“a place of wonder & awe”
These are the western slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Towering rockwalls, spectacular waterfalls and soaring peaks earn the park its name; Yoho is a Cree expression of awe and wonder. Here in the shadow of the Great Divide are the secrets of ancient ocean life, the power of ice and water, and the stories of plants and animals that continue to evolve today. A Cree exclamation of awe, yoho applies perfectly to this park’s big peaks, expansive glaciers, and impressive waterfalls. Add Yoho’s famous fossils and it’s easy to see why this park in the Canadian Rockies is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Although many of its highlights are accessible by road, Yoho is also a hiker’s dream and a railway buff’s delight. Yoho National Park protects the upper watershed of the Kicking Horse River, a steep, unruly tributary of 33 miles. Much of the water comes from the Yoho River, ice cold and milky with rock flour from its source at the Wapta Icefield. Many other glaciers feed the Yoho and the Kicking Horse, which thunders over Wapta Falls before rushing through a steep-walled canyon to the Columbia River. Trans-Canada 1 and the Canadian Pacific Railway follow the Kicking Horse through the heart of the park. Precipitous peaks sporting epaulettes of glacial ice rise more than a mile above the transportation corridor. The highest point in the park is South Goodsir Tower, with a summit elevation of 11,686 feet. A side road leads to world-class Takakkaw Falls. Swollen with glacial meltwater on summer afternoons, the falls plunges 1,250 feet to the floor of the Yoho Valley. Other roads lead to appropriately named Emerald Lake. Among this spectacular terrain lies the Burgess Shale, a layer of half-billion-year-old rock that holds paleontology’s most valuable fossils. Specimens are on display at the park information center. Yoho is accessible and enjoyable year-round. The western valley floors green up in May, and by mid-June the side roads are open. By mid-July the higher trail passes are snow free, and later in the month the alpine wildflowers reach their peak. In late September, subalpine larch rewards visitors with a showy band of gold at the tree line. Winter in Yoho, which lasts from November to March, offers Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, ski touring, and world-renowned waterfall ice climbing.
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Yoho National Park
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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