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The Ultimate Travel Guide to Emerald Lake

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is one of the most treasured gems in the Canadian Rockies. Seeing it in its pristine jade colour is an immaculate feeling everyone should experience.

But, the lake offers so much more than what meets the eye. And our travel guide for Emerald Lake is here to unveil must-do activities, recommend places to stay and dine, and provide insights into much more, to ensure you’ll get the best trip!

 Best Time to Go

Best Time to Go

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July and August are the prime months to witness Emerald Lake in its vibrant green glory–it’s unfrozen and flaunting its beauty. Just a heads up, though: from November to June, the lake is covered in ice.

However, visiting in winter isn’t a waste at all because witnessing the Canadian Rockies covered in northern snow is a sight worth seeing.

 Things to Know

Things to Know

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Yoho National Park Visitor Centre

Address: 5764 Trans-Canada Hwy, Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada

Contact Details: +1 250-343-6783

Opening Season: Open Year-Round

Admission Fees: 

GroupDailyParks Canada Discovery Pass

Location and Size

Emerald Lake is in Yoho National Park in Field, British Columbia, part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site. The lake is approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) west of Lake Louise.

The lake is one of the largest in the Canadian Rockies, covering an area of about 13 acres (5.2 hectares). It is also quite deep, reaching depths of up to 46 meters (150 feet), as tall as the famous Taj Mahal in India.

Essential Things to Bring:

  • Bear spray
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable and sturdy footwear (ex. Hiking boots)
  • Sunscreen
  • Reusable water bottle

 How to Get to Emerald Lake

The only way to reach Emerald Lake is by car, as there is no public transportation available around Yoho National Park. However, if you don’t have access to a vehicle, there are several car rental options within the park.

After passing through the village of Field on the Trans-Canada Highway, follow the road marked with the Emerald Lake/Natural Bridge sign. Once you’ve reached Emerald Lake Road, it’s a straightforward 10km drive to reach your destination.

Where to Stay

Book Now:


Address: 1 Emerald Lake Rd, Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada

Phone: +1 250-343-6321

Pricing: $200.00+ per night

If you want to travel back in time, this place has historic cabin-style lodges, echoing tales from the late 1800s. They are located at the lakeside, making them the closest hostel and offering rooms with the best view of the lake.

Immerse yourself in tranquility with an intentional unplugged approach; the main lodge is the sole area with available Wi-Fi. Plus, furry companions are welcome, thanks to their limited yet pet-friendly accommodations.

Book Now:


Address: 1 Yoho Valley Rd, Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada

Phone: +1 250-343-6442

Pricing: $303 – $530+ per night

While it may be a bit of a jaunt from Emerald Lake since they’re 6.9km away, this Cathedral Mountain Lodge offers a compelling alternative, showcasing breathtaking scenery framed by the majestic Canadian Rockies.

Boasting a large log cabin interior adorned with antique furniture, this lodge is a sure rustic haven. They also offer outdoor activities for the surrounding areas, including horse riding and gondola excursions—a definite must for your itinerary.

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Book Now:


Address: 308 Stephen Ave, Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada

Phone:+1 250-343-6046

Pricing: $125 – 450+ per night

Situated in the heart of Field, the only town in the area, Canadian Rockies Inn places you near essential amenities. Unlike most lodges with cabin styles, they have a rustic and modern interior mixing the old and new for an elevated experience.

Canadian Rockies Inn connects you to the delights of Field, including nearby cafes (row 1130 canmore coffee shops) and restaurants (row 1319 restaurants in jasper). While it’s farther from Emerald Lake, the inn’s location is the perfect blend of nature’s tranquillity and the pleasures of local flavours.

Where to Eat 

Aside from hotels and lodges, there are a bunch of establishments providing meals for their guests. But, if you want to try what the locals offer, there are some restos outside the Emerald Lake you can dig in.


Address: 100 Center Street, Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada

Contact:  +1 250-343-6303

Operation Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Price: $7 – $30

Nestled near Emerald Lake, Truffle Pigs Bistro & Lounge is a culinary gem offering restaurant-grade meals. Despite not being lakefront, the restaurant boasts stunning views of rocky mountains and lush forests, elevating your dining experience.

With a menu catering to all tastes, including delightful vegetarian options, they invite you to indulge in a foodie journey amidst the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. Their Nibble Platter is a must try as it has their signature smoked brisket, duck, and pork belly!


Address: 318 Stephen Ave, Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada

Contact: (250) 343-6002

Operation Hours: Mondays to Thursdays, 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Saturdays to Sundays, 09:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Tucked away in the charming village of Field, the nearest to Emerald Lake, The Siding Cafe stands out as one of the go-to spots for a delightful meal. They offer a diverse menu: from fancy meals to mouth-watering pastries, they got it.

The laid-back and rustic vibes of The Siding Cafe provide the perfect setting to unwind, allowing visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of city noise. Indulging in a scrumptious meal here is pure bliss, and we highly recommend trying their Pulled Pork Sandwich.

Things to Do

Things to Do

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Rent a kayak and paddle on the lake

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Canoeing (row 1332 lake louise canoe rental) stands out as one of the most beloved activities on the lake. While experts explain the water’s mesmerizing hue as a result of light reflecting off glacial flour, the enchantment of paddling in the middle of the lake feels nothing short of magical

The Boathouse Trading Co. rents kayaks that can hold three adults for $90 per hour. But if you have one, you can also bring your own boat and secure a permit at Parks Canada.

Go fishing!

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Emerald Lake is the most popular fishing spot in Yoho National Park. You’ll see your fellow visitors holding native cutthroat and rainbow trout since these fishes are the most common catch in the lake.

But, before you cast your line, you need to secure a fishing permit from Yoho National Park. The daily fishing permit costs around $12.75, while the annual is around $44.25.

Elevate your adventure with hiking escapades

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You can also explore the picturesque surroundings by hiking on one of the many trails near Emerald Lake. 

For beginners, the Emerald Lake Loop is one of the popular trails, providing panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains—all attainable within just an hour of walking. It also has paved roads that help the walk much much easier for anyone.

Encounter wildlife in the woods

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The area around Emerald Lake is rich in wildlife, and visitors may spot animals such as black bears, grizzly bears, elk, moose in the mountains.

You can also expect to see birds like loons, mergansers and even bald eagles while walking, so keep your cameras and binoculars at the ready!

Go camping and see the magnificent stars at night

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Permit Fee: $18.75 – $29.25

Emerald Lake offers various campsites, each with its unique charm. The nearest campgrounds around the lake that we’ve found include Kicking Horse Campground and Monarch Campground.

But, keep in mind that staying in camping sites requires a permit fee. Amenities like fire pits, picnic tables, and restroom facilities, which can cost around $9.50, are also available there.

Go backcountry camping

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Permit Fee: $11.50 – $12.50

Embark on an off-the-beaten-path adventure with backcountry camping around Emerald Lake. Optimal from June to October, this experience allows you to navigate the mountains with fewer obstacles, even at higher elevations.

For beginners, pack essential gear, cooking equipment, and navigation tools. But most importantly, carry bear spray and be aware of bear safety practices to ensure a safe camping experience—this is BC, after all.

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While the turquoise allure of Emerald Lake is underneath a winter blanket, you can still unleash your inner figure skater on its frozen surface. The snow-capped mountains in the backdrop add an enchanting touch, elevating your experience.

For those without skiing gear, worry not; The Boathouse Trading Co. conveniently provides rentals. Also, consider taking advantage of coaching services by the Kicking Horse Ski Club, ensuring that everyone in your group can relish their winter vacation.

Try your hand at nature and wildlife photography

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With its surreal appearance, it’s a no-brainer that taking photos in Emerald Lake is one of the activities that professionals and casual photographers can enjoy.

Whether you’re capturing the green water or the snowy mountains, trust us, getting a bad picture is impossible.

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