Thought I was hiking a lot in Canada I didn’t hike each trail in this huge country, so it can be subjective opinion, but for me hiking in Yoho national park in British Columbia was most impressive.
Next time I would love to go there with tent as there so much more to see and you can camp in backcountry. But you can still see a lot even if you have only one day.
For one day visit I suggest combine two trails – Lake Oesa Trail and Opabin Plateau Circuit.
The combined trail length probably will be less then 8-9km (5-6 miles) with maximum 240-250 meters (800ft) elevation gain. This allow you to see O’Hara and Mary lakes from above (first picture) and to visit Lake Oesa with Rocky Mountains behind it (second photo), visit Opabin Plateau with some smaller lakes and come back down to lake O’Hara.
Doesn’t it sound like perfect day in the mountains with easy hiking? There is one very important thing – you must prepare for this trip in advance. I am not talking about physical training, but visitor number restrictions may be is one of beauty of this park as you don’t see big crowd there thought park is only 200km (130 miles) from Calgary or only 30km (19 miles) from any comfortable hotel in Lake Louise in Alberta.
But these restrictions means you need to make a reservation well in advance for a seat in the bus. At moment only 42 day visitors are allowed. Of course you can hike the 11 kilometers access road from car parking to lake O’Hara, as there is no limit how many people can get to the lake on foot. But access road is not pictures at all and I would avoid hiking that road.
Check this page for bus seat reservation and other latest information about access to the park.