Find out why this national park is named after a Cree word for awe and wonder when you see its sheer rock walls, waterfalls, deep-blue lakes and wild rivers.
Yoho National Park encompasses a section of the Canadian Rockies, where jagged mountain peaks zigzag into pristine river valleys. Discover astonishing lookouts, geological wonders and tranquil forests as you drive, hike or ski through the landscape. Covering an area of 507 square miles (1,313 square kilometers), Yoho National Park packs heritage sites, fascinating fossil deposits and 28 peaks over 9,800 feet (3,000 meters) into its UNESCO World Heritage-listed expanse.
The mountain retreat village of Field is Yoho National Park’s biggest township. Make your way to the Yoho Visitor Center and get local tips on what to see during your visit. Check out Kicking Horse River, which meanders over the Kicking Horse Pass National Historic Site. This narrow mountain pass has guided the Trans-Canada Highway and Canadian Pacific Railway across the perilous Continental Divide since the 1870s. Admire the pass’s engineering feats when you embark on a self-guided drive through the meandering mountain roadways.
Follow the river toward its source at Wapta Lake, admiring the passing views of pine-studded valleys and craggy peaks. See the thundering cascades of Wapta Falls, the biggest waterfall on Kicking Horse River. Reach a viewpoint of the 490-foot (150-meter) wide falls by hiking along a gentle trail through fragrant forest. Stay overnight in one of the national park’s four campgrounds.
Don’t miss seeing the Natural Bridge, which was carved into the rock by the power of the river. Nearby, you’ll find the mesmerizing waters of Emerald Lake. This turquoise-colored lake is great for walking and paddling in summer, or skiing and snowshoeing in winter. You’ll also find restaurants and picnic sites on the lake’s pretty foreshore. Another breathtaking lake in the national park is Lake O’Hara, a remote area of sub-alpine forest and precipitous cliffs. Reservations are required for access to the lake and the Burgess Shale Fossil Beds.
Reach Yoho National Park by traveling the Trans-Canada Highway from Golden in British Columbia, or Banff and Lake Louise in Alberta. Greyhound bus services depart from these cities. Purchase a parks pass and access the surrounding national parks and reserves. The park is accessible year-round, but the visitor center and some attractions are closed in winter.