There are a few places on this earth that are so special they can only be described as magical!
The kind of places that leaves you awe-struck….open mouthed, starry-eyed, day-dreamer kind of awe-struck. When you leave you know you are forever changed…never to be the same. Last summer we had the incredible luck of discovering one of these unbelievable places.
When road tripping along the Trans Canada Highway between Golden and Banff, you travel right through Field, BC. To the average traveler, this is just another rest stop along the way to their final destination. But for the select few that are in the know, this is their final destination. Just twenty minutes west of Lake Louise, you will find the turn off for Emerald Lake Road. Twelve minutes further and that’s all it takes to get from the highway to this breathtakingly beautiful location.
We may have not known about it before we arrived, but it is forever going to remain on our bucket list as a destination that we will continue to travel too. Will we inspire you to do the same?
5 reasons you should add Emerald Lake to you Bucket List right now!!!
1. The Lake
Once you see the lake for yourself you’ll completely understand how it got its name. Discovered by European mountain guide Tom Wilson accidentally in 1882, he immediately named the lake after its remarkable colour. The intense emerald is at its peak in early summer when there is a high amount of glacial silt flowing from the surrounding mountains. Due to its high elevation however, the lake itself is frozen from November to early June, so make sure you plan accordingly.
2. The Lodge
Emerald Lake Lodge is the only accommodation at the lake. Originally built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1902, there are 24 cabin style units, an outdoor hot tub, two restaurants, a gift shop, a kayak/canoe rental dock and numerous outdoor sitting areas; including a large fire pit. The cabins have no televisions or available wifi (except in the main lodge) and there is no cell phone reception. With the parking lot 1 km from the lodge, this location is the epitome of relaxation and tranquility.
3. Canoe Rentals
Is there anything more picturesque than bright red canoes gliding over a peaceful lake surrounded by mountains? No, I didn’t think so either. Though perhaps a little pricey, canoeing on Emerald Lake is one of those ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ memory building moments that you can’t pass up. Reservations aren’t required unless you have a large group, so arrive early (before all the tour buses) and enjoy the lake all to yourself.
4. Hiking and Walking Trails
A stunning 5.2 km trail circles Emerald Lake, offering incredible views of the lake, lodge and mountains. A portion of the trail is even paved, making it suitable for strollers and wheelchairs to enjoy. Near the back of the lake, the trail becomes a little more uneven as you traverse over dirt trail and boardwalks. The entire loop is an easy 1 to 1.5 hour hike. Additionally, Emerald Lake can serve as a starting point for multiple hikes within Yoho National Park. Hikes such as the Burgess Pass, up towards Hamilton Lake or for the really adventurous, the Iceline trail to Yoho Glacier.
5. The Mountains and Their History
Surrounded by mountains on all sides, Emerald Lake has no shortage of views. President Range, Mount Burgess and Wapta Mountain are amongst the most impressive that can be enjoyed from the shores of this phenomenal location. Thanks to a course that’s offered through the University of Alberta, we have a greater appreciation for the mountains that surround Emerald Lake. Mountains 101 teaches you all about the Burgess Shale fossil deposit and the incredible discovery that was made within Yoho National Park. Mount Burgess is now classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and protected ground. To learn more, click [here].
6. Bonus: Along Emerald Lake Road you’ll discover the Natural Bridge, an impressive rock formation sculpted by the erosive forces of rushing water. The Natural Bridge spans the Kicking Horse River west of Field, where slower-moving waters from the Field Valley flats begin their descent through a canyon to be joined by the Amiskwi River. This is just another incredible reminder of how much influence water has had in shaping our landscape over hundreds of years.
There are so many incredible places right in our own backyard. Canada, and the Canadian Rockies in particular, has truly captured our adventure seeking hearts. We can’t wait to explore more of this extraordinary area and hopefully pass on a little wanderlust inspiration.
To see more photographs from this amazing location and others, check out our extended gallery at Lostlake Studios by clicking [here].