The word Yoho is a Cree expression of awe – the perfect description for this stunning 1,313 square kilometre (505 sq mi) national park with its 28 mountain peaks which reach more than 3,000 metres towards the sky.
With breathtaking scenery, Yoho National Park offers hikers, campers and sightseers lots to see and do in one of the most beautiful settings on earth.
Thanks to the early days of Canada’s ambitious rail system, the high, snowy peaks and tangled forests which were once impassible are now accessible to the wilderness adventurer.
After the railroad opened up the area, a golden era of mountaineering and exploring began that created a culture rich in heroic stories, stunning artwork and volumes of literary work celebrating the special features of this area.
It also led to the discovery of one of the worlds most important fossil finds – the Burgess Shale.
High in the mountains above Emerald Lake, the Burgess Shale preserves in delicate detail the remains of an incredible variety of life forms from the Middle Cambrian time period. More than 500 million years old, the Burgess Shale fossils have expanded modern day society’s understanding of the early evolution of modern animal life.
An indoor exhibit at the Field Visitor Centre displays fossil specimens, while an outdoor exhibit offers visitors more in-depth information on these fascinating fossils.
Some of the heritage attractions within Yoho National Park include the Spiral Tunnels, which were cut through the parks mountains to make way for the railroad; Takakkaw Falls, with a free fall of 254 metres; and the Natural Bridge, where the Kicking Horse River has carved its way through solid rock.
With rockwalls and waterfalls, Yoho is a pocket of dramatic wilderness that offers adventurous travellers the chance to connect with nature, understand its complexities and appreciate its wild beauty.
What to See and Do:
Winter: Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sightseeing, ice climbing. Wildlife viewing – elk, deer, moose, coyotes, chickadees, dippers, grosbeaks.
Spring: Late season ski touring and snowshoeing, sightseeing, bird watching, nature walks at low elevations and in the western part of the park. Wildlife viewing – black and grizzly bears, elk, deer, moose, mountain goats, coyotes, wolves, owls, migratory birds including bald and golden eagles, harlequin ducks, songbirds and hawks.
Summer: Hiking, backpacking, camping, sightseeing, picnicking, rafting, paddling, cycling, climbing, fishing. Wildlife viewing – black bears, elk, deer, moose, mountain goats, pikas, coyotes, wolves, owls, snowshoe hares, marmots, ground squirrels, summer birds including bald and golden eagles, songbirds, ducks, geese and hawks.
Fall: Late season hiking and backpacking until early October, larch viewing/hiking at Lake O’Hara, sightseeing and nature walks at low elevations. Wildlife viewing – black and grizzly bears, elk (in rut), deer, moose, coyotes, wolves, owls, snowshoe hares, migratory birds.
Park Services and Facilities: Picnic or day-use facilities, hiking trails, fishing, boat launch (canoe only), concession, gift/souvenir shop, EV Charging Station (both DCFC & Level 2) at the Field Visitor Centre.
Kicking Horse (88 sites), open mid-May to mid-October, unserviced, shower, flush toilets, fee.
Hoodoo Creek (30 sites), open late June to early September, pit toilets, fee.
Monarch (44 sites), open early to mid-May and late June to early Sept, unserviced, pit toilets, potable water, fee.
Takakkaw Falls (35 sites), open late June to mid-October, walk-in tent sites, pit toilets, pump water, fee.