Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park is in the Canadian Rocky Mountains along the western slope of the Continental Divide of the Americas in southeastern British Columbia. Yoho NP is bordered by Kootenay National Park on the southern side and Banff National Park on the eastern side in Alberta. The name Yoho comes from the Cree word for "awe and wonder"".
Yoho covers 1,313 km² (507 sq mi) and it is the smallest of the four contiguous national parks. Yoho, together with Jasper, Kootenay and Banff National Parks, along with three British Columbia provincial parks—Hamber Provincial Park, Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, and Mount Robson Provincial Park—form the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site.
The park's administrative and visitor centre are in the town of Field, British Columbia, beside the Trans-Canada Highway. Contact the park office year-round +1 250-343-6783 or email email@example.com
The park was created following a trip by Prime Minister John A. Macdonald and his wife Agnes through the Rockies on the newly completed Transcontinental Railway. Inspired on his return to Ottawa, Yoho National Park was created on October 10, 1886. Glacier National Park was created on the same day, becoming the second and third national parks in the country, after Banff.
LandscapeThe park is on the western side of the continental divide and offers a number of geological sites of interest. Within the park is Burgess Shale Formation contains the fossilized remains of many marine animal species.
Common species of animals that roam in this park are the wolf packs, badger, moose, elk, mountain goat, golden-mantled ground squirrel, rufous hummingbird, hoary marmot, wolverine, cougar, pika, lynx, grizzly bear, and American black bear.
ClimateThe weather in the park is localized and changeable. Being on the western side of the continental divide, it receives more precipitation than areas east of the divide. Precipitation in the park increases with elevation.
In winter, average temperatures are between 5 to −15 °C (41.0 to 5.0 °F) from the months November to April although temperatures can range between 10 to −35 °C (50.0 to −31.0 °F). The coldest weather usually occurs in the months December to February.
In summer, mean temperatures average 12.5 °C (54.5 °F) with an average high of 20 °C (68.0 °F) and an average low of 5 °C (41.0 °F). Snowfall and freezing temperatures can occur during the summertime at altitudes above 1,500 m (4,900 ft).
The Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) bisects the park from east to west, making it easily accessible for travellers starting in Vancouver (10 hours west) or Calgary (2 hours east), passing by Lake Louise from the East and Golden from the west.
Bus connections do not go into the park but there are possibilities to Lake Louise and Golden.
Although sightseeing trains such as the Rocky Mountaineer that go through the park and Field was founded because of the railway, there are no train halts in the area.
Fees and permits
All passes and permits can be purchased at the Parks Office when entering the park. Anyone stopping in the park will require a parks pass.
Daily fees (2018):
- Adult $9.80
- Senior $8.30
- Children and youth under 18 free
- Family/group $19.60
Fishing permit valid in Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, and Yoho parks (2018):
- Daily $9.80
- Annual $34.30
All passes can be purchased at the visitor centers at Field (May to September only) and year round at Banff and Lake Louise or at the tourism website. The Parks Canada website only allows purchase of the Annual Discovery Pass. Visitors staying in for at least 7 days are better off purchasing the annual Discovery Park pass.
Spiral Tunnels ViewpointsFrom here you can see the trains exit and enter the spiral tunnels simultaneously
Takakkaw FallsAt 384 m (1260 ft) this is the second highest known waterfall in Canada. Many hiking trails begin from the base.
Wapta Falls30 metres high and 150 metres wide waterfall on the Kicking Horse River
Emerald LakeA beautiful glacier fed lake.
Natural BridgeA water-carved bridge that spans the Kicking Horse River.
Kicking Horse PassNational Historic Site of Canada. Narrow pass with an interesting rail history.
Burgess Shale Fossil Beds
Yoho Park is also popular amongst cross country enthusiasts due to the many kilometres of groomed trails and fantastic opportunities for backcountry ski touring.
Summer activities include camping, hiking, biking, canoeing and kayaking, train and wildlife watching, rock climbing and bouldering, and mountain climbing and scrambling. Also popular is the Burgess Shale Fossil Beds, a UNESCO world heritage site, where impressively preserved ancient undersea creatures give hints about the nature of life. The Shale is very well-protected, and if you want to see it, you have to be at the Fields visitor centre by 7:30AM; it's a 7-hour guided hike and $55.
phone: +1 250-343-6321address: Emerald Lake Lodge
address: Cathedral Mountain Lodge
There are many choices for visitors to the Park, from camping, Alpine Club of Canada huts, and historic lodges to smaller lodging at bed and breakfasts, guest homes and chalets. The Kicking Horse Lodge is the main hotel in Field, and there is a motel found on the Trans-Canada Highway.
Most lodging within the park will be found in Field.
phone: +1 250-343-6321address: 1 Emerald Lake Drive
phone: +1 250-343-6442address: 1 Yoho Valley Rd
phone: +1 250-343-6311
There are four campsites in Yoho National Park, +1 250 343-6783, (firstname.lastname@example.org). Camping begins in May, with all campgrounds open by late June, and all closed by mid October. Exact dates vary depending on the year and the snowfall.
Hoodoo Creek Campgroundaddress: Trans Canada Hwy 130 sites. Dry toilets, food storage, cold water hand pump. No fires permitted.
Kicking Horse Campgroundaddress: Trans Canada Hwy 192 sites. Hot showers, toilets, wheelchair accessible. Interpretive progarm. Arrive early.
Monarch Campgroundaddress: Yoho Valley Road46 sites. Primitive.
Takakkaw Falls Campground300 m hike in. Primitive.
BackcountryBackcountry use and camping permit valid at Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho national parks (2018):
- Overnight, per person $ 9.80
- Reservation $ 11.70
- Grazing permit, per horse, per day/month $ 1.90/$ 24.50
The Alpine Club of Canada operates the following:
Elizabeth Parker Hut
Abbott Pass Hut
Stanley Mitchell Hut
Scott Duncan Hut
Other hike-in accommodation includes:
phone: +1 403 228-7079
Lake O'Hara Lodgephone: +1 250 343-6418 or +1 403 678-4110 (during the off-season)Open May-October/February-April
Whiskey Jack HostelOpen mid-June to mid-September. Operated by Hostelling International.
Backcountry camping is highly regulated in order to try to preserve the wilderness. You will need a backcountry pass for camping in any place other than those listed above.
Camping is permitted in the Amiskwi, Otterhead, Ice River, and Porcupine valleys. Campers must be at least 3 km from the highway, 100 m from water and 50 m from the hiking trails. You may not stay in any place for over 3 days. Campsites can be reserved up to 3 months in advance.
Lake O'Hara is a 30-site campground open from mid June to October. Reservations are required and can be made up to 3 months in advance at +1 250 343-6433. 5 sites are reserved for assignment 24 hr in advance.
For additional information, trail maps, and safety concerns, contact Yoho National Park.
phone: +1 250 343-6783
You can and most likely will encounter all manner of wildlife, from bears to elk to mountain goats. Take the usual precautions you would while travelling in a wilderness area, and give any animals you encounter a wide berth. Travel in groups if at all possible, make lots of noise, etc. Most dangerous animals such as bears will avoid you if they hear or smell you coming.