Yoho National Park - Canada

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Yoho National Park is located in the Canadian Rockies in the province of British Columbia. It is the smallest in area of four contiguous National Parks, but nevertheless has spectacular and diverse features. Three regions of Yoho, all of which are on spur roads from the Trans-Canada Highway are represented in the gallery. Descriptions of these regions follow.

1. Yoho Valley

Yoho Valley is particularly known for water features. Takakkaw Falls, the outflow from Daly Glacier, is 254 meters high, the second highest fall in Canada. The milky Yoho River joins the clear Kicking Horse River at the Meeting of The Waters at the foot of the valley. There are mountain views throughout the valley and along the Trans-Canada Highway at its foot. Spectacular hiking trails, such as the Iceline Trail, originate in the valley.

2. Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is surrounded by forests backed by the President Range to the north, Wapta Mountain and Mount Field to the east, Mount Burgess to the southeast and the Ottertail Range in the distance to the south. Emerald Lake Lodge lies at the end of the entrance road. A short trail leads to Hamilton Falls, which after seeing Takakkaw Falls earlier in the day, is somewhat of a disappointment. Along the entrance road to Emerald Lake is the Natural Bridge where the entire flow of the Yoho River goes through a narrow gorge under an strangely-shape "bridge" of rock.

3. Lake O'Hara

Lake O'Hara serves as the base for the number of trails that provide a broad-ranging variety of alpine scenes. Access to the area is strictly controlled. An 11 km (6.8 mi) rough dirt access road runs from a parking lot just off the Trans-Canada Highway to Lake O'Hara. Travel on this road is restricted to hikers and passengers using a fee-based bus service. Reservations for the buses are limited in number and, at the time of my travels, became available exactly three months before the date of travel. See the Yoho National Park website for details.

The images of the Lake O'Hara area are from trails on the Opabin Plateau and the trail around the lake. The Plateau lies about 200 - 300 meters above Lake O'Hara. More spectacular views are available for strong hikers from the rough alpine circuit traversing ledges on the mountains surrounding the Lake O'hara at elevations ranging over 2500 meters (500 meters above Lake O'hara). The elevation gains and losses are substantial on the circuit trail which drops down into the Oesa Valley and onto the Opabin Plateau.