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Yoho National Park Canada

Yoho National Park Canada

June 22, 2011

Yoho National Park is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains in British Columbia, Canada. The park is bordered by two other national parks, being Banff National Park and Kootenay National Park, and it covers an area of 507 square miles. The park was originally established in 1886, and is celebrating 125 years this year. The park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Yoho National Park is known for its gorgeous scenery, lush forests, stunning waterfalls, the Natural Bridge (which was carved of solid rock by the Kicking Horse River), and for the Spiral Tunnels. Yoho is also known for being the site of one of the world's most important fossil discoveries, the Burgess Shale.

The Burgess Shale Formation holds the fossils of over 120 marine animal species that date back to over 500 million years ago. The Burgess Shale World Heritage Site is now merged with the bigger Canadian Rocky Mountains Parks World Heritage Site with the area's four national parks and three provincial parks.

 

There are plenty of things to do at Yoho National Park besides just sightseeing. You can go camping in one of 297 sites available. You can also go kayaking, rafting, canoeing, and fishing in Kicking Horse River, Emerald Lake or Lake OHara. The lakes are known for their brilliant, deep turquoise color, due to the silt brought down by streams from glaciers. There are also many places to go hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, and cross-country skiing. There is over 400km of hiking trails, and you can ride horses and bikes on the numerous trails throughout the park.

 

There are three different waterfalls to visit at Yoho National Park. The falls are Takakkaw Falls, Laughing Falls, and Wapta Falls. Takakkaw Falls is Canada's second-highest waterfall, which cascades 1,246 feet in two drops, and it has a freefall of 833 feet. There is a picnic area nearby where you can enjoy lunch and drink in the stunning scenery. Laughing Falls tumbles 98 feet down from Little Yoho Valley, and there is a back-country campground there, where you can enjoy the sounds of the falls as you fall asleep. Wapta Falls is a 30-minute hike away from the Trans-Canada Highway, and is one of Yoho's largest of the falls. Wapta Falls is on the Kicking Horse River.

 

Another of Yoho's most notable features is the Spiral Railway Tunnels. The two tunnels were built in order to increase the length of the tracks in its rise of the pass, making it much more easier to make the climb to the top. There used to be a pedestrian walkway at the tunnels viewpoint on the Trans-Canada Highway, but due to the danger of the structure's possible collapse, it was closed in 2000, and there hasn't been any further notice of a reopening. There is still an overlook on the highway between Field and the pass summit where the tunnels are visible from.

There are many different fees required at Yoho National Park for the different activities. For daily entry fees, it is $4.90 for youths (ages 6 to 16), $9.80 for adults (17 to 64), $8.30 for seniors (65 or older), or $19.60 for a family or group. For one-night camping, it's $21.50 at Hoodoo Creek (the washroom buildings only have toilets). At Kicking Horse, it's $27.40 (the washrooms have toilets and showers). At both Takakkaw Falls and Monarch (walk-in, primitive), it's $17.50. For fire permits, a campsite day use permit, and the dump station, it is $8.80 for each. For a fishing permit, it is $9.80 daily, or $34.30 for an annual permit. For public transit to the Lake OHara area and back, it is $7.30 for youths and $14.70 for adults. For more information on tickets and purchase, please visit http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/yoho/index.aspx.