Lake.

Insider Hints

  • Combine this hike with a visit to Takkakaw Falls, a true wonder of the Rockies.

  • Staying at Emerald Lake Lodge is an unforgettable experience. Unplug from the TV and phone to have a wonderful meal followed by a log fire in the fireplace in your room.

  • Get here early, the parking lot fills up.

  • Ideally time your trip to enjoy lunch on the patio at Cilantro on the Lake.

Comments

YukihiroSato 2 years ago

The color of lake water looks like a gem.

10.0 Overall Rating
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1h 30m Time Taken
Albert W. 2 years ago

Awe-inspiring place! The views of Canadian Rockies were georgeous.

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Logan X. 2 years ago

I'm not sure what not to like about this hike! It was incredible!

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Eric Parats 2 years ago

Nice refreshing walk to the lake. We had a nice picnic nearby the lake and I took a nap after it while my girl reads a book.

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Glori S. 2 years ago

Views are so worth it. If you bring your swimsuit I highly recommended dipping for the experience, but It is not for the faint of heart because the water is extremely cold!

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Kevin Dufont 2 years ago

Spectacular trail. Not that intense with beautiful scenery. Well worth visiting any day of the week.

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Haydes 2 years ago

The hike was easy, but I never run out of beautiful views to see!

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Tara Green 2 years ago

Amazing hike. I enjoyed it with a cup of coffee. Recommend it!

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1h 00m Time Taken
cartersans 2 years ago

Stunning! We also visited Takkakaw Fall! I highly recommend it as well!

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Ethan Welch 2 years ago

I never thought this hike could be so popular even on a weekday, but we still appreciate the amazing scenery.

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29 Comments Show all

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