Possibly one of the most spectacular hikes in the Rockies, with close-up views of numerous glaciers, one of the highest waterfalls in Canada (Takakkaw Falls), peaks of mountains, and much more.
Probably called Iceline because is follows the lower edge of several (unfortunately fast-receding) glaciers in Yoho NP, you will get great views of Takakkaw Falls, the Daly Glacier above it that feeds it and the Yoho River, and great views of numerous other glaciers.
A must-do trail, which can only be done in summer and early fall as the access road gets closed when the snows come.
The GPS data for this trail is for a day hike, along the main trail starting near Takakkaw Falls, and goes 6.6 k in each direction to the Iceline Summit. Overnighters can continue to either Little Yoho Campground (10.4 k) or the Stanley Mitchell hut (of Alpine Club of Canada - contact them for details and reservations) (10.7 k).
To Iceline Summit, keep right at all junctions, except the junction to Celeste Lake, where you continue straight ahead (it's at 5.7 k, just before the summit).
From Banff or Lake Louise, drive west on Highway 1 (Trans Canada Highway) into BC to the turn north to Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park. (You will need to purchase or have an appropriate National Parks pass.) The parking area at the end of the road to Takakkaw Falls is 13.3 km north from Highway 1. (The turn to Takakkaw Falls is 3.6 km east of Field, B.C. (The turn is approximately 60 km east of Golden, B.C. and about 205 km east of Revelstoke, B.C., both of which are located on Highway 1)
Parking for the Iceline trail is in the Takakkaw Falls parking area (51.497255 N; 116.483012 W). It is a flat walk of about ½ km to the trailhead adjacent to the Whiskey Jack Hostel, located on the west side of the road into Takakkaw Falls. You will pass by it on the way to the parking area. There is no parking allowed at the hostel other than for its patrons.
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Posted By: ChrisMarry
- Sun Oct 06 20:42:56 UTC 2019
UpsideBeautiful views of surrounding peaks, easy trail despite the fresh snow and multiple waterfalls even late in the season. DownsideThis is one to do early season, when all waterfalls are active. It was beautiful in winter conditions but I am sure we would have been way more impressed earlier in the season. Worth going back next summer. CommentEdwards Rating: N/A - Hike
Oct 5, 2019 - Winter Conditions
17.69 km, 4 to 8 hours
Elevation of 940 m NET, 703 m TOT & max 2183 m
**** We started up Yoho Trail and followed the signs to Celeste Lake. Yoho River is beautiful, small âcanyonâ at some point, Laughing Falls and many other lakes/waterfalls we didnât stop by as we didnât have much time to do the loop today. It is worth taking your time and stop by all these lakes and waterfalls, even going up to Twin Falls. This will add up quite a bit of distance and probably get to 25-30 km total if you visit them all. Reading a few other trip reports, seems like most do the loop the other way around. We liked it this way, with stunning views of eastern/southeastern peaks of Waputik Icefield and Wapta Mountain.
Posted By: PatientWolf
- Sun Jul 16 18:35:59 UTC 2017
UpsideIncredible views of many glaciers around the area. Only in the forest for about 45 minutes, majority of trail is exposed to the amazing views. Maintained well, with plenty of cairns in the area to help. DownsideHiked Iceline on July 16, 2017, and was uninformed by any site that the Day hike (which descends to Celeste Lake and Laughing Falls before connecting back to the main trail) was closed at a broken bridge over dangerous river rapids. Hiked about 5km down to this bridge, only to have to turn around, climb back up the mountain and down the way we came. A 5 hour hike turned into 8 1/2 hours. CommentGreat hike!! Would recommend to all. Not highly difficult and incredible views of the valley. Would have liked to have known about the broken bridge at the trail head as there was nothing warning us at the Celeste Lake junction turn off from the Iceline trail.
Posted By: thom
- Wed May 04 00:59:17 UTC 2016
QuestionWill yoho valley road be open June 15th? Hoping to do this hike then and the parks canada website says the road will be closed until "mid-June". ThanksANSWERS are in this forum: yoho valley road
Posted By: roie
- Wed Feb 11 15:19:49 UTC 2015
I have one day for hikling this area and I'm thiking of doing that trail or Takakkaw Falls to Yoho Lake circuit trail.
Which one you thinks we will enjoy it more?
Weare a family with good walking kids (12, 10, 7)
the takakkaw Falls to Yoho Lake circuit I read in that page:
Tnx alotANSWERS are in this forum: akakkaw Falls to Yoho Lake circuit trail
Posted By: vpigeon
- Fri Oct 04 03:15:39 UTC 2013
UpsideA bucket list hike DownsideLong and arduous, but that's the cost of a great hike CommentRedid this hike, in the snow, on Oct 3, 2013.
As usual, hikes in the snow are much prettier than the summer version in/on rocks, etc....
The new GPS data is for the circuit, going up the Whisky Jack route, and circling back via Celeste Lake. The route back via Celeste Lake is very pretty, and easier down than the Whisky Jack route.
After approx 7.5 K, you will come to a sign the directs you, inter alia, back down to the Yoho River via the Celeste Lake trail. The return trip, via Laughing Falls (after Celeste Lake) is 11.5 k long, but easier than going back down the Whisky Jack route.
If you have time, detour the .4 k (.8 return) to Lac Duchesnay. It is dry in late summer, fall, and quite interesting to see.