Monday, March 31, 2014

Yoho National Park Camping

Kicking Horse Campground, Site 14, July 2007
©Karrie Trott

In July 2007 we took the kids (ages 4 and 9) to Yoho National Park. We had a fantastic site at Kicking Horse Campground and will be going back this summer (hoping for the same or similar site). One important point to note about camping in Yoho National Park is that it is FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED. You cannot reserve sites at any of the campgrounds there (unlike other National Parks). So that is a big thing to note - if you cannot get there early enough (Yoho lists 2pm as check-in), you may not get a site. Kicking Horse is also the only drive-in one that allows campfires. There are walk-in sites that allow campfires, but only Kicking Horse for vehicle access sites. Check HERE for more information.

But don't let that deter you! Yoho National Park is amazingly beautiful and if you can get Kicking Horse Campground, you are right in the middle of several attractions. Takakkaw Falls is amazing and a fairly easy walk to view (after driving a crazy switchback mountain road that you cannot take trailers on, and have to back up if you are taking a camping van/bus/etc). But you will get to see one of the highest waterfalls in Canada and it is stunning. Here is one of my shots:

Takakkaw Falls - July 2007
© Karrie Trott

Another nearby attraction is the Natural Bridge, which is on the way to another stunner - Emerald Lake. We did not get to visit Emerald Lake in 2007 so it is at the top of our list this summer. The Natural Bridge is a rock formation that has been carved by the waters of the Kicking Horse River. 

Natural Bridge - July 2007
© Karrie Trott
Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park
(check out more photos at the She Loves Glam blog)

Each of those attractions is within a half hour drive of the Kicking Horse Campground. Perfect idea to take a drive each morning (when there may also be fewer visitors if you do not like crowds - like my spouse) and then return to your campsite for the rest of the day (and more exploring).

One idea for exploring around the Kicking Horse Campground is the Kicking Horse River - it runs right along-side the campground! Here is a shot of my daughter's well-traveled Purple Bear, enjoying the fresh air and the roar of a gorgeous river - less than 5 minutes walk from our site:

Purple Bear at Kicking Horse River 2007
© Karrie Trott

Camping in Yoho National Park has it's advantages. Depending what you are looking for - compare the smaller campgrounds in Yoho to the several individual campgrounds with 600+ sites in the Banff area and you might just want to delve a little deeper into the Rockies for pristine air, unbelievable views, and larger camping sites. We like our space. If we are in the middle of the mountains, surrounded by forests and rivers, we do not like having another campsite 2 feet away. But that's just us - you may like something a little less remote. But keep in mind that the town of Field, British Columbia is a short drive away if you need supplies or more human contact. And it is a STUNNING mountain town. You won't believe it until you see it.

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