Thirteen kilometers (8 miles) from the Kicking Horse Pass, turn north onto Yoho Valley Road to find some of the park's most scenic areas. Past another viewpoint of the Spiral Tunnels, continue 13km (8 miles) to Takakkaw Falls, Canada's second highest, which cascades 380m (1,247 ft.) in two drops. A short trail leads from the road's end to a picnic area, where views of this waterfall are even more eye-popping.
Another impressive waterfall is Wapta Falls, on the rushing Kicking Horse River. The falls is reached by an easy 2.4km (1.5-mile) hike near the park's western entrance.
The Kicking Horse River descends between Mount Field and Mount Stephen, famous in paleontological circles for the Burgess Shale, fossil-rich deposits from the Cambrian era. Interpretive displays on these fossil digs, which have produced organisms that seem to challenge some established evolutionary tenets, are found at the visitor center in Field.
Emerald Lake, a jewel-toned lake in a glacial cirque, is one of the park's most popular stops. Hiking trails ring the lake; the destination is popular for cross-country skiing as well. The Emerald Lake Lodge (tel. 250/343-6321) is open for meals and lodging year-round. In summer, this is a very busy place, but it's worth the drive.
Lake O'Hara is another beautiful mountain lake nestled below the soaring peaks of the Continental Divide. To protect the fragile alpine ecosystem, access to the lake is restricted. Although you can hike into the lake basin -- 13km (8 miles) one-way -- most people reserve a seat on the bus that travels the gravel road leading to the lake, four times per day. Reservations are essential, and in high season difficult to obtain. The buses run mid-June through the first weekend in October; tickets are C$15, and the reservation fee is another C$12. For reservations, call tel. 250/343-6433. Check out the Parks Canada website listed above for the most recent information on this area; the restrictions and options are fairly complex. Lake O'Hara is very popular with backcountry hikers, as the wilderness campground (C$10 per adult) here serves as a hub for a great many trails. Sitting on the shores is Lake O'Hara Lodge (tel. 250/343-6418; www.lakeohara.com), a rustic resort with lodge rooms and cabins starting at C$516 double, including all meals and bus transport.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.