I’m not going to mince words, Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park is an absolute must see. For starters, it’s gorgeous. The stunning tourquoise water reminds me a lot of Moraine Lake and Lake Louise in Banff National Park. But, with one huge difference … it’s so much less crowded.
Here, we felt we could breathe and expand. We felt much more at ease than amongst the commercialization and crazy crowds in Banff and Lake Louise.
Emerald Lake was absolutely gorgeous and we felt like we were finally getting a touch of the real Canadian Rockies. The landscape of tall snow-peaked mountains and dense pine tree forests was definitely one of the most stunning and beautiful that we’ve ever seen.
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Emerald Lake is the largest lake located in Yoho National Park within British Columbia. It’s a mere 20 minute drive west from it’s famous neighbour Lake Louise, but is not nearly as well known. It’s waters are a beautiful green, hence the name, Emerald Lake. This beautful color is most intense in early summer when there is a high amount of glacial silt flowing from the surrounding mountains. Due to the high elevation of the lake it remains frozen from November to early June.
The lake is surrounded by mountains of the President Range, Mount Burgess and Wapta Mountain. The lake setting itself is quite secluded, but can be easily accessed from the Trans Canada Highway. In fact, scores of vehicles drive past every day with no idea of the nearby beauty.
Emerald Lake Lodge
Emerald Lake Lodge is the only property on secluded Emerald Lake, surrounded by the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. I mention it only because while we were walking the lake, I just thought how amazing it would be to spend one night at Emerald Lake. But when we checked pricing and availability, neither was doable. At nearly $500/nt, Emerald Lake Lodge is out of our budgetary range.
But, if you felt like splurging and your group was smaller than ours, this could be a really great R&R luxe spot. From their site …
“Ease your stress in our gorgeous outdoor hot tub while enjoying the stunning view; or savour our internationally renowned ‘Rocky Mountain Cuisine’ in the Mount Burgess dining room. We feature elk and bison raised on our company’s 500 acre game ranch, and interesting boutique wines chosen by our Wine Director. We also offer a comfortable lounge and bar where more casual fare is offered, and this is the perfect place to unwind after a day out exploring the trails. Spend time playing snooker on our snooker table, or if you need to catch up on the events in the world, watch our big screen television in the main lodge. None of the units have their own television, creating a feeling of peace and tranquillity in the rooms.”
Canoe Emerald Lake
While canoeing Lake Louise may be the only way to acquire a semi-serene landscape, canoeing Emerald Lake seems silly. One, canoe rentals are not cheap. They will run you $70 for the first hour and seat a maximum of 3 people. That seems really steep. Plus, why canoe when you can swim?
And, two, Emerald Lake is not crowded, you can walk off and find a nice quiet spot and enjoy the tranquility. It is truly a remarkable place to simply sit and breathe. The mere color of the water is enough to rouse creativity and joy. Add the looming peaks surrounding, and you have a recipe for brilliance.
Hiking Emerald Lake Trail
Honestly, we were entirely too mesmerized by the beauty before us to even consider hiking. However, Emerald Lake Trail is supposed to be amazing. For one, most visitors don’t leave the shores of the lake, which means, once you venture off, you will be in total solitude. This knowledge probably would have been helpful … because I hear Emerald Lake Basin is beyond anything our minds can comprehend.
For more information based on the different options on the Emerald Lake Trail, click here.
How To Get To Emerald Lake Yoho National Park
Emerald Lake Lodge is located 20 minutes west from the village of Lake Louise. Head towards the Town of Field, B.C. The turnoff to Emerald Lake is 1 km west of Field. Follow the road for 8km until you reach the lake parking area. The walk to Emerald Lake from the parking lot is minimal.
If you plan on hiking, you follow the signs that spring up prior to reaching Emerald Lake.