Iceline Trail and Emerald Lake Loop

Banff, Alberta
5.0 (4 reviews)

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


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.

Important: We apply for permits for this trip in January for the summer of the same year. Trip dates are not guaranteed until we secure permits. We ask that you provide a range of backup dates and hold off on making concrete travel arrangements until the trip is confirmed.

2024 permits are secured! Book your 2024 Iceline Trail and Emerald Lake Loop trek today!


Read more …
From USD
$2230 Per Person
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-8 Guests
Trip Length: 4 Days
Distance: 21.8MI / 35KM


Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

This trip has mostly moderate days of hiking (up to 7 miles) with moderate elevation gains (up to 2,445), which is why this trip is given a Level 3 difficulty rating.

Hiking Distances:

4-7 mi

Backpack Weight:

35-45 lbs


Moderately Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

2,445 ft

Heights Exposure:


Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information. Backpack Weight ratings are estimates that account for Wildland-provided gear, guest clothing, personal items and a share of group food. By packing light it’s often possible to stay on the lower end of the weight range. Pack weights also decrease during the trip.


  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 35-45 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on variable, uneven terrain
  • River and creek crossings
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.


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.

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 65-60 days before the departure date.

Private Trips

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates For This Trip

  • 4-5 people: rate x 1.5
  • 6-10 people: rate x 1.15
  • 11-12 people: standard rate
  • 13+ people: contact us for availability and pricing

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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Pre-trip Arrival

You will need to arrive the day before your trip in time to attend the orientation meeting at 5:00 PM at the Tundra Room at The Banff Caribou Lodge, 521 Banff Avenue, 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 & lodging is on your own tonight; make sure you have a hearty meal and a good night’s sleep 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 a seasonal bridge over the rushing water that becomes Twin Falls 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 may 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: lodging/campground availability, extreme weather, political or bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

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


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


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


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.

Important: We apply for permits for this trip in January for the summer of the same year. Trip dates are not guaranteed until we secure permits. We ask that you provide a range of backup dates and hold off on making concrete travel arrangements until the trip is confirmed.

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
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • 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 pad, trekking poles and more
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own
  • All meals from Lunch on Day 1 through lunch on the last day
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device

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)
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Clothes, rain gear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuities are optional and at the discretion of each customer. A suggested guideline is to reward outstanding service with a tip of 10-20% of the total trip cost. Please tip your lead guide and they will distribute responsibly to the crew. Local currency is preferred, or USD is also appreciated.

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

Add-On Porter Service

Hiring a porter to assist in carrying your gear can be a great option if you’d like to trek with a lighter pack. Porter services on this trip are $705. Porters can carry up to 30 pounds each and can be split between 1-3 guests. Contact our Adventure Consultant team to inquire about availability.

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
  • Synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear spray canisters and food-hanging gear
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

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 Tundra Room at The Banff Caribou Lodge, 521 Banff Avenue, 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.

Our Canada team will be in contact approximately 45 days before your trip and will specify the exact time & location of the orientation meeting at that point if there are changes from the above time/location. 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.

Travel to Banff, Alberta


For this Canadian Rockies trek you will 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 booking through Banff Airporter. They are Banff’s original airport shuttle service provider that has been around for over 25 years. As a Wildland guest, you will receive a 15% discount on their daily shuttle service between the Calgary Airport and Banff. Go to Banff Airporter and then click Book Now. Proceed through the reservation and type – WILDLAND – in the “Promo Code” section on the final payment page to receive the discount.”

Banff Airporter
(888) 449-2901
Banff Airporter

Other options:

Brewster Banff Airport Express
(877) 625-4372

Safety Precautions

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

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.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”) have been specifically identified to help you understand the skills and abilities necessary to participate on each Wildland trip, and they apply uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability.

Once you identify a trip in which you may be interested, please carefully review the EEC and itinerary details. If after reviewing the EEC that apply to your desired trip, you determine you need an accommodation in order to meet the EEC, please contact us prior to registering to discuss your requested accommodation.

The EEC exist for your own safety and the safety and enjoyment of all participants. If you are unable to meet the EEC for the trip, with or without an accommodation, you are not eligible for that trip. If you register and arrive for a trip for which you do not meet the EEC, you will be disqualified from participation on the trip and will be dismissed or evacuated from the trip without a refund.


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.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip 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: [email protected]
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.

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





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.



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.



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.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (4 reviews)
Eileen G


2 years ago

My first trip with Wildland Trekking was amazing! the food was great (I am vegan)! The views amazing! The height and difficulty ratings were accurate. Our guide was fantastic! I am already starting to plan my next trip with the whole family this time.

Scott W

Great Trip

2 years ago

The view from the Whaleback was perhaps the most spectacular scenic location I have ever experienced. The pace of this trek was casual. The guide was highly qualified. The participants were engaging and caring individuals.

Leslie N

Top Notch Operation

2 years ago

Wildland is a top notch operation. My guide couldn't have been better- as if the trip wasn't already amazing- Duncan made it extra special. Wildland takes care of everything- all you gotta do is show up and enjoy. I can't wait to book my next trip!

See All Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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