The Iceline Trail is a 32km backpacking trip in Yoho National Park. In September 2014, after a cold, noisy and smelly night of car camping at Kicking Horse Campground (our site was one of the nearest ones to the highway, so the smell of engine brakes and the noise of semi trucks permeated the air), we started up the trail behind the Whiskey Jack Hostel. The first few kilometres are fairly steep as you climb out of the valley, but the views of Takkakaw Falls began almost immediately.

Takkakaw Falls

Takkakaw Falls

Soon we emerged above the treeline and the amazing views began.

Iceline Views

Iceline views

More Iceline views

More Iceline views

We could hear lots of pikas chirping in the rocks, and eventually one posed for us.

Pika

Pika

Later in the afternoon we arrived at the Little Yoho campground. The Stanley Mitchell Hut is here as well, but it was fully booked.

Stanley Mitchell Hut

Stanley Mitchell Hut

The campground has bear poles, picnic tables, and a composting outhouse. There were no tent pads but plenty of open flat spots to pitch a tent.

The campsite

The campsite

After dinner we went for a hike on the ridges behind the campground.

Ridge hike

Ridge hike

The next day we headed up the Whaleback portion of the trail. The trail has many switchbacks but again the views are well worth the effort.

Whaleback

Whaleback

At the top of Whaleback

At the top of Whaleback

After summiting the Whaleback we continued on to the top of Twin Falls (with only one “Fall” at that time of year).

At the top of Twin Falls

At the top of Twin Falls

The trail then descended to the Twin Falls campground, where we stopped for the night. This campground has tent pads, as well as picnic tables and a bear pole.

Twin Falls campground

Twin Falls campground

The outhouse is small and has no window, so we found that a headlamp was useful even in the daytime (or the judicious use of a rock to prop the door open).

The next day was a short hike out past Laughing Falls and then the walk-in campsite at Takkakaw Falls, where we saw campfires were allowed at some sites. This campground is definitely on our list to stay at another time.

 

GPS track and map

Total distance: 33.21 km
Max elevation: 2242 m
Min elevation: 1515 m
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Raegan

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