Emerald Lake is in British Columbia, not in Alberta. Let me make that clear because that was the biggest lie I was told before visiting this wondrous natural beauty. I think most people have this misconception that this is part of Alberta because of tour agencies. They have Emerald Lake as part of a day tour – from Calgary – and then they tell you that you are going to British Columbia! 😂 But don’t worry about that misconception; consider it as a lesson in geography.
If you drive from Calgary to Vancouver (or vice versa), make sure you’ll stop at Yoho National Park. That’s where you find two attractions in one stop: Lac Emerald and the Natural Bridge. Both are a short walking distance from each other. That’s hitting two birds with one stone, eh? ☺️
The parking lot was busy when we arrived, and we had to wait for 20 minutes until we found a space. It’s summer, so it gets busy, like – real busy. You can’t blame these tourists, though. Summer here lasts for two months, and then it gets cold, and the lake is frozen.
Things to do at Lake Emerald
If you have spare time, rent a paddle, kayak, or canoe. But, remember, these activities are ultra-pricey for a poor backpacker like me. If you are broke, go around and admire the views – and take hundreds of photos for your social media content! 😂
Another worthwhile to do is go hiking. There’s awhich takes an hour and a half to complete. Your furry friend is welcome to go with you on this trail but make sure it is leashed. This family-friendly trail is an easy route to tread on. As much as I’d like to do this trail, time won’t allow us because – you know – we’re on a freakin’ tour bus! LOL
And oh, pack some food and have a picnic by the lake! Find a designated place to do such and remember to clean up after – leave footprints, not trash.
Where to Stay
Do you want to stay at Emerald Lake for a night or two? You should book yourself at Emerald Lake Lodge and pamper yourself by bathing in an outdoor bathtub! Cathedral Mountain Lodge is another option to stay in. They have room balconies that feature the views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
The Beauty of Emerald Lake
The first time I laid my eyes on the lake, I fell in love. Ok, it’s mixed feelings of love and awe. It is the bluest lake I’ve ever seen in my life! It’s a peaceful realm where you could just lay down near and admire its beauty without winking for the whole day. 😊
The lake is surrounded by green forests and stunning glaciers, the lake looks like heaven on earth. It is, for me, one of those places you must see to believe!
The Canadian Rocky Mountains will never disappoint anyone – whether you are a tourist or just a passerby. Even while you are driving, the mountains are right in front and beside you. As you go along the winding road, you begin to feel the call of the mountains – and you must answer their call!
When you have enough of the Emerald Lake (which I’m sure you won’t), walk back, past the parking lot, and onto the river with a wooden bridge. From here, you will find the Natural Bridge, a natural rock formation that forms like a bridge with gushing water underneath it. And of course, with the backdrop of the gorgeous mountains! This will be in another blog post.
Don’t let the crowd spoil your visit. Find a peaceful spot where you can sit down and admire nature’s theater for 10 or 15 minutes. And the rest is for taking pictures, of course! Enjoy!
By the way, if you don’t drive, you can book your one-day tour here.
Canadian Rockies Tour
For those who don’t drive, solo travelers, and those who don’t want to drive (because of gas prices), you can always go on a tour. Here are some tours you can while you are in the Canadian Rockies:
- Canadian Rockies 7-Day Group Tour
- Lake Louise and Lake Morraine Sightseeing Tours
- Banff National Parks – Hop On and Hoff Off Bus Day Pass
- Banff National Parks – Guided Signature Hikes with Lunch
- From Calgary to Banff National Parks Day Tour