Yoho National Park Backpacking Traverse
Four day guided and catered backpacking trip
This four day trip travels through classic Rocky Mountain front range terrain, with impressive geology, alpine lakes and glacier vistas. You'll also get to visit two provinces - traversing across the divide into British Columbia on day two.
2020 Dates: By request
Price per person: $1000 plus 5% GST
Guiding, group equipment and all food beginning with lunch on the first day and concluding with lunch on the final day. It also includes the shuttle to and from the trailhead from Canmore, national park and backcountry camping fees.
This trip is rated as 'moderate'. We will be carrying four days of food with us, but we'll be travelling moderate distances each day. Each person will be carrying a share of the group equipment and food, with pack weights up to 40 lbs (depending on how lightweight you can pack!). You will need to be fit enough to carry a backpack for multiple days in hilly terrain.
Accommodation and Meals:
We will be staying in lightweight backpacking tents and in established Yoho National Park campgrounds. Each campsite is equipped with outhouses and food storage facilities. You are responsible for supplying your own tent, however, we will arrange for a tent rental on your behalf if you require (extra charge will apply).
Meals will be lightweight backpacking food (dried food), although we will have some fresh food earlier in the trip. Each day will consist of three nutritious (and tasty!) meals and some snacks to keep us fuelled throughout the day.
Day 1: Trailhead to Twin Falls
We’ll drive from Canmore to the trailhead at Takkakaw Falls. Here we’ll have to time to wander over to the falls (British Columbia’s second highest at 254m) to take pictures and experience getting ‘misted’ by these magnificent waters. We’ll get our packs adjusted and head off down the trail to Twin Falls. The walk will start out on a flat and wide trail, and then we’ll gain some elevation before we reach camp. For those with extra energy, we can take an evening hike to see the Yoho Glacier (4.6km return).
Distance: 6.7km, Elevation: 130m up
Day 2: Twin Falls to Little Yoho Valley
Soon after starting our day today we’ll reach Twin Falls – an iconic split waterfall that has a very interesting history. We’ll take a right turn from there and embark on one of the highlights of the trip – a hike up the Whaleback (summit at 2210m). After some steep climbing, we’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the surrounding glaciers and icefields. There is the possibility of taking a side trip in this area as well. At the top of the Whaleback, we’ll pass by the brink of the falls we looked up at earlier in the day, and then climb up to a suspension bridge. From here we start descending to the Little Yoho Valley, our campsite for the night and amazing views of the peaks and glaciers of the Presidents range.
Distance: 9.5km, Elevation: 535m up, 305m down
Day 3: Little Yoho Valley to Yoho Lake
Today, we get to hike the Iceline trail. We’ll start with a climb up towards the Iceline summit (2230m), and a traverse among alpine tarns and glacier views (including a view of the Daly glacier – the source of Takkakaw Falls!). We’ll branch off on the highline trail down to our camp at Yoho Lake, a picturesque alpine lake and one of the quietest in the park.
Distance: 10.4km, Elevation: 175m up, 425m down.
Day 4: Yoho Lake to Emerald Lake
We’ll begin our last morning relaxing by the lake, before we shoulder our packs for one last day on the trail. Well head over to Yoho Pass, and then we’ll pop out into an entirely new zone – the Emerald Basin. We’ll take in views of the Emerald glacier and head down to Emerald Lake – a lake well suited to its’ name. We’ll get picked up here, and then drive back to Canmore where we can get cleaned up before a celebratory dinner out.
Distance: 7km, Elevation: 615m down
Group equipment supplied by Aster Mountain Adventures: all cooking equipment, group tarp in case of rain, first aid and equipment repair kits, and emergency communication devices.
Personal equipment: Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, cup/bowl/utensils, personal clothing and toiletries.
Cost does not include: pre- or post-trip accommodation, breakfast on the first day or gratuities.