I just came back from a backpacking trip to the Iceline trail in Yoho National Park. We had a little bit of rain to dampen our spirits, but only scattered showers on Saturday afternoon and evening.
July 16-17, 2005
Pre-trip accomodations: Whiskey Jack Hostel, Yoho National Park
Iceline Trail 2005 Photoset on flickr.com | [piclens-lite-link]
Saturday, July 16
Got up early. Had Breakfast. Got ready to hike. Started hiking – nice and level! For all of 50 metres! Then the trail started climbing. And climbing. And climbing. It’s a long way up from the valley floor to the Iceline trail. The roar of Takakkaw Falls was our constant companion during the climb, even when we couldn’t see it through the trees. Once you reach the “level” of the Iceline, you find that it’s not very level at all. The trail undulates up and down around and across glacial moraines for most of the distance. We had some showers during our hike so we got a little damp. We paused for lunch beside a glacial stream. When we finally reached the last moraine and started down, the first touch of colour we saw was a clump of bright red Indian Paintbrush. We made a brief visit to the Stanley Mitchell hut in the Little Yoho valley before proceeding a short distance further to our campground for the night.
Stats: Distance: 10.5 km; Elevation Gain: 700 m; Elevation Loss: 180 m.
Sunday, July 17
Sunday was waterfall day. Laughing Falls. Angel’s Staircase. Point Lace Falls. Takakkaw Falls. Plus cascades from the heights above that had no name. Plus several that were not named as waterfalls, but only as creeks. Fairy Creek. Whiskey Jack Creek. The Yoho Valley is a wet place as it is located just west of the continental divide. The hike out went pretty quick. Virtually all down hill at a gentle grade, with plenty of opportunities to pause and view waterfalls. We had left our vehicles at the Whiskey Jack hostel parking lot with the permission of the manger on duty when we left. When we returned, a different hostel manager threatened us with towing as we weren’t allowed to park there unless staying at the hostel. Obviously there was some communication problems between hostel mangers. Our vehicles were where we left them, and we quickly packed up and headed for home.
Stats: Distance: 10.5 km; Elevation Loss: 520 m.
Total Stats: Distance: 21 km; Elevation Gain/Loss: 700 m.
Edited: 2006-06-25 – Updated photo album links.
Edited: 2008-02-24 – Updated photo links to Flickr and wrote the story.