Niles Meadow and Sherbrooke Lake

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Very Hard
Duration
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.
6.5-9h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
19.8 km
Elevation
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.
1,040 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.7
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Panorama of the Niles Meadow hike in Yoho National Park

The hike to Niles Meadow is a wonderful trail. Walk past the beautiful Sherbrooke Lake and then up a lightly used trail to Niles Meadow. Be warned that the trail from Sherbrooke Lake to Niles Meadow could use some maintenance!

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Route Description for Niles Meadow and Sherbrooke Lake

The easy to miss Wapta Lake Picnic Area is where the hike begins. Watch out for the West Louise Lodge, as the picnic area is almost immediately afterwards when you are heading west. Enter the parking lot and head to the upper parking lot, where signage and the washrooms are.

A gentle 3.0 km climb up to Sherbrooke Lake is scattered by two well-marked junctions. After around an hour of hiking you’ll reach the south end of Sherbrooke Lake. The lake itself is not that easy to access along the hike, so save a break for somewhere with a view.

As one continues past the lake, the trail becomes rougher and wetter (especially early in the season), however route finding skills are not required. After the half hour walk from end to end the path slopes upwards as you enter an old forest with a beautiful stream. Within a few minutes you’ll find yourself in an open meadow, with panoramic views of peaks across the valley.

From this point in 2016, several small bridges were broken or missing, so poles were very useful for getting across the streams. As the summer goes on and water levels drop this should reduce the difficulty.

Continue the hike up and pass several cascades and waterfalls until you reach the flat Niles Amphitheatre. Many people stop here, but Niles Meadow is actually another 200 m up. Start from the large Cairn and continue along the surprisingly easy trail switch backing until you find yourself upon Niles Meadow. This picturesque meadow will grant you fantastic views of Mt. Niles and the valley below.

For those really ambitious, a path heads out right towards a large Cairn and goes immediately uphill towards Niles Col. Snow lingers here, and we have been turned back, however getting up high the views are stunning!

This hike is unique as the way back down is almost better than the way up, with grander views.

Insider Hints for Niles Meadow and Sherbrooke Lake

  • For those more adventurous continue 1.2 km further to Niles Col (west of Mt. Niles) across the rubble field.
  • Start early and bring a picnic to enjoy in any one of the meadows.
  • This is a hike you want to do in a group, as it isn't very busy. We saw a lot of recent bear scat and only two other people when we did it on a weekend in early July.

Getting to the Niles Meadow and Sherbrooke Lake Trailhead

Take the Trans-Canada Highway from Field east for 11.5 km. Turn north into the Wapta Lake Picnic Area, right beside the West Louise lodge.

Route Information

  • When to do

    June through October

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Toilets

    Trailhead

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Poor

  • Crowd Levels

    Low

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Niles Meadow and Sherbrooke Lake Elevation Graph

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Niles Meadow and Sherbrooke Lake Reviews

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