East gate is 60km (37 miles) W of Banff, west gate is 20km (12 miles) E of Golden

Located just east of Golden on the western slopes of the Rockies in British Columbia, Yoho National Park preserves some of the most famous rocks in Canada, as well as a historic rail line and the nation's second-highest waterfall. The park is essentially the drainage of the Kicking Horse River -- famed for its white-water rafting -- and is traversed by the Trans-Canada Highway.

The first white exploration of this area was by scouts looking for a pass over the Rockies that would be suitable for the Canadian Pacific's transcontinental run. Kicking Horse Pass, at 1,626m (5,335 ft.), was surveyed, and the railroad began its service in 1884. However, the first train to attempt the 4 1/2%-grade descent lost control and crashed, killing three men. In 1909, after decades of accidents, the Canadian Pacific solved its problem by curling two spiral rail tunnels into the mountains facing Big Hill. Together, the two tunnels are more than 1,859m (6,099 ft.) long. At the Lower Spiral Tunnel Viewpoint, interpretive displays explain this engineering feat, and you can still watch trains enter and emerge from the tunnels.