So here we are the next special place in my collection of exceptional hikes in an out of this world setting. Surely many people heard about Yoho National park and if not than definitely about Takkakaw falls, one of the most spectacular sites on this world, with it’s roaring waters, its force when it first meet the step in his path and then continuous as a free falling wall of water until, after it spread out its spray a few hundred meters around itself, it splashes down and turns into a creek.
I will not post pictures of this site here today, but I will speak about the Iceline Trail, or little Yoho valley trail how it is known as well.
This trail commences at Takkakaw falls and climbs up to higher elevations across the valley. It is a loop and experienced hikers can finish it in 4 hrs, but for me it takes at least 6 to 7 hrs as I just have to stop too many times, or just not enough, to really let nature flow through me. Hikers have the choice to start on the north and commence the trail with the hard section first, or to start at the south as we did this is and other times. Most hikers commence at the harder section but I experienced that after traveling from this direction for a long time sometimes the small not so exposed gems in this area are missed.
The path I most often take takes one along the Yoho river, along a old logging road, past 2 other waterfalls, through a wilderness campground and then to one of my favorite places in the Rockies. A place which I only discovered this year although I hiked this trail before:
This lake always captures me and I noticed that also my fellow hikers were extremely touched. Of course these pictures do not do justice to it’s beauty which is ironically influenced by the sight of death beside the main element of life: water!. And I believe this is what capture me all the time. The coexistence of these 2 elements and it’s irony as well as the water actually killed the trees on it’s north shore. This lake almost disappears during the summer month as the melt of and precipitation diminishes, then in fall with more rain and especially in early summer, when the melt off let’s the water rise, the trees on it’s shore drown and leave their beautiful skeletons for Us to see and experience.
Further on the trail skirts a small water falls which is created by the glacier melt- off up in the higher elevation. This glacier is another highlight on this trail which I will cover later. One other highlight begins after this small waterfall as the trail makes a sharp left turn and a marshy area, another amazing site appears with it’s green grass, the mix of water, vegetation and tall trees, located below the massive side moraine of one of the massive glaciers residing on top of Yoho valley.
Here it is were it get’s apparent that above this calm lush valley of the Yoho river, where thousands of tourists marvel each year in it’s so picturesque and innocent beauty, lies a massive force which turned the upper elevation for hundreds of years into a dessert like area. There the rocks are exposed, scree is seen everywhere and the water from the glaciers continues to erode the earth even more and expose more polished rock.
And this is the main reason why I can not spend enough time in the Yoho National park, as it possesses this roughed beauty which gives hopefully all of Us the inside that we are just this small part of this planet.
A small part of it’s nature and processes but that we have such a big influence if we are not respecting nature and by respecting I mean to actually see it the way it is. A functioning organism, a life being which in it’s entire being seems so strong and indestructible, but it’s small parts are so sensitive and fragile just like this one example:
This little spruce tree is growing on the foot of one of the glaciers. I have seen this tree the first time 5 years ago as it was just emerging above the small white rock on the right, it slowly pushed into the light, and now after all these years it grew just 9.5 cm, a indication how hard this environment really is. Hopefully no hiker will step on it one day and finishes it’s young fragile life. I will check on him again next sum me and hopefully he gained another centimeter or so of hight.
This is not a statement it is a fact.
One of my guests suffered under sensory overload and his whole being changes from a curious watcher to somebody who keeps his eyes down, slows down his walk and was sometimes even disoriented, yes it can happen and I wish sometimes I could take pictures which could reflect what this one guest saw. But even the best pictures, with the best camera can not reflect what our eyes can see, so there fore I only can show a small peace of this beautiful place:
There’s only one more piece of nature I would like to speak about, one which so many people never touched, even never got close enough to really see and fell it’s magic, it’s power and it’s majestic beauty:
Glaciers I talk about.
The forming force in the Rockies and one of the many reasons why the Rockies were declared a World heritage Site and why they are the Magnet for millions of tourists each year and one more reasons why my heart and soul belongs in the mountains.
These natural monuments of Ice. Slow moving, ever changing silent giants and witnesses of history and events which are almost forgotten by so many.
They bare the stories of the indigenous people of this country even only as one of the forming factor of this land, they give life, influence the climate, make Us laugh, sometimes cry and for sure demand a lot of respect. But even this massive power in these giants are they our friends, as we can travel on them, marvel at them and can enjoy the rich water they gift us and marvel at their beauty.
And this is how I will end this post but I promise a picture post in the next few days with my complete collection of the Iceline Trail.