Monday, May 22, 2017

Planning Hike # 4 and Hike # 5

On the way home ten million families crammed highway 2 taking unnecessary risks with their lives to leapfrog ahead of the two snaking lines of traffic.
Being a cowardly sort I stayed behind a large van all the way home. It's no use trying to get me to overtake folks. I just go at about 100 km/hour and hope I don't get killed by the folks with genetic abnormalities who savour speed.
When we got to Leduc everyone was forced to slow down. I don't know why. We were piddling along at 40 km/hour and I was thinking we would never get home when I guess the folks who had vacated the line ups at Leduc made a hole or two in the traffic and we got up to 100 km/hour again.
Once home I took out the laundry that has been sitting in the dryer abandoned and forgotten and put them on the clothes line. They were supposed to have been fluffed and then put on the line but they were wrinkled and put out on the line.
Now that the trauma of two tiny hikes (Hike # 2 and Hike #3) are done with I am eating my Mars bar. It's best to reward yourself for any amount of exercise.
Next week I will do hikes # 4 and # 5 (still undetermined venture outings in Canmore). I will not go to Banff and Lake Louise until the novelty of early summer has worn off and families become inured to the delights of these areas and seek camping glory elsewhere.
If we have another long weekend we will go to Yoho National Park which is far away enough to be less packed.
I love Yoho National Park and it is a dream of mine to be able to afford to rent a chalet near Yoho and be immersed in luxury rather than wet tent, lumpy mattress and cold sleeping bags.
http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/yoho
Yoho Valley
Yoho’s most spectacular backpacking begins in the Yoho Valley. Takakkaw Falls is only the beginning! Journey from here to Laughing Falls, Twin Falls, Yoho Pass, the Iceline, or the Little Yoho Valley. Strong hikers may access the Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park via Goodsir Pass in Yoho. Alternatively, head west for unmaintained trails in the Amiskwi Valley or Ice River.
Trail descriptions
 Backcountry campgrounds
Yoho National Park Backcountry Guide
Yoho Backcountry Guide
© Parks Canada
Download (PDF 404 KB)
There are five backcountry campgrounds in Yoho. Four are in the Yoho and Little Yoho Valleys, accessed from the Takakkaw Falls trailhead. The fifth campground, McArthur Creek, is on the Ottertail River, which connects to the Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park via Goodsir Pass. Fires are not permitted. All campgrounds are equipped with:
tent pads
dry toilets
communal picnic tables
food storage cables or lockers
Reservations
Advanced reservations are required. Reservations can be made up to 3 months in advance. Demand is highest in July and August.
Make a reservation
Backcountry campground vacancy report (PDF)
Looking for an early start? Spend the night at the Takakkaw Falls front-country campground just 300m from the parking lot. Alternatively, stay at the HI -Whiskey Jack Hostel, a short walk from the falls.
Huts
Stay at an Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) backcountry hut and leave your tent and stove at home! The ACC operates three backcountry huts in Yoho National Park:
Stanley Mitchell Hut in the Little Yoho Valley
 Scott Duncan Hut on the Daly Glacier
Elizabeth Parker Hut in the Lake O’Hara area
Advanced reservations are required. Contact the Alpine Club of Canada to plan your adventure.
Trail descriptions
Backpacking in Yoho National Park
Trail Distance (round-trip) Time Elevation Description
Easy Trails
Laughing Falls 8.8 km 2 days 125 A forested trail to a waterfall at the confluence of the Yoho and Little Yoho Rivers.
Moderate Trails
Yoho Pass 12.8 km 2 days 530 A lakeshore stroll to an alluvial fan, followed by switchbacks and waterfalls. Shuttle recommended. This trail joins with others in the Takakkaw Falls area.
Twin Falls 16.4 km 2 days 300 This forested trail passes Laughing Falls and carries on along the Yoho River to a spectacular double cascade and Twin Falls Tea House National Historic Site.
Ottertail Valley to McArthur Creek 32.4 km 2 days 285 Walk or cycle up the Ottertail River to its confluence with McArthur Creek.
Difficult Trails
Iceline via Little Yoho 20.8 km 2 days 710 A signature circuit climbing to a high bench with spectacular glacier views, descending to meadows in the Little Yoho Valley and returning past Laughing Falls in the Yoho Valley.
Whaleback 21.3 km 2 days 700 A classic circuit taking in the Yoho Valley and Twin Falls from both above and below. Seasonal suspension bridge – check the trail report to ensure it is in.
Little Yoho Valley 18.6 km 2 days 520 A moderate to steep forested hike into a scenic hanging valley on the doorstep of many alpine climbs.
Goodsir Pass 25 km 2-3 days 910 A steep climb to a larch-laden pass with excellent views of the Goodsir peaks. Connects with Kootenay National Park’s classic Rockwall Trail multi-day route.

Laughing Falls
This trail leads to the Laughing Falls backcountry campground and is an access point for popular multiday backpacking routes.
Length: 8.8 km
Hiking time: 2 days
Elevation: 125 m
Trailhead: Takakkaw Falls parking lot, 17 km east of Field via the Trans-Canada Highway and Yoho Valley Road. Note: Yoho Valley Road is open seasonally from mid-June through mid-October. Due to tight switchbacks, RVs and trailers are not permitted.
Habitat: Typical Yoho forest with moist groundcover. Watch for the very large fallen tree en route.
Description: A forested trail to a waterfall at the confluence of the Yoho and Little Yoho Rivers.
Yoho Pass
There is a backcountry campground at Yoho Pass. This trail links the Emerald Lake and Takakkaw Falls areas.
Length: 12.8 km
Hiking time: 2 days
Elevation: 530 m
Trailhead: Emerald Lake parking lot, 10 km west of Field, B.C. via the Trans-Canada Highway and Emerald Lake Road -OR- Takakkaw Falls parking lot, 17 km east of Field, B.C. via the Trans-Canada Highway and Yoho Valley Road. Note: Yoho Valley Road is open mid-June through mid-October. RVs and Trailers are not permitted due to steep switchbacks.
Habitat: Lush Columbian forest. Watch for goats on the Burgess Highline.
Description: A lakeshore stroll to an alluvial fan, followed by switchbacks and waterfalls. Shuttle recommended. This trail joins with others in the Takakkaw Falls area.
Twin Falls
This trail leads to the Laughing Falls and Twin Falls backcountry campgrounds.
Length: 16.4 km
Hiking time: 2 days
Elevation: 300 m
Trailhead: Takakkaw Falls parking lot, 17 km northeast of Field via the Trans-Canada Highway and Yoho Valley Road. Note: Yoho Valley Road is open mid-June through mid-October. RVs and trailers are not permitted due to steep switchbacks.
Habitat: Drier, Rocky Mountain forest. Watch for goats above the falls.
Description: This forested trail passes Laughing Falls and carries on along the Yoho River to a spectacular double cascade and Twin Falls Tea House National Historic Site.
Ottertail Valley to McArthur Creek
This trail leads to the McArthur Creek backcountry campground.
Length: 32.4 km
Hiking time: 2 days
Elevation: 285 m
Trailhead: Ottertail Parking lot, 8.3 km west of Field, B.C. on the south side of the Trans-Canada Highway.
 Habitat: Sensitive and important wildlife habitat. Watch for bears, wolves, and goats.
Description: Walk or cycle up the Ottertail River to its confluence with McArthur Creek.
Iceline via Little Yoho
This trail passes the Little Yoho and Laughing Falls backcountry campgrounds.
Length: 20.8 km
Hiking time: 2 days
Elevation: 710 m
Trailhead: Takakkaw Falls parking lot, 17 km east of Field, B.C. via the Trans-Canada Highway and Yoho Valley Road. Note: Yoho Valley Road is open mid-June through mid-October. RVs and trailers are not permitted due to steep switchbacks.
Habitat: Glacial moraines in the high alpine. Watch for small mammals in subalpine rockpiles.
Description: A signature circuit climbing to a high bench with spectacular glacier views, descending to meadows in the Little Yoho Valley and returning past Laughing Falls in the Yoho Valley.
Whaleback
This trail leads to Twin Falls backcountry campground.
Length: 21.3 km
Hiking time: 2 days
Elevation: 520 m
Trailhead: Takakkaw Falls parking lot, 17 km east of Field, B.C. via the Trans-Canada Highway and Yoho Valley Road.
 Habitat: Sensitive alpine vegetation and good goat habitat. Watch for goat hair on the trees in the spring.
Description: A classic circuit taking in the Yoho Valley and Twin Falls from both above and below. Seasonal suspension bridge – check the trail report to ensure it is in.
Little Yoho Valley
This trail includes the Laughing Falls and Little Yoho backcountry campgrounds, as well as Stanley Mitchell Hut. Reservations for the hut are required and can be made in advance through the Alpine Club of Canada.
Length: 18.6 km
Hiking time: 2 days
Elevation: 520 m
Trailhead: Takakkaw Falls parking lot, 17 km east of Field, B.C. via the Trans-Canada Highway and Yoho Valley Road.
 Habitat: Subalpine hanging valley. Good place to watch small mammals.
Description: A moderate to steep forested hike into a scenic hanging valley on the doorstep of many alpine climbs.
Goodsir Pass
This trail leads to the McArthur Creek backcountry campground and continues to the Helmet Falls backcountry campground in Kootenay National Park.
Length: 25 km (one-way)
Hiking time: 2-3 days
Elevation: 915 m
Trailhead: Ottertail Parking lot, 8.3 km west of Field, B.C. on the south side of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Habitat: A thick forest leading to sub-alpine larch meadows and alpine slopes above. Watch for marmots at the pass.
Description: A steep climb to a larch-laden pass with excellent views of the Goodsir peaks. Connects with Kootenay National Park’s classic Rockwall Trail multi-day route.
Date modified : 2017-05-18
Named for a Cree expression of awe and wonder, Yoho lies on the western slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Vertical rock walls, waterfalls and dizzying peaks draw visitors from around the world. With exceptional hiking and sightseeing, the…
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