This is the last hike I want to recap from our road trip through the Canadian Rockies. The famed Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park. I say famed because in my hours of trip planning this hike popped up over and over. Here are some of the generous descriptions of this hike, and links to great resources for other hikes in the area!

“Now joining my top hikes of all-time list is the spectacular Iceline Trail…High impact scenery is the name of the game – almost from start to finish.” –Hike Bike Travel

“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.” –Trail Peak

“The Iceline is an indelibly memorable hike…A lot could be written but, quite frankly, there are insufficient words in any language which could do justice to this…world class hike.” –Hiking With Barry

Well crap, we had to drink the Kool-Aid too.

Trip Information

Via TrailPeak

Another resource for hiking in the Canadian Rockies (and all over the west) is Phil Armitage’s website.

  • Round Trip: 8 miles out and back. You could also make this a longer day hike loop – see this TrailPeak post.
  • Start elevation: 5,050 feet
  • End elevation: 7,300 feet
  • Elevation gain: 2,250 feet
  • Trail head: Takkaw Falls parking lot

The Hike

After parking in the Takkaw Falls parking lot, we followed the signs for the Iceline trail. We crossed Yoho Valley Road to access the trailhead which is next to the Whiskey Jack Hostel. Then it’s a steep but short ~1.5 mile switchback hike through a lush forest to gain the ridge.

As we were hiking through the forest we saw only a few other groups and were thinking “oh, all the warnings about how crowded it is must not apply to us!!”

Psht. After we reached the ridge it was like joining a Thanksgiving Day parade. DAMMIT.

Pretty quickly we reached views of [receding] glaciers.

Iceline Trail Yoho National Park

And the shimmering turquoise lakes they feed into, such as this gem:

Iceline Trail Yoho National Park

The next few miles are pretty flat with the occasional uphill climb. About 3.75 miles into the hike we reached the junction for Little Yoho Valley and Celeste Lake. This is a natural turnaround point, or you could continue another 0.25 miles toward Little Yoho Valley to reach the high point of the Iceline Trail.

Iceline Trail Yoho National Park

Iceline Trail Yoho National Park

Iceline Trail Yoho National Park

Me with my excellent posture:

Iceline Trail Yoho National Park

Slightly less awkward:

Iceline Trail Yoho National Park

Iceline Trail Yoho National Park

After reaching the high point we made our way back down. The views on the descent were pretty incredible.

Iceline Trail Yoho National Park

Iceline Trail Yoho National Park

Takkaw Falls is fed by the Daly Glacier and is 991 feet tall. It is spectacular and you can hear it roaring from across the valley.

Iceline Trail Yoho National Park

Iceline Trail Yoho National Park

Overall this hike had incredible views after reaching the ridge line, and Takkaw Falls is an awesome site to behold. BUT the crowds detracted from our enjoyment. It’s so hard to be a hiker in a gorgeous place, UGH.

The end.

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5 Comments

    • ashleyoutside Reply

      Thanks! Yes, there is no shortage of views on this hike..

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  2. Goodness. I just realized you did this hike! Iceline Trail is one of the hikes I want to do this summer. You were there when the weather was great too. I’m envious. Did you return the same way you hiked in or you did as a loop? I want to do as an out-and-back hike but still deciding.

    • ashleyoutside Reply

      We did it as an out and back. I think we started a little later in the day and that’s what decided it. It was nice because the hike back in the afternoon sun has some pretty amazing views/lighting. But I usually favor loop hikes, so I would recommend that!

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