Vacation rentals in Emerald Lake

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Popular amenities for Emerald Lake vacation rentals

Your guide to Emerald Lake


No glacial lake in Yoho National Park has earned quite as many fans as Emerald Lake, one of the most iconic sights in the Canadian Rockies. In fact, many park guests plan their visits to coincide with the snow melting off the surrounding mountain peaks — that’s when its enchanting turquoise waters appear the brightest. The credit goes to limestone for causing the vivid colors of the lake, which look especially luminous in the July sun. You can rent kayaks and canoes in the summer; in winter, the lake becomes a popular destination for cross-country skiers. Emerald Lake is one of more than 60 lakes and ponds in the national park, which has more majestic landscapes than you can shake a hiking stick at.

You’ll find chalets, guesthouse rentals, and the Yoho National Park Visitor Centre in the tiny community of Field, home to around 200 residents. Nearby, the hamlet of Lake Louise is known for its ski resort. Midway between Calgary and Emerald Lake, the destination town of Banff is a popular jumping-off point for exploring the surrounding Banff National Park.

The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Emerald Lake

Temperatures vary dramatically by elevation, so you’ll want to pack layers no matter the season. Emerald Lake’s surface stays frozen from around November to June, making summer and early fall the peak times for visiting Yoho National Park and the surrounding communities. July and August highs average around 73 degrees Fahrenheit and lows dip to the 40s, though snow still falls in higher altitudes even in summer.

Bring snow gear for the cooler months, when Yoho appeals to experienced winter recreationists. Average high temperatures decline from the 60s to the lower 40s Fahrenheit through early fall. Come November, average highs are below freezing. Keep in mind that many trails and roads in the park are closed during the winter months, when the park becomes a favorite venue for snowshoers and cross-country skiers.

Top things to do in Emerald Lake


Hikers won’t quickly run out of trails in Yoho National Park, where summertime outings vary from accessible day hikes to more ambitious backcountry excursions. Several of the most scenic include a popular circuit that traces the shores of the lake. Check in with the visitor center to plan your trek.

Takakkaw Falls

Tumbling for more than 1,200 feet, Takakkaw Falls is the second-tallest waterfall in Canada. You can reach it by car on the twisty-turny Yoho Valley Road. For a view from above the falls, hike the strenuous Iceline Trail, which grants you stellar views of the rugged alpine landscape.

Burgess Shale

Paleontologists study fossils that date back more than 500 million years at Burgess Shale, an important scientific landmark that’s recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visits to one of the three fossil beds require advance reservations.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is the weather in Emerald Lake?

    Emerald Lake experiences a temperate climate. Summers are warm with temperatures averaging 75°F (24°C), and winters are cold and snowy with temperatures often dropping below -7°F (-22°C). Snowfall is common from November to April, offering excellent conditions for winter sports.

  • What are some of the best things to do in Emerald Lake?

    At Emerald Lake, visitors frequently engage in activities such as canoeing, hiking around the lakeside trail, or simply enjoying the serene landscapes. In winter months, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular activities.

  • What is the best time of year to visit Emerald Lake?

    The most frequently visited time at Emerald Lake is summer, specifically June through August, when the weather is warm, reaching up to 75°F (24°C), and the lake's emerald color is richest. The Canada Day celebrations in early July are a popular event with cultural performances and fireworks.

  • What are the best places to stay in Emerald Lake?

    Visitors often choose to stay near Emerald Lake for easy access to its natural beauty. Accommodations near Yoho National Park, such as the town of Field, 8 miles (13 km) away, also provide a convenient base for exploring the region.

  • What are the best places to visit in Emerald Lake?

    Visitors to Emerald Lake are often advised to explore the Natural Bridge geological formation, the splendid Takakkaw Falls, and the hands-on exhibits at the nearby Yoho National Park Visitor Centre.

  • What are some hiking trails in Emerald Lake?

    Emerald Lake is surrounded by a number of hiking trails. The 3.2 mile (5.1 km) Emerald Lake Trail is a popular choice, with its flat terrain and stunning lakeside views. For a more challenging trek, visitors often head to the Yoho Valley trail system.

  • What are some family activities to do in Emerald Lake?

    Families visiting Emerald Lake often enjoy canoeing on the lake, walking around the lakeside trail, or participating in a guided tour to learn about the local fauna and flora. In winter, ice-skating on the frozen lake or sledding down snow-covered hills brings a lot of joy to both kids and adults.

  • What are some of the best day trip ideas in Emerald Lake?

    Explore the scenic Emerald Lake Loop Trail, a 5.2 kilometer (3.2 mile) trail surrounding the lake. Journey to Takakkaw Falls, one of Canada's highest waterfalls, located 44 kilometers (27 miles) from Emerald Lake. Engage with history at the local Field Visitor Centre, just 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) away. Take a drive to the Burgess Shale UNESCO World Heritage site, a significant fossil area, 62 kilometers (38.5 miles) from the lake.

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