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Yoho and Kootenay National Parks

August 09, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

In addition to Banff and Jasper National Parks, we visited two more national parks in Canada: Yoho and Kootenay. These two parks are just west of Banff and Jasper, and they are in the province of British Columbia. We did a whirlwind tour of these two parks, visiting both in a single day.


Our grand loop started with Yoho National Park, which is not too far from Lake Louise. The first place we wanted to visit was Takakkaw Falls; unfortunately, the road to the falls was closed. So, our next stop was Emerald Lake, and it was very worthwhile.  Emerald Lake is a beautiful, green lake, surrounded by no fewer than nine mountain peaks. Knowing we didn't have too much time to spend in any one place, we limited our hiking to just the southern end of the lake, including walking through the Emerald Lake Lodge. The "lodge" actually consists of a number of lodge-type buildings, many of which have a view of the lake for the people staying there. In addition to hiking, you can rent a canoe and glide across the peaceful lake.


Emerald LakeEmerald Lake Emerald LakeEmerald Lake Emerald LakeEmerald Lake Canoes for RentCanoes for RentYoho National Park


We got back in the car to continue our long drive on to Kootenay National Park. It was a couple hour drive through pretty countryside and a couple of different valleys. For the longest part of the drive we were flanked on one side by mountains and on the other by the Columbia River. We entered Kootenay through the south end of the park at Radium Springs. We drove north through a mountainous area until we got to a pull-off with a view of the Kootenay Valley.


Kootenay ValleyKootenay Valley


We continued on our way for a while, and then pulled into a rest area for a break. The park was along the Kootenay River and provided a relaxing scene.


Kootenay RiverKootenay RiverKootaney River


The first feature of the park we wanted to stop at was Numa Falls. As our luck would have it, the pedestrian bridge over the falls was washed out, so we couldn't get a look at these falls either. We continued along Highway 93 to a place called The Paint Pots. A trail led to an area where there were orange ochre "mud" that were used by the Aboriginal people in ceremonies and trade. In the early 1900s, it was mined and shipped to Calgary and used as a pigment in paint. We found the paint pots at the end of the trail. The paint pots themselves are formed by the accumulation of iron oxide around three cold mineral springs. With the exception of the three springs, what we saw looked a lot like the red-orange mud found in North Carolina and Virginia.


Paint PotsPaint Pots Mineral SpringsMineral Springs


Near the end of our hike back to the car, Denise was happy the hike was almost over.


Making Fun of the Instagram PoseMaking Fun of the Instagram PosePaint Pots


A little further down the road was Marble Canyon. Here, the Kootenay RIver slices through a deep, narrow gorge. Parks Canada has built a number of bridges across the canyon and a trail connects the bridges so you can peer down into the canyon and river below.


Canyon ExitCanyon ExitMarble Canyon Marble CanyonMarble Canyon Deep GorgeDeep GorgeMarble Canyon


After Marble Canyon our loop tour was complete and it was a short way back to Lake Louise.




This is the final post of our trip to Canada. I hope you've enjoyed the scenery and the stories as much as we did. Thanks for stopping by for this series, but be sure to come back again to the blog to see what else I've been doing.


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