You are now viewing Banff via Natural Bridge Yoho and Emerald Lake

Banff via Natural Bridge Yoho and Emerald Lake

  • Author's message:
  • Message category:North America
Emerald Lake BC
Emerald Lake

Day 7: Drive from Kootenay National Park to Banff via Yoho National Park's Natural Bridge and walk on beautiful Emerald Lake with its clear water (250 km / 155mi). That morning we took a long hot shower at the campsite and saved the water from the camper. Because of a forest fire along Highway 93 we had to make a detour via the town of Golden instead of via the Kootenay Highway. Because we were not the only ones who had to make a detour, we had a traffic jam for half an hour. We changed the plans a bit and first drove to Emarald Lake. On your way to Emerald Lake you pass Natural Bridge in Yoho National Park.

Natural Bridge Yoho National Park

You can admire the Kicking Horse River with a small waterfall and it is certainly worth a visit. The Natural Bridge waterfall is 163 km from Redstreak (via Golden Hwy 95) in Yoho National Park and was our first stop on the way to Banff. There is a small parking on the water and is large enough for mobile homes.

We left at 9u00 from the campsite and arrived at 11u00 at Natural Bridge Yoho National Park. Once you get out of the camper in the parking lot, you hear the water of the Kicking Horse river rage. Natural Bridge is, as the name implies, a naturally formed bridge and has been worn down over the years by the fast-flowing water of the River

The perfect picture ... please be patient

Keep in mind that there are many other tourists who also want a photo. Some want their photo to be as spectacular as possible. That is, a photo on which it looks like they are all alone there. They then stand on a rock next to the waterfall.

It was not only annoying for the other people who wanted to take a photo, but it is actually super dangerous. If you fall in such a river, the chance of survival is almost nil. We saw that unfortunately everywhere on our tour. I once waited 20 min at Elk Falls until those people were gone. After Natural Bridge we drove to Emerald Lake.

Emerald Lake - Yoho National Park

It was so busy that we only found a place to park at 1,5 km from Emerald Lake. The parking is not big and certainly not comparable to the parking of Lake Louise. We could only park on the side of the road. The extra 3 km of steps was worth it. Emerald Lake is large and the most beautiful lake of Yoho National Park. Once you are there, the people swarm and it seems less crowded. Our voyage of discovery began along the bridge Emerald Lake Lodge and at the end of the road followed a narrow footpath to Peaceful Pond, a small lake in a forest.

Banff via Natural Bridge and Emerald Lake

The path continues towards the parking lot. After the walk we went swimming in the ice-cold water of Emerald Lake. Once in the water the cold is not too bad, but I'm sure it helped that it was 30 degrees warm that day.

Emerald Lake BC Parking

Lake Louise

Lake Louise (1731m) is surrounded by the Victoria glacier, high mountain peaks and thanks to its emerald green color it is beautiful to see, but as expected it is very busy. Emerald Lake is located in the Banff National Park in Alberta and is on the list of UNESCO. From the Highway exit you will be guided towards the parking lot by parking attendants. Everything is well organized, a bit like in Walt Disney World. There were many more people along the water than at Emerald Lake. The first chalet on the shore of Lake Louise was built in 1890, but 10.000 years ago there were already people living in the area. The former inhabitants called it "the lake of small fish".

Lake Louise AB

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Later on (1882) Tom Wilson, researcher for the railways, called the lake "Emerald Lake". In 1884 the name changed. It became Lake Louise, named after Princess Louise, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. Besides goats, lynxes and gluttons, the environment is important for Grizzly bears. After we took a walk along the shore Jessica and the children had a swim. We walked back to our Camper through the hotel. I can not tell because I did not swim in Lake Louise, but Jessica said Lake Louise was colder than that of Emerald Lake. Ffff, maybe a bit. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is located on the eastern shore of Lake Louise. The first hotel was built more than 100 years ago. This was due to the realization of the railway infrastructure to the lake. They wanted to attract holiday-goers by train to the beautiful Fairmont Chateau lake Louise to come on vacation.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Banff Mountain Tunnel Village 2

The road to Moraine Lake was closed because the parking was full. We have not visited that lake and drove to our Camping, Mountain Tunnel Village 2 in Banff. Our camping site was along the busy road at the entrance of the campsite. As a result, you heard the arrival and departure of the campers. Not so ideally located, but because of the many trips during the day we did not mind. The next day, Johnston Canyon, a serious walk on the program.

Banff Village 2 Campground

Info Camping Banff

Camping: Banff Mountain Tunnel Village 2

place A54 (Large and not so cozy Camping)

Johnston Canyon

Day 8: Visit and walk to the waterfalls of Johnston Canyon and the Johnston Canyon Ink Pots.

Read more

Map Banff & Surroundings

  • Road Trip West Canada & Vancouver Island
  • Travel program overview


I made the travel blog "Globetrotter Avenue" as a hobby, but also to share travel experiences with others. In the meantime I have visited more than 40 countries. We love nature, forests and mountains, but also sun, sea and beach. Enjoy reading!

Give an answer