On our first day exploring the Banff area, we decided to leave Alberta and head west into the British Columbia side of the Rocky Mountains. We ventured out for the day from our campsite at Johnston Canyon, and spent a great day hiking and discovering Yoho National Park.
Our first stop of the day was a nice hike to the Wapta Falls.
This was one of the longest hikes we did on our trip and the kids and dogs were pretty tired by the end. We brought our umbrella stroller, which worked well for the first portion of the trail, but got increasingly difficult with the heavy concentration of tree roots later down the path. My husband ended up carrying the stroller for a large part of the hike.
The falls were nice, but certainly not the best view we saw all week. Our hound dog was also hugely disappointed that, after hearing the rushing water, she was unable to get to it and have a drink once we were at the actual falls. Don’t worry – we did have bottled water for her!
The path down to the viewing point was also very steep, and the fence at the cliff was a bit questionable when the kids leaned against it for a better view.
It was a nice little hike amongst the trees and I really liked that the area wasn’t overly crowded with people, but I doubt it is something we would do again. With so many other great things to see in the area, the view just wasn’t worth it for the hiking distance (and complaining from tired kids) it involved.
Our next stop was at the beautiful Emerald Lake. This was a lot more congested with tourists then our Wapta Falls stop, and we were one of many vehicles that ended up parking quite a distance down the road from the full parking lot.
The turquoise green lake was stunning and there were many people out on the water in rented canoe’s when we went. There were also lovely cabins and a restaurant right there on the lake which would make it a lovely spot to vacation.
Since we had just done a long hike, we decided not to venture out on the walk around the lake, but there was also that option.
On the road up to Emerald Falls, there is also a neat Natural Bridge that has formed over time with the water rushing through the rock. We decided to stop on our way back down from the Lake.
It was a neat little area, and definitely worth the stop since the Natural Bridge was just steps off the parking lot.
There was a walking bridge that went right over top the river and canyon to give you a good look from all angles. The pictures really don’t capture how majestic it was in person.
Our last little trek of the day was up to Takakaw Falls. It was a pretty long, steep drive up the mountain, but once there, the Takakkaw Falls were just a short walk from the parking lot.
And here we came across our first set of Red Chairs! This is a Parks Canada program that places the distinctive red chairs in scenic locations throughout their many National Parks. You are encouraged to capture a photo in the chairs and share your Parks Canada adventures on social media. #SharetheChair
The falls were very large and impressive, with a short walking path that took you right to their base. We got fairly close, but the kids were turned away by the cold spray coming off the falls!
Even thought it was a long day, we managed to see a lot of great things on our day in Yoho National Park. After the long hike, the kids were a bit skeptical to get out of the car again, but seemed pretty excited to explore once we were at each of our destinations.