Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park

Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Sept. 2012

While in Yoho National Park in British Columbia this past September, we hiked around Emerald Lake.  Emerald Lake, like Lake Louise, is a tarn formed in a basin surrounded by mountains into which melting glaciers have poured their water.  And, like Lake Louise, it owes its green blue hue to rock flour. Rock flour is made of very fine particles that have been ground down by glaciers moving against bedrock and washed into the lakes.

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake, Sept. 2012, Yoho National Park in British Columbia, Canada

The hike around the shore of Emerald Lake was level for the most part and not a strenuous trail, with some climbing near the end.  We hiked here twice on our travels.  The first time we went on a cloudy and cold day, while our second hike was in mixed cloud and sun.

This trail took us through varied landscapes.  On one side of the lake is an open expanse of meadows and streams.  I believe I am right in saying that this side is a moraine, that is, an area of gravel and sand washed down from the mountains by their glaciers over time.  Here, the trail is paved and is wheel chair accessible.  Having never been in the Rocky Mountains until this trip, I was very taken by the beauty of the streams and rivers at the base of mountains and stopped to look at these for a long time at Emerald Lake.

River near Emerald Lake

River seen on trail around Emerald Lake, Sept. 2012, Yoho National Park

Emerald Lake Woods

In the woods on the Emerald Lake trail, Yoho National Park, Sept. 2012

Chipmunk in the woods by Emerald Lake

Chipmunk in the woods by Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, Sept. 2012

We continued on the trail which led around the other side of the lake through a lush forest reminiscent of west coast rainforests and unusual in this area.  I loved this part of the trail, filled with the deep atmosphere of the woods through which we could see mountains on the far side of the lake.  Living in Ontario, I am familiar with woods, but not with catching glimpses of enormous mountains beyond the trees.  These sights always evoked in me a sense of mystery and awe.

Emerald Lake Trail

Mountain seen through forest on Emerald Lake Trail, Yoho National Park, Sept. 2012

Mountains through trees at Emerald Lake

Mountains seen through trees at Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Sept. 2012

Again, I took many photos and in late afternoon was drawn to the reflections of the mountains in the lake.  I did not keep track of which mountain had which name—two of them being Wapta Mountain and Mt. Burgess—but they seem to have accepted my ignorance with good grace.

Reflections in Emerald Lake

Reflections of Mountains in Emerald Lake, Sept. 2012, Yoho National Park

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