• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    3.2 Miles

Family Friendly
Lake
Picnic Area

Explore one of the most famous lakes in the Canadian Rockies.

Emerald Lake is without a doubt one of the most beautiful lakes in the Canadian Rockies and is the jewel (see what I did there...) of Yoho National Park. The circuit surrounding the lake allows great opportunities for pictures and views from all sides.

Getting there: Just west of Field, BC turn off the Trans-Canada Highway onto Emerald Lake Road. Follow this road 8.5km to Emerald Lake.

This short trail follows close to the shore for the entirety of the hike and may be rather busy at any time of the year. You'll pass by an avalanche path on the west side of the trail and a neat delta of glacial streams flowing into Emerald Lake on the north side of the trail. The east shore is particularly interesting for those interested in plants or ecology. Being more cool and moist than the west side, the east side boasts vegetation that is more akin to the British Columbian coast, with some cedar trees and a forest floor covered in a heavy layer of moss.

For those wishing for a backcountry experience or just want to go on a longer hike there are several trails jutting off from the Emerald Lake Circuit.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Hiking gear
  • Camera
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

Overall rating: 

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Fantastic hike! Very easy but at the same time very rewarding. The scenery at the other end of the lake is simply one of the best views in both parks, Yoho and Banff, combined. We loved every minute of this walk!

8 months ago
8 months ago

This is a great relaxing hike with plenty of big views and forest enchantment.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Get here early to beat the crowds and you will enjoy one of the most pristine lakes you have ever seen! The emerald color of the water is simply stunning and the hike allows for a greater appreciation. If you want to duck out of the crowds, take a simple hike up to hamilton falls!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Erik Peterson

I like mountains

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