Yoho National Park was established in 1886 and spans 1313 sq. km of Montane, Subalpine (with Lower and Upper portions) and Alpine ecosystems with associated lakes, streams and wetlands. The park is found on the western range of the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia bordering Banff and Kootenay National Parks. Yoho is one of four national mountain parks and three British Columbia provincial parks that make up the Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO. The total area for this site is 26, 583 sq km. In Yoho National Park, water flows westward to the Pacific Ocean along the glacier fed Kicking Horse River through the Columbia River drainage. In 1989, the Kicking Horse River was designated as a Canadian Heritage River. Similar to the other three national mountain parks, Yoho's river basins tend to possess the U-shape of the bedrock typical of glacially scoured valleys. Many of these have sharply V-cut floors where subsequent river erosion has occurred. Some spectacular waterfalls in the park include Takakkaw Falls (one of the highest waterfalls in Canada), Twin Falls, Wapta Falls, and the falls at the Natural Bridge on the Lower Kicking Horse River. A notable exception to Yoho's high-gradient, rushing rivers is the slow-moving Beaverfoot River which forms oxbow lakes and wetlands in the Leanchoil area. Other environmentally sensitive wetland areas also include Beaver Pond, Ottertail Flats, and Narao Lakes. The beautiful blue-green colour of many of the 64 mountain lakes and ponds in Yoho National Park results from suspended "rock flour" in the water which is produced by glacial grinding. Lake O'Hara and Emerald Lake are two examples of these gem-coloured glacial lakes. Emerald Lake, the largest lake in Yoho, is one of the lowest glacial lakes in the Rockies at an elevation of 1300 m.

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Parks Canada

B.C. Adventure

Montane Cordillera ESC site: Yoho National Park

Kicking Horse River