Panorama of the Iceline hike in Yoho National Park

Iceline hike

Yoho National Park
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Iceline hike

Distance: 13.2km
Elevation: 767m
Time: 4-6h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.9 Overall Rating
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The Iceline hike is a wonderful trail up past tree line to and along a ridge presenting beautiful vistas across the Yoho Valley of Takakkaw Falls as fast-receding glaciers teeter above you. You can make this longer or shorter depending on your energy.

Iceline hike Map

Getting there

Drive west from Banff or Lake Louise along the Trans-Canada Highway. Take the exit north towards Takakkaw Falls. If you reach Field BC, you have gone too far! Go for nearly 14.0km up the road until you see the parking area. Trailers are not allowed on this road.

I’ve done this 11 people have done this
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About

When to do

June through October

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

Trailhead

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Iceline
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Iceline

Walk 0.5km towards the HI Whiskey Jack Hostel, where you will find the trailhead (west side of the road). Keep in mind you cannot park at the hostel unless you’re staying there. Get on the trail and immediately start the steep climb through switchbacks. Don’t worry, it gets better. After a few hundred vertical meters you will find yourself above the treeline. If you can believe it, it wasn’t until recent trail updating that the route went above the forest and allowed for such spectacular views.

Once past the treeline a little climbing remains, but reinvigorate your legs with the view across the valley. You can see Takakkaw Falls and the Daly Glacier that feeds it. The trail moves through barren moraines and loose scree – a moonscape to say the least. Continue along the trail as it becomes increasingly flatter, passing three beautiful lakes. Take the time to relax by the water and, if it’s a nice day, soak in the view and warm yourself in the sun.

You can turn around any point you want and retrace your footsteps. Those who are more adventurous can descend into the basin and take a woodland trail through the Yoho River Valley. You could also make a big day and descend to the ACC Stanley Mitchell Hut and overnight as part of a longer route.

We prefer to go as far along the Iceline as we can before it starts to lose elevation and then we turn around and head back along the way we came, enjoying the views and staying high.

Insider Hints

  • Save this hike for a clear day, as missing these amazing views would be a shame.

  • You can make a weekend here along a longer route by staying at the historical Twin Falls Chalet or the Stanley Mitchell Hut, which is managed by the Alpine Club of Canada.

Comments

Aleysha C. 3 weeks ago

The views along Iceline where spectacular but the views along Whaleback in my opinion are even better. The view gave us everything: emerald lakes, glaciers, mountains everywhere around, flowers, moraines, rocks... it was very, very worth the ascent.

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WendyMag. 3 weeks ago

Great hike to have a closer look at the glaciers! I would say it is pretty moderate but the views are absolutely stunning.

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Tara Green 2 months ago

What a beautiful trail. You get to see waterfalls, glaciers and many great views of Yoho valley

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Sally Worchuck 1 year ago

I really tried to prolong the end of this hike as much as possible. It was hard enough but I really enjoyed the weather and the scenery here.

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Jack_99 1 year ago

loved it. Takakkaw falls looked amazing.

9.0 Overall Rating
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MariaWalks 1 year ago

Very nice and hard. I loved nature around here! :)

10.0 Overall Rating
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6h 00m Time Taken
aarondav 1 year ago

The route goes along the ridge and gives nice views of Yoho Valley and the falls. Would love to go back

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5h 00m Time Taken
7 Comments

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