Yoho-Iceline Basecamp Hiking Tour

NOTE: This trip is now available to book!

Location: Banff, Alberta, Canada

Length: 4 Days

Availability:
August 17 – 20, 2020

Type: Guided

Grade: Moderate to Advanced

Price: From $1,790 + GST

Yoho-Iceline Basecamp Hiking Tour Overview

On this backcountry basecamp adventure, porters will carry the food, shelter, and cooking gear to our basecamp, located on the Yoho River and at the foot of Laughing Falls in Yoho National Park – AND carry it back out again on the 4th day! This campground will be our base for some of the most exciting and famous hikes in the Canadian Rockies.

To get to the trailhead, we will drive to British Columbia and Yoho National Park and then follow the Yoho Valley road to Takkakaw Falls, one of Canada’s highest waterfalls. Before we begin the hike, we will walk the popular trail for some closeup views of the falls. The hike in to camp is an easy 5 kms along the Yoho River. Upon reaching our camp, we’ll have time to explore along the edge of the river and at the falls.

On each of the following days, we’ll hike to Kiwetinock Lake, Twin Falls and the Whaleback Ridge, and finish up with one of the most spectacular trails in Canada, the Iceline Trail.

Who Will Enjoy This Tour?

You’ll enjoy this trip if you are seeking a back country hiking adventure but without having to carry everything yourself.

Highlights of the Yoho-Iceline Basecamp Hiking Tour

  • 4-day portered backcountry trip
  • Hike with only light day packs
  • Beautiful wilderness camp for 3 nights at the base of Laughing Falls
  • Hike to Kiwetinock Lake, frozen until late summer
  • Twin Falls and Whaleback Ridge
  • The famed “Iceline Trail”

What’s Included

  • Transportation to and from trailheads on Day 1 and Day 4
  • Professional hiking guide
  • All food and cooking equipment
  • Tent and thermarest sleeping pad
  • Use of hiking poles
  • All taxes, backcountry permits and campground fees
  • All food and camping equipment transported to and from trailhead to campground

Map of the Yoho-Iceline Basecamp Hiking Tour

Day 1: Takkakaw Falls

Hiking the Yoho National Park

The Yoho and Iceline Basecamp Adventure begins with an 8:00 am meeting in Banff at our office at 137 Eagle Crescent. This morning you’ll meet your guide, the portering crew, review the trip itinerary and examine all of our equipment requirements. Once we’ve done this, we’ll take the extra luggage that is not needed and store it at our office and head out to the trailhead. The hike in to our camp is a short 5 kms and follows the Yoho River. Before beginning the hike, we’ll stretch our legs by following the popular path to the base of Takkakaw Falls. After all, it’s not every day you get to stand beneath a waterfall over 1,000 feet tall! (380 m, 1250 ft). Once we begin our hike to camp, we will pass a couple of waterfalls worthy of brief visits, Angel’s Staircase and Point Lace Falls. In no time at all, we’ll be at our camp at Laughing Falls. Once we’ve sorted ourselves and our gear out, we’ll have time for afternoon tea, to read a book, or to wander along the river before dinner. Our porters will have set the tents up for us and we can unpack our gear right away, and relax. While Day 1 has been very easy, the next 3 days will provide bigger hiking challenges!

  • Shuttle to Trailhead
  • Hiking Distance: 5 kms (3 miles)
  • Elevation Gain: 100 m (330 ft)
  • Walking Time: 1 1/2 hours

Day 2: Twin Falls – Whaleback Ridge

Hiking Yoho-Iceline Basecamp Tour

After breakfast, we will head out along the Yoho River and towards Twin Falls and the Twin Falls Chalet. In a couple of kilometers, we reach a junction and begin to switchback our way up towards the falls having occasional views of the falls through the trees. Shortly afterward we are rewarded with impressive views of the falls themselves. From the base of the falls, the trail now switchbacks up gaining 180 m until we reach the top of the falls and can look straight down over the falls themselves. It’s vertigo-inducing! From here continue a gentler ascent along the Whaleback ridge until we reach the high point where we have unmatched views of the entire Yoho Valley, Waputik Icefield, and the President range of mountains. It is beyond breathtaking! This is probably our best stop for a leisurely lunch where can sit back and take in the views. Once back on our way it’s downhill until we reach the Little Yoho Trail junction and then on to our camp.

  • Hiking Distance: 12 km (7 miles)
  • Elevation Gain: 600 m (1950 ft)
  • Walking Time: 5-6 hours

Day 3: Little Yoho Valley – Kinewtinock Lake

Today is our most challenging day where we will gain our most elevation and hike the greatest distance. We begin at our campground and immediately begin climbing into the Little Yoho Valley. The forest and environment will change dramatically over the course of the ascent. It begins at our camp with a large old-growth spruce forest, then changes to lighter sub-alpine forest as we approach Stanley Mitchell Hut, and then changes to alpine flowers and meadows and finally to a windswept barren pass at Kiwetinock Lake at 2450 m (8,000 ft) It’s the land of mountain goats, hoary marmots, pikas and of course, the views of mountain ranges west across British Columbia are a sight to behold! We return the way we came taking in views of the Waputik Icefield all the way back.

  • Hiking distance: 16.5 kms (10.5 miles)
  • Elevation Gain: 840 m (2750 ft)
  • Walking Time: 6-7 hours

Day 4: Iceline Trail

Today’s hike out is along the Iceline Trail, one of the best, if not the very best, hike in the Canadian Rockies. While the porters will carry gear out the way we came up, we’ll hike out a different route. We begin by hiking back up into the Little Yoho Valley along the route from yesterday but at either the Celeste Lake junction or junction at Stanley Mitchell Hut, we’ll turn off the trail and ascend to the base of the Emerald Glacier. Not only do we have some of the same views across the valley as we did on the Whaleback Ridge but today we’ll be walking almost within throwing distance of the Emerald Glacier. Peaks and glaciers, lakes and views, it doesn’t get any better! From the high point of the trail we’ll descend back down to our starting point with constant views of Takakkaw Falls to keep us occupied. Once back at the trailhead, we’ll be met by our porters and driven back to Banff.

  • Hiking distance: 12-16 kms (7-10 miles)
  • Elevation Gain: 600 m (1950 ft)
  • Walking Time: 6-7 hours

YOHO-ICELINE BASECAMP HIKING TOUR INFO

Availability

This trip is available the following dates:
July 14 – 17, 2020
August 17 – 20, 2020

Booking in Advance

Book as soon as possible to ensure that accommodation is available on your start date. This region of Canada is very popular and accommodations often fill up months in advance. Space is limited to 8 guests.

Luggage 

We recommend checking with your pre- and post-trip hotel(s) to inquire about luggage storage. Most of the time hotels are happy to accommodate.

Pre and post-trip lodging is your responsibility. We recommend the below-listed accommodations while in town.

Banff Inn
Irwin’s Mountain Inn
Red Carpet Inn

Grade and Terrain

Grade 3 (moderate to advanced). The Yoho-Iceline Basecamp hiking trip involves hiking for up to 6 to 7 hours per day, usually with distances of 12-16 kilometres. Elevation gains will vary from 100 m up to 840 m. (2,750 ft) on the final day.

Professional Guided Tours

Your guides are experienced professional hiking guides with certification from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and/or from the Mountain Parks Heritage Interpretation Association. They are chosen for their enthusiasm and interest in sharing their knowledge of these mountains.

Location

We meet on Day 1 at our Banff office at 137 Eagle Crescent at 8:00 am. We can arrange to pick you up from your hotel in Banff if you request this. (no charge). We will be happy to help you arrange pre and post trip accommodation in Banff for you.We will be happy to help you arrange pre and post trip accommodation in Banff for you. There is hourly shuttle bus service from Calgary International Airport (YYC). The travel time is approx. 1 ¾ hours.

Fitness Level

You should be in good physical condition and be a regular walker or hiker. The route is not technical so no prior expertise is required. You will need to carry a daypack large enough for spare clothing, your camera, lunch and something to drink each day.

General

This trip operates during the main months of summer, though snow can linger at high elevations until well into the season. Weather is unpredictable at any time of year, but is generally quite warm in July and August. Daytime highs range from 15-25 C and nighttime temperatures can drop to 5-10 C. Temperatures in June and September can be cooler with nighttime temperatures occasionally dropping below freezing. As with alpine environments throughout the globe, the higher you go, the lower the temperature becomes. Ensuring that you have the correct clothing for an alpine environment is crucial.

Hiking in Takkakawa Falls
Hiking Yoho Backcountry

Backpacking trip to Yoho National Park

PRICING AND INCLUSIONS

Pricing

$1,790 + GST

Inclusions

  • Transportation to and from trailheads on Day 1 and Day 4
  • Professional hiking guide
  • All food and cooking equipment
  • Tent and thermarest sleeping pad
  • Use of hiking poles
  • All taxes, backcountry permits and campground fees
  • All food and camping equipment transported to and from trailhead to campground

Payment Info

$500 CAD is due at the time of booking.

The remaining balance is due 8 weeks in advance.

Extras

  • Airfare
  • Personal hiking equipment including clothing, footwear, sleeping bag and hiking pack (sleeping bags can be rented at a cost of $30)
  • Transporting of personal gear or sleeping bag
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses
  • Meals not indicated
  • Tips
  • Personal expenditures
  • Tips for the guides
  • Travel and trip cancellation insurance. We recommend World Nomads since it includes mountain rescue and repatriation insurance which are required and not covered by all insurance policies.

ACCOMMODATION ON THE YOHO-ICELINE BASECAMP HIKING TOUR

Availability

The backcountry campgrounds are usually quite small, having only 5 to 10 campsites in total. At each campsite there will be a flat tent pad for setting a tent up on and either bear-proof storage bins for gear and food or poles with ropes for hanging food from. There will be a small outhouse and drinking water will come from a nearby stream. (we purify the water) Campfires are generally not allowed.

We will provide 3-person backpacking tents for couples and 2-person tents for singles. This means that tents will have enough room for you and your personal gear only. We will provide thermarest sleeping pads for your comfort and if you wish, you can rent a sleeping bag. If you bring your own sleeping bag it must be rated to -7Celsius (though it shouldn’t get anywhere near that cold!) As a pillow we suggest that you use the sleeping bag stuff sack and put your extra clothes in it to form a pillow. We will also supply hiking poles if you require them.

We will be happy to book rooms for you before and after the tour; please contact us for the most recent rates.

Storage of Personal Items

Many guests choose to store any extra luggage with the hotel
they’ll be using before and after the trip. You are also
welcome to leave any luggage with us for secure storage while
you’re on your trip – just inform your guide.

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Hiking in Yoho Valley

Wildlife in Rocky Mountains

TRAVEL TO CALGARY

By plane:

The most convenient airport is Calgary International Airport (YYC), which is served by most major airlines.

I find the best deals on Skyscanner and book most of my flights through them.

Note: We highly recommend waiting to book your flights or making other travel arrangements until you receive an email from us notifying you that all your accommodation has been confirmed.

 

Click on the “Contact Us” button below for the booking form or for further information on booking this trip.

When you book this trip through us, you’ll also receive the following bonuses:

  • Packing list of the essentials
  • My secret list of easy to pack luxurious non-essentials
  • How to make the most of your hiking experience by going within


This trip is operated by our trusted Canadian partner, White Mountain Adventures.

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