Hike the Emerald Lake Circuit

Details

Distance

3.2 miles

Route Type

Loop

Added by Erik Peterson

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.

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Know for

Photography
Hiking
Family Friendly
Lake
Picnic Area

Nearby

Reviews

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10/10

The wife and I visited from states and this was probably one of my favorite spots. Literally magical

🥉Contributor

over 2 years ago

Idyllic and magical

We honeymooned at the Emerald Lake Lodge in 2003 (amazing!) and enjoyed this hike very much.

🥉Contributor

almost 4 years ago

The Best

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!

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

about 4 years ago

Superb Mellow Hike

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

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

Simply Stunning

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!

251 total saves

5.0/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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