Iceline Trail and Emerald Lake Loop

Banff, Alberta

Trip Highlights

  • Waterfalls & Glaciers
  • River Valleys & Alpine Lakes
  • Wildlife Habitat
  • Hike & Explore Yoho Nat'l Park
  • Stunning Mountain Views
  • Opportunities to See Wildlife
  • Visit Famous Town of Banff

Description

Our Iceline Trail and Emerald Lake Loop Canadian Rockies backpacking trip is an outstanding adventure in Yoho National Park. The Park is true to its Cree language name, when translated it means “awe” and “wonder”. This moderate backpacking loop takes us past multiple waterfalls, beneath towering mountain peaks, beside colorful alpine lakes and to the base of several majestic glaciers. This 4-day hike allows you to experience the spectacular scenery and natural wonders that the Canadian Rockies are so well known for. Highlights include sweeping views of the Yoho River and Little Yoho River Valleys, Canada’s second largest waterfall Takakkaw Falls, the world renowned Iceline Trail, and 3 stunning campsite locations at the base of Twin Falls, by the Little Yoho River and on the banks of Yoho Lake. The trip begins and concludes from the beautiful and famous mountain town of Banff, which is a perfect location to base your explorations of the surrounding Canadian Rockies.

4 Days
$1800 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-12 Guests
Trip Length: 4 Days
Distance: 21.8MI / 35KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 3

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
30-40 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
4-7 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
1640 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
2445 feet
Quality of Trails:
This hike follows well-trodden dirt and rock paths, with some off-trail hiking
Additional:
This trip has mostly moderate days of hiking (up to 7 miles) with moderate elevation gain (up to 2445), which is why this trip is given a Level 3 difficulty rating.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise several times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles per day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a 25-pound backpack

SOLITUDE LEVEL 3

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Canadian Rockies hike a solitude 3. You can expect several hours of solitude at a time.

BOOKING FLIGHTS

For this Canadian Rockies trek you will need to fly into Calgary International Airport the day before the trip starts. Flights to and from Calgary International Airport are the guest’s responsibility. Multiple airlines operate flights into Calgary from many U.S. and European international airports. Some of the primary U.S. departure cities include Phoenix, Denver, Portland, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Minneapolis. The duration of nonstop flights is 2-5 hours.

Calgary to Banff

Multiple rental car companies are available at the Calgary airport.

The best way to get from Calgary to Banff is via a shuttle service. We recommend the using the Banff Airporter.

Banff Airporter
(888) 449-2901
Banff Airporter

Brewster Banff Airport Express
(877) 625-4372
https://www.banffjaspercollection.com/brewster-express/schedule-locations/

We require a minimum of 4 guests to confirm this trip. If a trip date is not confirmed yet, you can register and will be notified when the trip is officially confirmed. We recommend not making final travel arrangements until your trip meets the minimum number of guests and is confirmed.

In most cases, if a trip does not reach the minimum number of guests, you may choose to transfer to another trip date or another trip, be refunded your payments in full, or you may have the choice to pay a supplemental fee to run the trip with fewer guests. We make the final determination for these trips 45 days before the departure date.

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 4-5 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 6-7 People: Rate x 1.2
  • 8-10 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 11-12 People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
PDF Trip Itinerary Packet Book online
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Itinerary

Itinerary

PRE-TRIP ARRIVAL

You will need to arrive the day before your trip in time to attend the orientation meeting at 5pm at the Banff Center, 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff. Your guide will cover introductions, a thorough briefing of your route, hand out group and personal gear and answer any last-minute questions you may have. Your guide will let you know what time they will pick you up from your hotel. Dinner is on your own and make sure you have a hearty one as tomorrow we hit the trail!

DAY 1

  • Driving Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 4.5 miles (7.2 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 490 feet (150 m)

Our Canadian Rockies trek begins with pick-up from your hotel and a scenic drive crossing over the great divide and into British Columbia. Our first day is a tour of 5 waterfalls! Arriving at the parking lot we have an immediate spectacular view of Takakkaw Falls, the second tallest waterfall in Canada, rising over 1200ft in the air. From here we’ll follow a spectacular trail through pockets of temperate rainforest through the Yoho River Valley. On the way we’ll enjoy breaks at the wondrous Laughing Falls, Point of Lace Falls and Angel’s Staircase Falls. Tonight’s camp is near the base of our final waterfall of the day, Twin Falls. The roar of the river and plunging glacial fed water will be our backdrop and lull us to sleep after a well-deserved gourmet meal prepared by your guide.

DAY 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 6.4 miles (10.3 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 2445 feet (745 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 985 feet (300 m)

Waking to the smell of coffee or tea and a delicious breakfast, we’ll pack up and throw on our backpacks and continue our loop hike. We are quickly rewarded with up close views of Twin Falls. These falls are unique with two channels of rushing water that fall 260ft side by side from a rocky precipice before braiding together and crashing into the river below. Continuing upwards, the trail gets steeper as we hike around to the top of the falls. If time allows, we will explore the surrounding valley full of cascades and waterfalls before continuing on our journey. Before reaching the top of Whaleback we cross an exhilarating suspension bridge and take in 360-degree views of glaciers and alpine peaks before dropping down to the floor of the Little Yoho River Valley. Our camp tonight lies in this magnificent valley beside the clear rushing waters of the river. After another top-notch meal, we’ll drift to sleep in anticipation for our next day of outstanding alpine scenery.

DAY 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 6.5 miles (10.4 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 720 feet (220 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 1310 feet (400 m)

Today is often the highlight of the trip as we traverse the superb Iceline Trail. Starting off climbing a series of switchbacks we’ll spend the majority of the day high in the alpine. We are rewarded with astonishing sweeping views of towering peaks, glaciers, alpine lakes and the valley below. Our trail and views remain astounding as we arrive to our camp at Yoho Lake. This lake is filled with spectacular turquoise water and has few of the famous Park’s Canada red Adirondack chairs for lounging and relaxing after this breathtaking day of world class hiking. Sit back, kick off your boots, and enjoy the peace and quiet as your guide whips up our final celebratory dinner of the trip.

DAY 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 4.4 miles (7 km)
  • Elevation Loss: 1640 feet (500 m)
  • Driving Duration: 1.5 hours

Today might be the final day of our trip, but we still haven’t seen all of the unique natural wonders this outstanding loop hike has to offer. Today our trail passes by more beautiful waterfalls, lush forests and large views on our way to Emerald Lake. The lake is enclosed by Mount Burgess, Wapta Mountain and the mountains of the President Range. This basin traps storms, causing more frequent rain in summer and heavy snowfalls in winter. This influx of moisture works with the lake’s low elevation to produce a unique selection of flora. Trees found here are more typical of some of British Columbia’s wet interior forests, such as western red cedar, western yew, western hemlock and western white pine. Our hike ends at the banks of this spectacularly colored lake. Our private shuttle and a picnic lunch will be waiting for us at our trailhead. After lunch, we’ll drive back to Banff reminiscing about our recent adventure and planning our next. What a trip it has been in the Canadian Rockies!

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, political or bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the last day in Banff
  • Gear including multi-day backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles and more
  • All meals from Lunch on Day 1 through lunch on the last day
  • Professional, certified Wildland Canadian Rockies backpacking guides
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Transportation to Banff, Alberta
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
  • Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills, wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Gratuity for guide(s) and crew (industry recommendation is 10-20% of total trip cost; please tip your lead guide and they will distribute responsibly to the crew. USD or local currency is acceptable.)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

MEALS: WHAT TO EXPECT

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

GEAR WE PROVIDE

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • MSR, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

WHAT GEAR TO BRING

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

WHAT CLOTHES TO BRING

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

HOW DO I REGISTER?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

WHERE DO WE MEET?

You’ll meet your hiking guide and group in Banff, Alberta for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins at the Banff Center, 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff.

Your guide will be in contact approximately 45 days before your trip and will specify the exact time & location of the orientation meeting at that point. The next morning we’ll pick you up at your hotel for transport to the trailhead.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

Your safety is our top priority. This trek is led by professional hiking guides along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it’s important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.

GUIDES

This trip is led by expert, local Wildland guides. Our approach to international travel is to combine the best of two worlds: the dialed-in details, professionalism and consistency Wildland trips are known for; and the cultural immersion and intimate regional knowledge that only locals can provide. To excel with this approach, we vet and hire the best local guides, welcome them into the Wildland family and train them to meet our standard of excellence with every aspect of a trip. But along with managing logistics and safety, your guides will teach you about the area’s history and culture, and provide a level of familiarity and intimate detail only locals can.

Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

GUIDE WORKING PARAMETERS

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

GROUP SIZE AND AGE RESTRICTIONS

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum group size of 12 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

TRIP INSURANCE

For your protection, we strongly recommend the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.

If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.

For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664

If you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.

If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.

WEATHER IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES

The weather in the Canadian Rockies is typical of high mountain climates with sunny weather, summer thunderstorms, and radical and abrupt temperature changes. We recommend being prepared for a range of conditions by packing layered, non-cotton clothing, and having high quality waterproof and breathable rain gear (jackets and pants). Always expect 4 seasons in the Rockies. Whilst we hope it does not, it can snow in every month of the year. For a more comprehensive packing list, please refer to the detailed trip packet that you can download from this page and receive it when you register.

Month Hi Low Precip
June 66° F 41° F 58.4 mm
July 71° F 45° F 51.1 mm
August 70° F 44° F 51.2 mm
September 60° F 38° F 37.7 mm

Accommodations

Accommodations

BACKCOUNTRY SLEEPING

TENT CAMPING

Sleeping on this trip is in premier 1-person or 2-person backcountry tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

BACKCOUNTRY CUISINE

FRESH & DELICIOUS

Meals from lunch Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use prepackaged dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

AMAZING CAMPSITES

IN THE ACTION

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

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