Day Trip: Canoeing Emerald Lake

In Day Trip by Kirsten Alexis1 Comment

Hidden in the mountains of Yoho National Park, just minutes off Trans-Canada Highway 1, lies Emerald Lake, famous for its signature turquoise color found in many glacial lakes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

We actually ended up in Yoho National Park that day by accident. The fires were raging across British Columbia, and our skydiving trip in Kelowna had been put on hold. We decided to make a road trip to the Rockies on our way back home, and figured we would hit up Banff. We stopped in Golden for the night after seeing a fire blazing on the mountain-side near Revelstoke. In the morning we grabbed a quick breakfast and made our way through the smoke-filled landscape.

The smoke began to clear as we drove on, and we decided to make a few photography stops at the beautiful aqua-blue Kicking Horse River. The sun was now shining, and the sky was a beautiful pastel blue, visible through the clearing haze.

The notifications on the radio stated that Banff was still very smoky, and the air quality was poor, so we decided to enjoy what Yoho National Park had to offer. I got out my map near the town of Field, and saw Emerald Lake was close by.

Emerald Lake Lodge sits at the edge of the glacial lake, and boasts two restaurants, numerous cabins and a hotel. It was pretty crowded upon arrival, so we decided to get a bite to eat at Cilantro on the Lake. Good timing on our part, because the only time it rained that day was while we enjoyed our meal. I actually welcomed the rain, as it helped to clear the smoke, and laughed at how ridiculous our luck with the weather had been the past week.

The rain cleared, the skies were clear and the lake seemed to change colors as clouds flew past the sun. When the sun was out the sky’s reflection was perfectly visible on the lake, almost like that from a mirror.

As if on schedule, the crowds started to leave while we made our way back to the canoe rental on the dock. In my mind there aren’t many things that are more Canadian than my beloved Tim Horton’s, hockey, poutine, maple syrup and canoeing. If you are visiting Canada for the first time (hell, even if you live here) you should definitely put canoeing at the top of your list. It is a great workout and an awesome way to see your surroundings from a different perspective. And once you set your sights on the calm, clear turquoise waters of the lake, you won’t think twice.

Once out on the lake, we were pleasantly surprised at how calm and clear the waters actually were. We were pretty much the only ones canoeing, which allowed for us to immerse ourselves in the moment. The epic views of the towering rugged mountains humble you as you make your way through the lake. With motorboats and jet skis strictly prohibited, we were able to enjoy the sounds of nature.


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