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Emerald Lake Area: Moderate to Difficult Hike

  • Jul 13, 2013 · 7:00 AM
  • McMahon Stadium



You will need to sign a waiver to attend this trip.

Rules of Conduct (clickable): [url=]By participating in this CORA activity, you automatically agree to follow the CORA Rules of Conduct. Please read them before the trip.

Update your RSVP as early as possible, at least 48 hours before the meeting time. If you are unable to attend for any reason whatsoever, LET ME KNOW as soon as possible.  Be courteous to those waiting to attend.[
If you do not let me know, you will be recorded as a [url=]"no show"[/url].

Please indicate in your COMMENTS if you can drive, if necessary. I need to know if we have adequate transportation for all participants, not your preference to ride.

This trip is in Yoho National Park.  We will need to have park passes for all vehicles or be prepared to purchase park admissions. If you have a Park Pass please bring it with you.

Please ensure you complete the questions thoroughly.

Participation: The trip organizer reserves the right to move people on and off the trip or wait list, or to increase or reduce the size of the group, in order to match people to the trip based on fairness, ability, safety, and other criteria. Hey! It’s my trip.

TRIP WAIVER AND CONDITIONS: You must sign a trip waiver to attend this event. You must also be a member of CORA. The annual membership fee is $20 and allows you to attend trips until the next Annual General Meeting. You may also choose to attend as a non-member for a $5 fee.

Description: Dayhike

[b][url=]Difficulty Rating (clickable): D5[/url]
Distance: Undetermined (10 - 20 km) 
Roundtrip Time: 10 - 12 hours est. (Only an estimate. Don’t make plans that depend on it. It’s the mountains.)

On Trail time: 4 - 8 hours (Patton & Robinson: Canadian Rockies Trail Guide).
Elevation gain: 880 m (Calgary Tower is 191m high)

Level: D4-5

Recent flooding has shut down a lot of the backcountry.  One region that has escaped relatively unscathed is Yoho Park and the Emerald Lake region. There are several interesting hikes in the area.  One option I am considering is going to the Iceline trail via Little Yoho Lake and the Highline Trail.  Another option is the Emerald Lake Triangle (aka Yoho Pass to Burgess Pass Circuit). Both of these are moderate to difficult hikes. An average level of fitness is required but our pace is moderate-slow. There is another easier/shorter trip to Hamilton Lake that is worth considering.  The final choice will be made on the basis of expressed interest and perceived group abilities.  All these trails leave from the same general area.

The following description is for the Yoho Pass - Burgess Pass Circuit. It also applies equally to the start of the Highline Trail access.

Brian Patton & Bart Robinson describe this as one of the better loops for dayhikers.  There are spectacular views of Alpine Meadows, Waterfalls, the Burgess Shale deposits (from a distance), the Kicking Horse Valley (after a slight detour), and the President Range.  The hike will involve a traverse across Wapta Mountain.

Bushwhacking and Off-trail: With many of my trips there is a good likelihood of bushwhacking and off-trail and that naturally means some route-finding. I tend to get off the beaten track and try to avoid “tourist” routes.  If you want the tourist route, you’re on the wrong trip. You are warned. Don’t be surprised.

Dogs: Not this time.

Driving and Directions:
To get there we'll meet in the parking lot at McMahon Stadium. From there we take Hwy 1 westbound to Lake Louise. We will regroup at Lake Louise and proceed west along the Trans-Canada Hwy  to the Emerald Lake Road 2 km. west of Field, B.C.  We will then turn on to Emerald Lake Road and follow it 8.5 kms to the Emerald Lodge Parking Lot.

Weather forecast: unknown
Trail conditions: unknown

Members are free. Non-members fee is $5. Gas contributions for drivers (see below).

CORA trips start at the trailhead. As a convenience to participants only, we meet at the meeting point in Calgary then car pool from there. Please be on time. We don't want to have to wait around long. You may choose to meet us at the trailhead, but please advise us ahead of time. Please indicate in your RSVP COMMENTS if you can drive, if necessary. Please reimburse some $$ to drivers for gas.

EQUIPMENT: Weather can change quickly -- rain, snow, wind, warm, or cold -- BE PREPARED. NO COTTON!
Mandatory – hiking poles, sense of humour, lunch, at least 2 litres of water, layers, sturdy boots.  
Recommended - camera, gaiters, personal first aid kit, bug repellent, bear spray, and microspikes.

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  • Bruce P.

    That turned out to be a wonderful day. We did the Emerald Lake Triangle starting from the switchbacks to Burgess Pass and over to Yoho Pass. Added a side trip to Yoho Lake. A bunch of troopers, every one. (You know its a good trip when everyone in the car is so tired they are almost comatose).

    July 13, 2013

  • Cheryl

    my guest is no longer attending

    July 12, 2013

    • Tian W.

      now we only have 6 people, so two cars may be enough

      July 12, 2013

    • Bruce P.

      Two will be enough. The question now is whether or not everyone left shows up.

      July 12, 2013

  • Bruce P.

    Although I have closed the RSVPs I may still take additional people. The catch is that you have to be willing to drive. I already have a shortage of drivers.

    July 12, 2013

    • Bruce P.

      Tian. I'm not really reachable by phone. Sorry. I don't have a cellphone and rely mostly on e-mail.

      July 12, 2013

    • Tian W.

      now we only have 6 people, so two cars may be enough

      July 12, 2013

  • Cheryl

    Bruce, I'm confused as to where we're meeting. In your driving directions, it says we're meeting at Dalhousie Stn and at the top it says we're meeting at McMahon Stadium.

    July 12, 2013

    • Bruce P.

      We are meeting at McMahon. I'll change that now.

      July 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Too many commitments.

    July 11, 2013

  • Gaston G.

    I hate to bow out of this to unavoidable family duty :). Have fun on the hike. I will look for the hike again.

    July 10, 2013

  • Bruce P.

    The plan is still to go ahead on Saturday. Hamilton Lake looks like the best option but all options are still on the table. If we want to take the time to set up a car shuttle, we could go over from Emerald lake to Takkakaw Falls w, or w/o, a side trip to Celeste Lake. That would be the 4th option.

    July 9, 2013

  • catalin

    I know this trip was posted some time ago, maybe before the floods. I'd like to know if it's still a go. Thanks, Bruce.

    July 9, 2013

5 went

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