I can’t quite remember how I heard about the Iceline Trail, but it’s been on my list of hikes to do for quite some time. I had read that it is one of the most beautiful hikes to do in the Rockies. When I learn something like that, the hike gets added to the list!
Robbie and I headed out to Yoho National Park in BC expecting bright blue skies and lots of sunny weather. Well, that’s what The Weather Network had us believe. As we drove to the Takakkaw Falls area near Field, BC, it was anything but sunny sigh. We had cancelled this trip two weeks ago in fear of a rainy day, but we were determined to do this hike this time, rain or shine. We parked on the side of the road near the Whisky Jack Hostel, suited up, and then began the climb. The trail starts with a series of switchbacks through the trees. The incline is steep! Although I was dripping sweat at times, it was nice to emerge above the tree-line not too long after leaving the trailhead. Onward, there are beautiful views of Takakkaw Falls and a large glacier to the east. Once we reached the rocky area (noticeably rock deposits from a receding glacier), more glaciers came into view right in front of us. So awesome! We crossed little streams and glacial ponds and hiked our way to a false summit, which allowed for 360 degree views of the falls, glaciers, forests, mountain peaks and valleys. Gorgeous! It became quite chilly, so we headed back down and found a large rock where we ate lunch.
As we were descending, we noted the ‘field’ of cairns along the route. “We should build a cairn!” So that’s what we did, right along the trail so hikers would know they were heading in the right direction. Not that it was obscure at that point, but we just wanted to create a cairn for fun that would be visible. As expected, we considered visual appeal, colour, accessibility, and dramatic background. In the end, it was definitely the best cairn there. (Note: I fully acknowledge that this is a biased opinion.) We left the mountain quite happy with our accomplishments- the hike, and our engineering skills. The return was quick, so we followed up the hike with a closeup visit to Takakkaw Falls. Nature is a pretty awesome force! That night, we had a wonderful dinner at the Truffle Pig… which I think is pretty much one of the only restaurants in Field… or so it seemed.
It turns out we didn’t reach the Iceline Summit, but that’s okay. The day was all about experiencing a nice hike, enjoying the views of the glaciers around us, and having a great day. Of course, though, this means that we need to hike it again! Maybe as a loop next time. We definitely need to reach the Iceline Summit. And hopefully when we visit again, our cairn will still be there :).
Start: 1:30 pm
End: 6:00 pm
Elevation Gain: ~ 650 m
Distance: 9.45 km