"Emerald Lake" Yoho National Park Things to Do Tip by chewy3326

Yoho National Park Things to Do: 104 reviews and 203 photos

  Emerald Lake
by chewy3326
  • Emerald Lake - Yoho National Park
      Emerald Lake
    by chewy3326
  • Emerald Lake - Yoho National Park
      Emerald Lake
    by chewy3326

Emerald Lake, one of the most famous sights in the Canadian Rockies, has an undeniably beautiful color, but is honestly a bit on the overhyped side. The drive to the lake gives you views of the towering President Range and its glaciers, but when you get to the actual lake, the highest peaks and the glaciers are all blocked from view by lower, closer ridgelines. Then there are the crowds: tourists spill out of both Emerald Lake Lodge and from huge tour buses.

However, these cons don't necessarily mean you should avoid the lake; during my latest trip to Emerald Lake, we escaped the crowds by hiking a little along the shore of the lake to good views of Mt. Burgess and the Ottertail Range to the south. A couple hundred yards along the north lakeshore from the lodge, there's an informative plaque about the Burgess Shale, one of the world's greatest collection of Cambrian era fossils, which lies across the lake on the exposed slopes of Mt. Field and Wapta Mountain. The Burgess Shale is only open to guided hikes- security is high to protect the incredibly important scientific area. It's one part of Yoho that I really hope to get to one day!

Directions: Emerald Lake Road peels off Highway 1 just west of Field.

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  • Written Nov 18, 2011
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