Tuesday – by Sam
After a hearty pancake and bacon breakfast, we left Golden to explore neighbouring Yoho National Park. A short distance on Highway 1 was Wapta Falls. A beautiful 4.6km hike through forest opened out to a roaring waterfall set against a backdrop of bright blue sky, snowy mountain peaks and verdant green forest. It was beautiful and the scenery just got better as you descended to the Beaverfoot River bed. Rivers fed by glacial waters are such a wonderful blue mint colour and the contrast with the white foam as the water crashed and tumbled below was just breathtaking.
Our second stop of the day was Emerald Lake. Encircled by mountains, glaciers and dense forest hill sides, this beautifully-set lake truly sparkled. The 5.2 km loop walk provided countless photo opportunities though not enough shaded benches to be able to sit down and enjoy it. Information boards explained how the lake had developed and how it would slowly be filled in because the debris from the alluvial fan, from the glacier, would gradually creep down.
Our third and final walk of the day was to Takakkaw Falls. There was a very scary bit of driving with something called a switch back. Having had no experience with this I was naturally quite alarmed to see a huge camper van reversing downhill towards me on the other side of the road whilst having my own concerns with the automatic car and the steep, windy road. Once at the waterfall though my stress levels reduced as Noah dragged me to stand in its freezing spray. It is enormous! Perhaps 4 times taller than Wapta Falls and loud – thundering. It was also beautiful. In fact the whole day in Yoho National Park was just a string of superlatives – tallest, most beautiful, best, greenest, loudest, most fantastic and so on.
Our wonderful day ended at Saskatchewan River Crossing. The Crossing has long been identified as a strategic location in the history of the Canadian West. In the early 1800s, it was the route of the fur trade. Today, it provides weary travelers like us the chance to break up their journey to Jasper and beyond…