skip to Main Content
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Hiking The Spectacular Iceline Trail Near Field, BC

Hiking the Spectacular Iceline Trail near Field, BC

The spectacular Iceline Trail located near Field, British Columbia in Yoho National Park joins the my list of all time favorite hikes.

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.

Sweet hiking on the Iceline Trail with Takkakaw Falls in view

Sweet hiking on the Iceline Trail with Takkakaw Falls in view

Options for hiking 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.

Don’t forget: Always carry the 10 hiking essentials.

The full loop that includes the Iceline Trail

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.

trees at the far end of the Iceline Trail - since we had started at the Stanley Mitchell Hut

Coming out of the trees at the far end of the Iceline Trail – since we had started at the Stanley Mitchell Hut

Crossing snowfields at the far end of the Iceline Trail

Crossing snowfields at the far end of the Iceline Trail

Exceptional scenery with turquoise coloured lakes in the high alpine

Exceptional scenery with turquoise coloured lakes in the high alpine

Enjoy impressive glacier views on the Iceline Trail

Enjoy impressive glacier views on the Iceline Trail

There's still some snow kicking around in July on the Iceline Trail

There’s still some snow kicking around in July

Two guys admiring Takakkaw Falls and surrounding scenery

Two guys admiring Takakkaw Falls

Its a world of rock and ice on the Iceline Trail

Its a world of rock and ice on the Iceline Trail

Two guys admiring Takakkaw Falls

The main drop of Takkakaw Falls is 254 metres

Someone had fun building this mini-snowman

Someone had fun building this mini-snowman

Takkakaw Falls in context of the bigger landscape

Takkakaw Falls in context of the bigger landscape

John goofing around with me just before the descent

John goofing around with me just before the descent

Yoho National Park Hotels and Places to Stay

This post includes some affiliate links. If you make a qualifying purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

You can camp in Yoho National Park between mid-May and mid-October. In total there are 150 campsites over four frontcountry campgrounds. 

The Takakkaw walk-in campsite would be a great choice, especially as it’s the closest one to the Iceline Trail. It has 35 un-serviced campsites in a pretty setting. Campsites are available on a first c0me – first served basis. 

Two other nearby campsites include Monarch and Kicking Horse. These two campsites can be reserved. They are near the intersection of the Trans-Canada and the road into Takakkaw Falls. I think you could expect a bit of highway noise here. Reserve online here or call them at 1-877-RESERVE (737-3783).

There are also four backcountry campgrounds in Yoho and Little Yoho Valleys – and all are accessed from the Takakkaw Falls trailhead.

If it’s a hotel you’re after, Cathedral Mountain Lodge is the closest. Nearby in the town of Field are loads of B&B’s including the highly rated Charlie’s Guesthouse. If you’re looking for a stay in a spectacular setting book Emerald Lake Lodge. Another affordable option is the Whiskey Jack Wilderness Hostel, a short walk away from Takakkaw Falls.

The Stanley Mitchell Hut run by the Alpine Club of Canada is near the far end of the Iceline Trail. It’s a great – though busy place to stay – if you want to also explore the President Range.

Other posts related to this trip you might like are:

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

Iceline Trail hike in Yoho National Park

 

 

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

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

This Post Has 46 Comments
  1. Another gorgeous hike in Western Canada. Part of the landscape looks almost lunar.

    In the mountains here we have snowball fights in the middle of summer; never spotted a snowman though. Clever 🙂

  2. As I scrolled through the photos, I kept thinking “Stunning, simply stunning” and I see from the other comments that was the reaction of others. Beautiful shots Leigh! (Oh my gosh, your copy and past code is gone – hope this works).

    1. @Vera It’s hard to relate to the oppressive heat that many are feeling this summer – especially when you’re up in the mountains. The deep blue mountain skies are always wonderful to see.

  3. @Scott There are bears around I’m sure though we saw no sign of any – no scat and no sightings. It’s a very popular trail and the Rangers stay on top of any bear activity. I didn’t think about them at all on this hike – whereas I will when I hike in Waterton National Park (just north of Glacier) over Labour Day. In that park you’re just about guaranteed a sighting.

  4. What an amazing hike! I would love to do this hike one. It reminds me of one I did near Lake Tahoe called Round Top. Similar lakes and snow but this one if a little more spectacular than that one. What a beautiful hike!

  5. Ha! I love the snowman shot snuck in there. You are reminding me that we need to plan our annual trip to Mt. Rainier. Last Sept. we were in shorts making snowballs. It was a bit surreal.

  6. When you use the word “spectacular”, you mean it! What dramatic scenery on this trail. I like the photo of the two guys admiring the falls — looks like they are precariously perched.

  7. When you use the word “spectacular”, you mean it! What dramatic scenery on this trail. I like the photo of the two guys admiring the falls — looks like they are precariously perched.

  8. Hey

    I have one day for hiking this area and I’m thinking of doing that trail or Takakkaw Falls to Yoho Lake circuit trail.
    Which one you thinks we will enjoy it more?
    We are a family with good walking kids (12, 10, 7)
    the Takakkaw Falls to Yoho Lake circuit I read in that page:

    Tnx alot

    1. @Roie If your kids are good walkers and you can take the day to hike, do the Iceline Trail. The hard part is the initial climb but if you do it in the morning you’ll be fresh and the sun won’t be beating down on the trail at that point. Once you’ve climbed the views are fantastic and you can go as little or as far as you want.

  9. Hi! We didn’t score seats on the shuttle to Lake O’Hara (despite calling as soon as the lines opened!) We are capable of hiking in (if you think it’s worth it) or would you recommend this hike as a substitute? Or something else? Thanks so much, your site has been so helpful to our planning.

    – Jenny

    1. @Jenny If it’s a brilliant sunshiney day, hike in and make it one very long day. If it’s on the cloudier side opt for the Iceline – which is still amazing but it doesn’t have all those in your face turquoise coloured lakes.

  10. Thanks for this post. After reading these positive blog experiences, my boyfriend and I decided to hike the Iceline trail in a day. What an incredible adventure it was with some of the most impressive scenery around!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Close search

Cart