On our last day in the Canadian Rockies, we decided to take a drive to another national park before driving back to Calgary for our flight the next day. There are 4 national parks that make up the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks- Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, and Yoho. The pass to Kootenay was closed that day and Jasper was a little too far for such a quick trip. So we headed towards Yoho National Park, a couple hours west of Banff into British Columbia.
Like Banff, Yoho has a small town in the middle of the national park. The town of Field is the starting point for any trips to the park with the visitor center right off of the highway. This area was originally home to the Secwepemc and Ktunaxa tribes where they used the pass to get to the bison hunting grounds on the eastern side of the mountains.
In 1886 the then Prime Minister John Macdonald and his wife came through the Rockies on the newly created Canadian Pacific Railway. When he returned to Ottawa, he officially made Yoho a national park. Glacier National Park was created on the same day so there is a great debate over which park was the second national park of Canada and which was the third.
Because of it being winter, all the roads leading to trailheads of the park were closed. They were taking advantage of the few people and doing some major road construction through the park as they worked to expand the road. Though a little disappointed to only get to drive through the park and not hike in the park, we still couldn’t over the rocky peaks covered in snow.
At the other end of the park in the town of Golden we took a walk along the river where we got to see the beautiful emerald colored water that this area is known for. The water with the trees and the snow was really beautiful.
Yoho is a Cree expression for amazement, wonder, and awe. With that in mind, it seems a perfect description for the landscape here with the dramatic rocky peaks and the tucked away glaciers and waterfalls.
If you have enjoyed this visit to Yoho National Park, you may be interested in these other national parks:
Thanks for joining me for a drive through Yoho National Park in British Columbia. May you be filled with amazement, wonder, and awe at the views before you.