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jartelt
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PostSat Apr 20, 2019 5:39 pm 
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I had the pleasure of hiking the Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park with my wife in September 2018. We arrive in Banff about a week after much of the smoke was cleared out by some rain. This allowed us to get some nice views, though the visibility still was not perfect. Most of our hiking was in Banff National Park, but we drove to Yoho for one day to do this hike.

The Iceline Trail was really great. We loved the mix of glaciers, mountains, and waterfalls. If you do a full loop from the Takakkaw Falls parking lot, it is about 13 miles with ~3,000 feet of elevation gain. Much of the climbing is in mile 2, so be prepared to push in this section. However, once you get out of the forest, the views do not disappoint!

Below are pictures of some of the highlights. Here is a link to the full post I wrote if you want to see more pictures and learn more about the hike! (https://backpackers-review.com/trip-reports/yoho-iceline-trail/)

View from the Iceline Summit looking towards Little Yoho Valley

Alpine Lake along Iceline Trail

Emerald Glacier seen from the Iceline Trail

Little Yoho Valley

Laughing Falls

Takakkaw Falls and the icefield from the Iceline Trail

Takakkaw Falls and the Yoho River

Heading towards the big climb up to the Iceline Trail

Emerald Glacier with a waterfall and lake

One of many great views along the Iceline Trail
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timberghost
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PostMon Apr 22, 2019 5:13 am 
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I loved my hike up there. Got started early and was heading down when most of the people were going up. Some great views from up there for sure.
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neek
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PostMon Apr 22, 2019 5:46 am 
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Nice, did the loop on our honeymoon.  Mid August, no smoke.  Can't remember how many years ago.
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BigBrunyon
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PostMon Apr 22, 2019 3:12 pm 
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Considerin' going up to Banff. Where would you recommend camping in Banff/Yoho/Jasper complex?

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i ALWAYS camp at the upper lake!
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jartelt
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PostMon Apr 22, 2019 3:40 pm 
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Sadly, I have not yet camped in the Banff/Yoho area. Both times I've gone up we stayed in vacation rentals. One thing to consider is that many of the popular trailheads are quite far apart. Definitely think of which hikes you are interested in doing beforehand and choose a camping area that is close to those trailheads.

Hopefully someone else can help you out more!
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timberghost
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PostTue Apr 23, 2019 5:20 am 
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BigBrunyon wrote:
Considerin' going up to Banff. Where would you recommend camping in Banff/Yoho/Jasper complex?

Yes the three times I have been there that's where I camped. For hiking get up early and start and you will beat the crowds. I took my own rafts and paddled on many lakes great way to get away from the noon crowds.
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teagirl
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PostTue Apr 23, 2019 6:01 pm 
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Great trip report, @jartlet!

@Big Brunyon: the national park campsites right along hwy 1 are OK, they fill up but have overflow spots.

I've enjoyed the HI-hostel in Lake Louise a few times (not the cheapest, but nothing is in that part of the world!). I enjoyed staying in Canmore at the Alpine Club of Canada "clubhouse". Like a hostel but cheaper.

Banff itself is kinda crazy in the summer, including crazy to get in & out of from the highway.

The hikes in Yoho, Banff & Jasper NPs are definitely amazing but access can get crazy busy. A less-well-travelled but super beautiful area is Kananaskis Country a little further east - Northover Ridge, Smutwood / Birdwood & Cirque Peaks are some highlight hikes. Rogers Pass area is also pretty spectacular.

The books "Don't Waste Your Time In The Canadian Rockies" and "Where Locals Hike in the Canadian Rockies" (which is actually about Kananaskis) are great resources, both pretty recently updated.

It's a lovely part of the world! But you need more than one trip... smile.gif
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