See more from my On This Day series here, where I celebrate travel memories on their trip anniversaries.
On September 1, 2017, I was at Emerald Lake, British Columbia.
My friend and I were wrapping up our one week Western Canada hiking trip with Randonee Tours, which had taken us through Banff National Park in Alberta and Yoho National Park in neighbouring British Columbia. After several days of intense hiking on highlights such as the Beehive Trail overlooking Lake Louise, and the Iceline Trail running along Emerald Glacier, we took a break and spent a leisurely day exploring Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park.
Discovered and named in 1882 by Canadian outfitter and guide Thomas Edmonds Wilson, Emerald Lake is the largest of Yoho’s 61 lakes and ponds, as well as one of the park’s premier attractions. It is surrounded by mountains of the President Range, Mount Burgess, and Wapta Mountain. The lake’s low elevation combined with an influx of moisture produces a unique selection of flora here, including western red cedar, western yew, western hemlock, and western white pine trees, along with wildflowers that bloom in abundance during late June and early July. The water’s distinctive turquoise colour comes from powdered limestone deposition.
The sole accommodation here is at Emerald Lake Lodge, which was built in 1902 by the Canadian Pacific Railway. As for things to do, there is a 5.2 kilometre hiking trail that circles the lake, and canoe or rowboat rentals if you wish to venture out onto the serene waters. In the winter, this is a popular destination for cross country skiing.