Panorama of the Iceline hike in Yoho National Park
Panorama of the Iceline hike in Yoho National Park

Iceline hike

Yoho National Park
View Photos
Views from the Iceline Hike in Yoho National Park, CanadaTrail views of the Iceline Hike in Yoho National Park, CanadaIceline Hike in Yoho National Park has amazing viewsSnow on the Iceline Hike in Yoho National Park, CanadaLarge Errata on the Iceline Hike in Yoho National Park, CanadaViews of the valley on the Iceline Hike in Yoho National Park, CanadaGlaciers from the Iceline Hike in Yoho National Park, CanadaSign on the Iceline Hike in Yoho National Park, CanadaA mountain tarn on the Iceline Hike in Yoho National Park, CanadaWonderful views from the Iceline Hike in Yoho National Park, CanadaTakakkaw Falls on the Iceline Hike in Yoho National Park, Canada

Iceline hike

Distance: 8.2mi
Elevation: 2,516ft
Time: 4.5-6h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.9 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

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 8.7mi up the road until you see the parking area. Trailers are not allowed on this road.

I’ve done this 26 people have done this
I want to do this 107 want to do this route

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 0.3mi 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

ddelaloye 1 year ago

One of the very best Canadian Rocky Mtn hikes! The water volume of Takakkaw Falls and all the streams were higher than normal. Also, the glaciers seemed to have grown in size since last year. We did a 16.5 km out and back (to the 3rd lake on Iceline)

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
6h 00m Time Taken
Aleysha C. 1 year 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.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
6h 00m Time Taken
WendyMag. 1 year ago

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

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
David L. 1 year ago

i like the awe-inspiring views at the top. bring a picnic up and a camera. iceline is amazing and highly recommend it.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
isaacanderson 1 year ago

This was the quintessential mountain experience; it' s what everyone envisions when they think of the Canadian Rockies

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Tara Green 1 year ago

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

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
6h 00m Time Taken
Eric Parats 1 year ago

Enjoyed the uphill battle to the top. Spectacular views along the way. Lots of lakes I forgot to count, but the experience was nice.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Glori S. 1 year ago

Takakkaw Falls is amazing! Bring water and a walking stick. It will definitely help you out.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Kenneth D. 1 year ago

Magnificent hike! The initial ascend was a great workout. It was exhausting, but the views keep on getting better from there.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Heinrich P. 2 years ago

It was a bit strenuous so you must be prepared and bring enough water and food.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
22 Comments Show all

Similar hikes to the Iceline hike

Burgess Shale Hike

Burgess Shale Hike

Difficulty:
13.7mi
4078ft
7.5-10.5h

The Burgess Shale Hike is an amazing experience that will take you uphill along the slopes of Wapta Mountain for…

Lake O’Hara Alpine Circuit

Lake O’Hara Alpine Circuit

Difficulty:
6.6mi
2907ft
4.5-6h

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

Difficulty:
6.3mi
1909ft
3.5-5h

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