A little over an hour from downtown Banff in beautiful British Columbia is the majestic Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park. Rightfully named, this lake is the most beautiful shade of green. (*travel tip: your park pass is good for all the national parks!) While the parking lot didn't fill up nearly as fast as Lake Louise or Morraine Lake, I still suggest you get there early for that calm water view. I know I have mentioned that a lot, but there is something magical about the mountains reflecting in the water that you just don't get later in the day when the wind picks up. Also the parking lot started filling up more mid morning. We got there a little before 9am because we planned on renting canoes here (they open at 9). The rentals were much more budget friendly here than at Lake Louise and the little boathouse is family owned! They had the cutest little shop with local made treasures! The rental was $70 CD for an hour of floating pleasure (verses $120 for a half an hour at Lake Louise). We were the first ones out and for about 45 minutes we had the entire lake to ourselves..talk about heaven! The entire time I was mesmorized by my paddle dipping in the teal water. It's one of those things you can try to describe but never be able to until you do it.
After that we headed out to do the Emerald Lake trail that conveniently starts right behind the boathouse. This 6.7 mile trail was mostly flat and went around the entire lake so the views were amazing even in the cloudy drizzle. There are a few different places where you can take another trail coming off of the main one so it just depends on how much time you want to spend there. The end of the trail goes through the adorable little cabin village and ends back where you start at the parking lot. The cabins here have one of the most dreamy views we saw and a top contender for lodging if we get to go back!
By the time we got back it was raining a lot harder so we slipped into the cafe area of the lodge for lunch. This cozy lodge area had a beautiful fireplace and views of the lake. If it wasn't so busy with the lunch crowd, I could have sat there all day with a good book and hot drink!
As for Yoho, there were plenty of other stunning trails there, but on this particular day we headed back to Kananaskis early to enjoy the hot tub. We also thought that magical morning couldn't be topped but I saved my favorite place for the last blog post: Mistaya Canyon.