The turquoise and emerald colours are created when run off water from the glacier ice melts collect small particles of powdered rock, commonly called rock flour, from the surrounding mountains. The particles make the lake water murky but when the sun strikes its rays upon the water the awesome colour appears. I was surpirsed to learn back in the 1800's rubbish, including three brass bath tubs, was thrown into the lake during winter where it sank to the bottom along with the spring icemelt, so no lingering smells from the lake to attract bears. Obviously environmental issues were not around at this time, luckily today all you will see is the pristine lake
The drive to Takakkaw falls is a slow and at times a torturous climb up a steep narrow road with many switchbacks. No buses or trailers are allowed on the road, they have to park in laybys and the tourist who come by bus are taken by mini bus. The layby has little space so not many vehicles can park, it would be a great dissapointment to miss out on this awesome falls. In winter you would miss out because the road is closed and becomes a ski track = well this is Canada after all.
The Yoho river meets up with the tributary rivers of Emerald, Anuskwi and the Otter tail rivers to become a mighty force of nature as she makes her way towards Kicking Horse Pass. It is here at the pass where she has a mighty confluence with the Kicking Horse River. The sheer power of the meeting of the waters transforms the two rivers into one in a spectacular torrent of white water. In 1858 the Surveyor Geologist James Hector survived a kick to the head by a pack horse while working for the Canadian Pacific Railway, consequently both the river and the pass were named after the event.
The Lower Spiral Tunnels can be seen eight kilometres east of Field. The Canadian Pacific Railway created the tunnels in 1909 to reduce the gradient from 4.5 percent to 2.2 percent to make the steepest railway line in North America safer. When we arrived, gentle rain was falling and Mount Ogden stood in silence with just the massive forest of fir trees to keep her company. Most tourists had already left the parking lot, probably bored with the lack of a train whistle, we stayed around for a while marveling at the butterflies which appeared as the sun broke through. It was definately worth the wait when the great freight train appeared whistling and winding her way down the tracks of this great feat of railway engineering.
Takakkaw Falls can be seen from the parking lot, but it is worth the scenic walk through the trees and shurbs which run along side the River Yoho to see and hear the falls up close and personal. Takakkaw translated from the Cree langauge and means "The Magnificent" it certainly is a spectacular sight to see as the waters cascade, with great force and power, down the mountain side. The crescendo of falling water as it hits it's home is tremendous and the mighty water spray will surely delight even if it leaves you a liittle wet. The falls are listed as the third highest in Canada but Takakkaw is number one for me.
Because of the sheer length of the trains you have to wait a long time at the level crossing in Field if a train is coming down the track
Sit back relax and work out what the trains cargo will be. This one was carrying tons of coal and timber. Don't know its destination they go for mile upon thousands of miles!
The lodge at Emerald Lake was built during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1902. It is now an exclusive resort. What a peaceful place - just to watch the lake with families of ducks swimming by - birds soaring and swooping - dragonflies mating on the wing - a little bit of heaven on earth.
While having a quick look in the gift shop we overheard a lady asking for ear plugs for her husband - the assistant asked what could possibly keep him awake - the reply was every little bird call!!
I could sleep in this place forever
Hoodoos are rock formations caused by the natural erosion of wind and rain. The Hoodoos at Yoho National Park are located on a steep, very dry and hot trail, so make sure to bring lots of water and wear sun protection.
They are not as dramatic as the ones in Drumheller, Alberta, but are worth a hike to see if you have the time to make the approx. 2 hr round trip hike.
Location: Hoodoo Creek Campground, very close to Wapta Falls
If you want to be challenged just a bit more than the rather pedestrian stroll around Emerald Lake, give the 1.6 km hike to Hamilton Falls a try. There are some steep sections, but the hike to the falls can be conquered by anyone wearing runners and a little sweat.
The trail starts not far from the entrance to the Emerald Lake parking lot, and it extends about 5 km to Hamilton Lake, which is NOT worth hiking in all the way to. You can save your energy for much more scenic lakes.
The hike to Twin Falls is a moderate one-way 8.5 km, so not for the sofa crowd. Your reward at the end of the trail is Twin Falls, plus Twin Falls Chalet.
Twin Falls Chalet was initiated by the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) starting in 1908, and was developed into the more attractive two-story chalet that you now see in 1923. It was and is still used as a backcountry base for hiking and mountaineering. Twin Falls Chalet offers rustic dorm-style accomodation, and also sells a small amount of snacks and drinks in case you ran out along the trail. Phone the no. below if you are interested in booking accommodation there. Accomodation is limited so plan well in advance.
To reach Twin Falls, start at the Takkakaw Falls parking lot and follow the signs. Don't let another set of falls called Troll Falls fool you along the way. You get a respite from the fairly steep climb with scenic views of Trolltinder Mountain and Mount Gordon. The Twin Falls themselves are 80m high, their unique appearance created by two channels of rushing water.
Their are many trails within the park. I found that the trails that are around the Takakkaw Falls parking lot were very well groomed. The trails went as far as 9km to a glacier. A trek like that would be something for an entire day of hiking, however their were many reachable sites before that like a few more waterfalls just 2 km into the hike.
The Burgess Shale deposits are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Basically they are fossil deposits from the Cambrian era ( 500,000,000 BC).
You can take hiking tours to the deposits from Field , B.C.
Just Google " Burgess Shale " for info.
There are two packages to choose from:
Mt. Stephen Hike
$ 50 ( cdn), 6 km , 6 hour s return and you climb 2500 ft.
$ 70 ( cdn) , 20 km, , 10 hours return and you climb 2500 ft
Becky is an avid gardener, so it is no surprise that she liked to take time to look over the naturally growing wildflowers. The mountains provide nice habitat for many species that don't find their way to our home territory in the midwest.
I picked up a field guide to the plants of the Rockie Mountains. It has been useful in helping me identify the flowers I photographed. It is also very interesting to read the medicinal uses that have been employed through the years. However, I have concluded that botanists are terrible photographers. I'm really just guessing that this plant is northern sweet-vetch because the photo in the guide is blurred and next to useless.
Located in Yoho National Park (British Columbia), accessible by vehicle via a side road off the Trans-Canada Highway, these falls are the result of glacial melt water dropping a distance of 366 metres (1,200 feet). Some contend that when a higher segment is taken into account, the falls actually cascade more than 500 metres, which would make them the highest in Canada.