Yoho National Park
Yoho, a Cree word of “amazement,” is a fitting name for the 131,300-hectare (324,450-acre) Yoho National Park immediately north of Kootenay National Park and beside Banff National Park to the east. Although it’s the smallest of four contiguous parks, its wild and rugged landscape holds spectacular waterfalls, extensive ice fields, a lake to rival those in Banff, and one of the world’s most intriguing fossil beds. In addition, you’ll find some of the finest hiking in all of Canada on the park’s 300-kilometer (186-mile) trail system.
Within the park are four lodges, four campgrounds, and the small railway town of Field, where you’ll find basic services. The park is open year-round, although road conditions in winter can be treacherous and occasional closures occur on Kicking Horse Pass. The road out to Takakkaw Falls is closed through winter, and it often doesn’t reopen until mid-June.
From the park’s western edge, Highway 1 follows the Kicking Horse River as it descends to the Columbia River Valley and the town of Golden.
The main source of park information is Field Visitor Centre on the TransCanada Highway at Field (250/343-6783, daily 9 a.m.–8 p.m. in summer, daily 9 a.m.–4 p.m. the rest of the year).
Passes are required for entry into Kootenay and Yoho National Parks. Passes are interchangeable between parks — including adjacent Banff and Jasper National Parks — and are valid until 4 p.m. the day following purchase. The cost of a National Parks Day Pass is adult $10, senior $8.30, child $5. There is a maximum per-vehicle entry fee of double the adult (or senior) rate.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition