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Takakkaw Falls to Emerald Lake

Yoho National Park

Hike over Yoho Pass to link some of the park’s most iconic sights in half a day.

Hiking Difficult

11 km
426 m
633 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
1.8 km
Takakkaw Falls to Emerald Lake Map

With a vehicle shuttle you can hike one-way between Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake, surmounting Yoho Pass in between. Either direction is good, but starting from Takakkaw might be preferable, to have less elevation gain and to get almost all the uphill out of the way early.


From Takakkaw Falls, the trail to Yoho Pass quickly leaves the crowds behind and zigzags up through thick forest. Eventually, the gradient lessens and becomes rolling terrain, leading eventually to the foot of an avalanche path and an impressive view of Wapta Moutain’s vertical cliffs. Just around the corner is Yoho Lake, a peaceful pond cradled in thick forest. The top of the pass is just a bit farther from there. It’s all forested, but after starting the descent the trail soon emerges on avalanche-cleared slopes above Emerald Lake.

The panorama is daunting, with glaciated peaks on every side, and waterfalls streaming toward the blue-green lake at the center of it all. The trail makes an efficient descent to the valley floor, then it’s a relaxed walk across a glacial plain, with scattered trees and wildflowers. It joins with the Lakeshore Trail, and traces the edge of the water among the trees. Finish at Emerald Lake Lodge, where you can enjoy a well-earned meal, then retrieve your vehicle or meet your ride.

Source: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/yoho/activ/randonnee-hike/jour-day



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between June and October


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area