Written by MagdaDH_AlexH on 31 Mar, 2011
On the way back from Golden to Lake Louise we drive again through Yoho National Park, and again, and luckily, it's a reasonable day with fair weather. We don't have much time as we don't want to miss our bus, but we can still in…Read More
On the way back from Golden to Lake Louise we drive again through Yoho National Park, and again, and luckily, it's a reasonable day with fair weather. We don't have much time as we don't want to miss our bus, but we can still in a detour or two and from many potentially beautiful spots we pick the Emerald Lake. The turn-of is a couple of miles west of Field and it takes us along a decent minor road (open all year round, unlike many other side roads around here). The first stop is what is called "Natural Bridge", despite the fact that rock arch over the Kicking Horse River has now fallen in. But the spot is still supremely beautiful, with a river tumbling noisily between the rocks, eroding them with its power. The pools below the rapids are glowingly blue, the color give by the rock flour carried by the river from the high mountainsides. We spend a pleasant half hour here, admiring the views and peeking between the rocks, luckily managing to slot ourselves between two coach-fulls of organized groups. Five miles up the road is the Emerald Lake, a superbly attractive lake surrounded by mountains and glaciers – Burgess Shale, famous as and unrivaled fossil source of strange and wonderful creatures – is nearby and some finds are exhibited on the circular lake trail. Unlike Lake Louise, the Emerald Lake is starting to melt at the time of our visit, and although the surface is yet far from clear of ice, large patches of dark-green (bottle green more then emerald green) are appearing, reflecting the mountains and tall Douglas Firs that surround the lake. It's a beautiful spot and despite the Icefields Parkway wonders that await us from Lake Louise, I consider this small detour one of the highlights of our whole time in the Rockies. Close
I have waited for close to a year with writing about Yoho National Park in Canada and I find it hard to explain my reluctance as it was one of the most beautiful, striking, interesting and special places we have seen in Canada. Or maybe…Read More
I have waited for close to a year with writing about Yoho National Park in Canada and I find it hard to explain my reluctance as it was one of the most beautiful, striking, interesting and special places we have seen in Canada. Or maybe that is what explains the reluctance, as I feel that the brief encounters we had with its beauty cannot possibly do the place any justice. Yoho is the smallest of the Rockies' national parks, and is located between Lake Louise and Golden, centering on the village of Field. We hire a car in Lake Louise - it's only a little bit more expensive and will give us a chance to stop and detour on the way. Soon, a little red Dodge is all ours and after a steak dinner we are off towards the Great Divide, Yoho national park, British Columbia border and Golden. The day is drawing towards its close and the overcast, pale sky that dominated over our day in Lake Louise is replaced by a softer, warmer glow of the late afternoon. The road – which, incidentally, is part of the main Trans-Canada car route – climbs up to the Kicking Horse pass, elevation 1627m, 10km from Lake Louise. There are suitable photo stops and a viewpoint that allows us to admire not only the landscape but ingenuity of the railway engineering. One gets reminded all the time of the railways' role in the development of the Canadian west and it's a pity that a passenger service on this historic route is no more, replaced by tourist trains that charge arm and leg for an excursion. The original rail route – still very much used by the cargo trains – was opened in 1884 and included stretches with an incredibly steep grades of 4.5% on the BC side of the pass. These were somewhat improved - to 2.2% - by the 1909 construction of Spiral Tunnels, which allow the trains to climb more slowly, inside the mountain. The Pass marks the Great Continental Divide, as well as the province border and thus we are now entering, for the first time, British Columbia, the westernmost province of Canada and one in which we will spend the rest of our time here (barring a brief return to Alberta for the Icefields Parkway and Jasper). It's beautiful and wilder than it was in the Banff region. The road is wide and well made, and the driving comfortable, but the mountains that surround us are close and high, and all the traffic and construction seem utterly insignificant. As the sun comes down, I take my eyes of the road and glance sideways, and there, quietly sniffing, is a... black bear! Our first - and only, unless you count one supposedly spotted later on the same week by the Older Child – bear, simply standing there, giving us a brief look before returning to its rummaging. I can't stop as a large lorry behind would go into our back, but I cry out and everybody looks in great excitement at the great, dark shape clearly visible at the roadside.There will be no more bears, but later the same day, we see some mountain goats on the hillside and a mountain sheep with huge, round horns, standing in the middle of the central reservation. We arrive in Golden elated, to a mild bafflement of our host, who, being a hiker, has seen his quota of black and grizzly bears. But for us, it's the first one, and up there with the finback whale we spotted in Quebec. Close
Written by Ben the Grate on 26 Feb, 2002
Getting to paradise is not easy.
Lake O'Hara is located in Yoho National Park in British Columbia, Canada, about 10 miles west of Lake Louise (120 miles west of Calgary) and the parking lot for the trailhead and the bus is literally 20 feet off the…Read More
Getting to paradise is not easy.
Lake O'Hara is located in Yoho National Park in British Columbia, Canada, about 10 miles west of Lake Louise (120 miles west of Calgary) and the parking lot for the trailhead and the bus is literally 20 feet off the trans Canada highway. It is well marked.
There are 2 ways to get to Lake O'Hara from the parking lot: bus or foot. By foot, there is an 8 mile trail to the lake from the lot, and you're welcome to hike in, but unless you have reservations at the lodge, campground, or one of the huts, you'll be turned right around when you get there.
The alternate (and quicker) way is to book a seat on a school bus that takes visitors in a few times a day. If you have reservations at the lodge, campground, or hut, you will automatically be secured reservations on the bus. It is $12CAD (about $7US) each way. The ride takes about 30 minutes and is somewhat hair-raising. (I didn't know school buses could climb roads that steep!)
Unless you're staying at the lodge, Ground Zero for you will be Le Relais, the day shelter on the main road just before the lodge. This is where the trail to the Elizabeth Parker Hut is located. Le Relais serves snacks all day (UNBELIEVABLE pumpkin bread and hot coffee) and provides books, maps, and a wealth of information about the area. At night, people squeeze into this tiny hut to hear lectures or stories from naturalists or old-timers.
Lake O'Hara is located in prime wildlife corridor, which means you're GONNA see grizzlies, you're GONNA see elk, you're GONNA see marmots and you're GONNA see pikas whether you want to or not. Be smart. You are in bear country. If you're not used to that, ask at Le Relais for a pamphlet or talk to a park ranger there.
Be smart while hiking. Most of the best trails here are steep, and many are considered "alpine routes" which is a few steps above "trail" so be careful and don't overextend yourself.
Most of all, just sit back and drink in the views of a place that EVERY VISITOR will tell you is the most breathtaking scenery in all the world.
This is no exaggeration!
Written by kokob2 on 01 Mar, 2005
Switzerland is such a beautiful country. The first time I came to Zurich, the biggest city in Switzerland, I came during a festival, so everywhere there were parties. Then on the second day I traveled to Bern, the capital city of Switzerland. If you…Read More
Switzerland is such a beautiful country. The first time I came to Zurich, the biggest city in Switzerland, I came during a festival, so everywhere there were parties. Then on the second day I traveled to Bern, the capital city of Switzerland. If you go to the center of the city, you can see a hole with bears inside it, which is the symbol of the city. Then you can see the government buildings of the city. On the third day I went to Basel, where there is a big center with shops - you can shop there all day. And you must try the Swiss cheese - so tasty – and, of course, the Swiss chocolate. I had a great time in Switzerland. Close