Yoho National Park is a mountain recreation destination in the Kootenay region of British Columbia Canada located east of the community of Golden, BC, Canada and west of Banff Alberta. The park is part history and part recreation consisting of alpine peaks, waterfalls, lush green forests, roaring rivers, glacier lakes, hiking trails, spiral tunnels and fossils.
Established in 1886, Yoho National Park is 1,310 square kilometres bordering the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia and the Banff National Park of Alberta. In 1984 the park was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Access to the park's backcountry requires a park pass which can be obtained at the parks office in Field, BC.
In the summer months (mid-July to mid-September) activities include backpacking, canoeing, rafting, climbing, mountaineering, cycling, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing. In the winter months the activities enjoyed in the Yoho National Park include cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice climbing.
Yoho National Park includes over 400 kilometres of hiking trails. Hiking and backpacking in the park is by far the most popular activity. Some of the hiking trails include the Kicking Horse, Ottertail, McArthur Creek, Opabin Plateau, Linda Lake, Cataract Brook, Ross Lake, Sherbrooke Lake, Monarch, Yoho Valley, Burgess highline, Emerald Basin, Hamilton Falls, Iceline, Amiskwi, Whaleback and Hoodoos Trails.
The trail network in the park provides a good selection of day hikes and a better selection of backpacking wilderness hikes. Some trails loop and connect with other trails extending adventures deeper into the park. . Good backpacking experience and equipment is recommended when exploring in the park.
Wilderness camping and serviced campgrounds are located in the park. There are huts (require pre booking) and wilderness campsites in the alpine areas. Wilderness campsites provide little services other than a tent pad, food caches and food poles.
Mountain biking is only permitted on designated fire service roads in the park such as the Kicking Horse, Amiskwi, Otterhead, Ottertail and Ice River. Do not veer off the fire service roads onto trails designated for hiking.
The natural sites in the Yoho National Park include many waterfalls, alpine mountains and recreational rivers. Waterfalls include the Laughing Falls, Twin Falls, Wapta Falls and one of Canada's highest waterfall, Takakkaw Falls, which drops over 254 m. Mountains include Mt Stephen (3199 m), Odarey Mtn. (3101 m), Cathedral Mtn. (3189 m), Deltaform Mtn. (3424 m), Mt. Ogden (2684 m), Mt. Burgess (2583 m), Mt. Carnarvon (3042 m), The President (3139 m) and Mt. McArthur (3015 m).
History in the park is best viewed at the Burgess Shale site. The shale site includes fossils from 515 million years ago. It is recorded that there are fossils from more than 120 marine animals of the prehistoric variety. In 1981 the Burgess shale was designated a World Heritage Site.