The 4.6 KM (2.9 mile) loop around Emerald Lake is easy and relatively flat. It is a 9 KM (5.6 mile) drive on paved road from the TransCanada Hwy to the busy parking lot at Emerald Lake Lodge. I choose to hike the lake circuit counter-clockwise which is contrary to common practice. The light will be better and interaction with other hikers will be less. The trail-head elevation is 1,310 M (4,298 ft). It is fairly quiet today. On a busy week-end, peak summer day, I am told as many as 12,000 people will hike around the small, picturesque lake in a single day. A wide variety of kayaks, canoes and row boats can be rented near the lodge. Fishing is popular.
Today I am doing two hikes combined. At the north end of the lake, one of the trails leading off the circuit will take me to the Emerald Basin and closer views of the Emerald Glacier wedged between the President 3,138 m (10,295 ft) and the Vice President 3,066 m (10,059). I will issue photos of the Emerald Basin hike separately to avoid confusion and to divide the photos. Burgess Shale fossils are a short hike away.
Emerald Lake Lodge is a lot more developed than it was when I stayed here in the winter of 1995. At the north end of the lake there is a large alluvial fan and a bridge over streams flowing into the lake from snow melt and glacial feed. The aquamarine colour of the lake is created by glacial silt reflecting in the sunlight.
The images are captured on the hike around Emerald Lake. The first picture is taken, from the south end of the lodge, of the view across the lake, then past Peaceful Pond and through the Lodge complex.
Throughout the photos you can see the Emerald Glacier perched over the Emerald Basin. We will visit there in the final trip report for this two-day visit to Yoho National Park.