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Hiking the Spectacular Iceline Trail near Field, BC

Now joining my top hikes of all-time list is the spectacular Iceline Trail located near Field, British Columbia in Yoho National Park.

High impact scenery is the name of the game – almost from start to finish. The only downside is that it’s a popular trail especially on a weekend so don’t go expecting solitude.

"The Iceline"

The Iceline Trail near the far end

How to Hike the Iceline Trail

You can do what I did and complete a loop over a couple of days; hike in on the Yoho Valley Trail and out on the Iceline and either stay overnight in the Stanley Mitchell Hut or camp at the Little Yoho Campground. But if time is short do it as a day hike and decide once you’re up in the high alpine just how far you want to go.

As a day hike it’s a steep ascent of about 1,300 feet from the Takakkaw Falls parking lot to reach treeline. Although you continue – still steeply once you hit the alpine, the sublime views will make up for any pain you might feel.

At some point you’re going to have to decide just how far you want to hike. Many people make it as far as the high point on the Iceline and then turn back. That would make it a 12.8 kilometre (7.9 mile) round trip. But there are several options depending on your fitness level and the weather.

The full loop that includes the Iceline

Do a full loop that takes you past the Stanley Mitchell Hut on the Little Yoho Valley Trail but do it as a 20 kilometre (12 mile) day hike. Or hike up 5.7 kilometres (3.5 miles) and take the 4.2 kilometre (2.5 mile) Celeste Lake Trail that intersects the Little Yoho Valley Trail to complete a shorter loop of 17 kilometres (10.5 miles). But you’ll miss some of the wonderful scenery further up the Iceline Trail. Consider the Celeste Lake Trail as an option in a storm because you drop down into the trees.

The photos below give you an idea of what the hike looks like starting from the far end of the Iceline near the Stanley Mitchell Hut.

"Views near the far end of the Iceline Trail"

Views near the far end of the Iceline Trail

"Another stream to cross"

Another stream to cross – and poles come in handy for balance

"Crossing some remnant snow fields"

Crossing some remnant snow fields

"A mixture of high alpine and trees"
"Steep cliffs with small avalanches on them"
"Four hikers on the trail"

"Two guys admiring Takakkaw Falls hundreds of feet below"

Two guys admiring Takakkaw Falls

"Frosty the snowman won't be around long in the summer heat"

"John and I with Takakkaw Falls in the background"

"Grand views showing Takakkaw Falls in the context of the mountain range"

"Close-up of Takakkaw Falls"

"Heading back into the trees for the steep descent down"

Heading back into the trees for the steep descent down

"Yellow wildflowers at the start of the hike"

Yellow wildflowers at the start of the hike

Have you considered hiking the spectacular Iceline Trail near Field?

Other posts related to this trip you might like are:

Leigh McAdam

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta
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