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Emerald Lake: All You Need to Know Before You Go

Beautiful Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is a beautiful alpine freshwater lake located in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada. The lake is popular because its bluish-green color comes from the reflection of fine rock particles suspended in water. 

Big green pine trees, humongous mountains, and scenic views surround it. Which makes it a popular tourist destination for nature lovers.

Best Time To Visit

Although this beautiful place opens throughout the year, there are some seasonal changes around the stunning scenic locations.

In Winters

When we look at the weather conditions for winter lovers. They should visit in January to experience the most captivating beauty of the place, who love snowfall and Christmas vibes.

The weather conditions from February to May are not considered ideal for visiting Emerald Lake. The places nearby as it is all covered with snow and nothing much to enjoy. If someone wants to enjoy peace and nature then they should visit between March and May.

Rainy season

The month of June is unpredictable in terms of weather. Tourists can experience snow, rain, and a little bit of sunshine, it is not suitable to travel in June.

In Summer

The beginning of July is the best time to visit for adventures and enjoy the pure and mesmerizing sceneries. There is no snow in the path and the sun shines the brightest with long days. Clear nights to stargaze and experience the beauty of nature. Visitors can also enjoy memorable festivals like Canada Day on July 1st and the Canmore Folk Music Festival.

Things to Do at Emerald Lake

Numerous sports and fun activities can be enjoyed by the visitors and tourists. Those who have come to spend a holiday in the Rockies. There are plenty of activities and things to enjoy here. Making it a perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. 

The Lake is surrounded by mountains and forest so there are different adventurous activities. For the people who are interested in some thrilling adventures. Also for the people who are just there for fun and chill.

People can go for different activities some of them listed below:

Activities for Winters

The winters in the mountains are no less adventurous than the summers. People can visit to enjoy exciting and thrilling sports which are:

  • Cross-country Skiing:- Emerald Lake is a prime and perfect location for skiing. Its side path is the best area for skiing according to the skiers in the Rockies.
  • Snowboarding:- It is a beautiful and adventurous location for snow lovers to enjoy snowboarding in the Rockies. 
  • Snowshoeing:- This is a perfect place for a snowshoe adventure in the Rockies for couples, groups, and even solo travelers. 
Emerald lake in winters

Summer Season Adventures

The summer period in these mountains is undoubtedly the best time to visit. Different activities can be enjoyed by people of every age group. These activities include:

  • Canoeing and kayaking: Emerald Lake is renowned for its beautiful green-colored waters. The glass effect shows because of reflection, what could be more peaceful and calming than paddling in this water?
Canoeing and Kayaking at Emerald lake
  • Hiking: There are beautiful and adventurous mountains surrounding Emerald Lake.  In the summer tourists can have the advantage of visiting woods and experiencing some thrill and excitement.
  • Fishing: This place is rich in aquatic life. People with an interest in fishing can have a truly enjoyable experience. 
  • Photography: The scenic views are best for photography in any season. Whether it is summer or winter the landscapes are always picture-perfect.
  • Stargazing: Nights in the summer are no less than an imagination. Someone imagining the true beauty of the night sky which has an infinite number of beautiful stars.
  • Walking around : For those who are less interested in breathtaking and exciting activities.  It is a perfect place to just have a walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the place.
  • SUP: Stand Up Paddle Boating is for people who love to spend time just paddling around the Lake.

Best Places to Grab a Bite Near Emerald Lake!

Restaurant NameDistance from Emerald LakeCuisines 
Kicking Horse LoungeAbout 0 milesBar, Pub, Canadian
Cilantro CaffeAbout 0.1 miles Canadian
Mount Burgees Dining RoomAbout 0.1 miles Canadian
Truffle Pigs Bistro and LoungeAbout 3.8 miles Canadian, Fusion, Gastropub
The siding CaffeAbout 6.1 km Cafe, Canadian
Cathedral Mountain LoungeAbout 4.7 miles Canadian
Cherchez la VacheAbout 6.1 km Restaurant
The Siding General StoreAbout 6.1 km Diners

Best Accommodations and Stays Near Emerald Lake

Hotel NameDistance from Emerald LakeEnvironment Nearby
Emerald Lake LodgeAbout 0.7 km Rocky mountain view, rooms with burning wood fire, 3 on-site restaurants, and a lounge
Canadian Rockies InnAbout 6.1 km Adults-only, Canadian Rockies view, free Wi-Fi
Cathedral Mountain LoungeAbout 6.9 km Located in Kicking Horse Valley Offers rooms with stone fireplaces and antique furniture
Lake Louise InnAbout 24.2 km Heated indoor pools and tubs, 2 indoor restaurants, and a lounge
Mountaineer LodgeAbout 24.6 km Located in Banff National Park, TV in all rooms, indoor hot tubs
Paradise Lodge and BungalowsAbout 23.4 km Spacious rooms, fully equipped cabins, surrounded by gardens, include a playground and barbeque
Hi Lake Louise Alpine Center – HostelAbout 24.2 km On-site cafe, 2 guest kitchens, Private storage for guests, pass vendor
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise About 22 km Panoramic view of Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier, health club facilities, and heated indoor pool.
Post-hotel and spaAbout 24.3 km Accommodations with fitness facilities, free private parking, shared lounge, and a terrace

Checklist Before You Go to Emerald Lake 

When visiting here, there are certain essential items to carry so that we are well prepared in any case of emergency. Any situation 

If it is summer then the essential items will be different from the winter conditions:

Summer essentials

  • Water and Hydration: always carry a refillable water bottle to avoid dehydration.
  • Sun protection: never forget to apply sunscreen and wear caps and sunglasses before going out in the sun.

Winter essentials

  • Winter clothing: When visiting in the winter season remember to wear proper jackets, gloves, and hats.
  • Gears and Equipment: when going for a hike or a trek on a mountain never forget proper hiking gear which includes snow shoes, hooves, and ice skates if going for ice skating.

General Essentials and Guidelines

  • Medical kit: a very important thing is a medical kit when visiting a foreign destination. It includes medicines for specific diagnosis if running and general medicines for fever and common diseases like cold. 
  • Backpack: when going for a hike or a trek we should never forget a backpack to carry every essential item including water, food, and maybe some extra clothes.
  • Garbage bags: whenever going out for any purpose always carry garbage bags because we can’t dispose of waste anywhere and we have to keep our surroundings clear.
  • When visiting Emerald Lake and other tourist spots always know the entry fees of the place. For example, if you are canoeing and kayaking in Emerald Lake know the rates before going there to avoid last-minute hassle.
  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife as it can be dangerous and harmful not only to wild animals but also to wild vegetation, especially to unknown fruits that we don’t know and can be poisonous.
  • Always make sure to get a camping permit before starting to camp anywhere in the woods.
  • Make sure to check the weather conditions of the area you are visiting because mountain weather can be unpredictable. Many times we can experience sunshine in a minute and in another minute we can see snowfall or rain. 

7 Must-Visit Nearby Attractions

Emerald Lake is surrounded by many other beautiful attractions. If a person is visiting there for a longer period let’s say for a week then they will have a lot to explore apart from Emerald Lake there is Banff and Yoho Park also there are other lakes such as Louise and Moraine Lake.

Tourists can enjoy the sightings of Banff’s grizzly bear on their way up mountain climbing. 

There are many other adventurous and exciting places to visit near Emerald Lake some of them are listed below:

S.NoNearby Attraction Distance from Emerald Lake
1Emerald Lake Trail Circuit0.2 km from Emerald Lake
2Yoho National Park5.7 km from Emerald Lake
3The Burgess Shell Geoscience Foundation6 km from Emerald Lake
4Takakkaw Falls7.7 km from Emerald Lake
5Natural Bridge6.4 km from Emerald Lake
6Kicking Horse River 6.5 km from Emerald Lake
7Spiral Tunnels9.6 km from Emerald Lake

Local Tips and Recommendations

Visiting Emerald Lake is a fantastic experience for someone planning a trip to relax and spend some peaceful days but there are some important tips and recommendations before you go.

  • Plan Ahead:- check for weather forecast and road conditions before the trio especially in winter when the chances of road blockage are high due to snowfall.
  • Timing:-  Always make sure of the timings of some places before visiting there, such as Yoho National Park and Banff National Park.
  • Transportation Facilities:- Almost every lodge and hotel provides taxi services to their customers and there are local taxi and bus services are also there. 


Is it worth going to Emerald Lake?

Absolutely, Emerald Lake is worth a visit. Its stunning beauty and tranquil atmosphere make it a must-see destination.

Can you swim in Emerald Lake, BC?

Yes, swimming is allowed in Emerald Lake but it’s not recommended as the lake’s water remains quite cold due to its glacial origins.

Is Emerald Lake frozen in June?

Emerald Lake in British Columbia freezes by June, although the exact timing can vary depending on weather conditions and the altitude of the lake. In general, by June, the lake should be mostly if not completely frozen.

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