The area around the community of Field is where everything is happening in Yoho National Park. In this wide valley that’s dominated by the Kicking Horse River floodplain, you’ll find the park’s visitor center, the town of Field, and the turnoffs for Emerald Lake and Takkakaw Falls.
Field is a former railroad town, developed by the Canadian Pacific Railway. It needed crews here, to operate the “helper” engines necessary to get trains up and over Kicking Horse Pass. Nowadays, Field is a nice little tourist town, with a motel…
… and some restaurants and shops scattered along its one-lane streets.
And the railroad is still here, of course.
Mount Stephen, Mount Dennis, and several other peaks tower over the tiny community. This is the view from Highway 1, looking across the riverbed of the Kicking Horse River. (The weather was much better as I drove back through the Field area on Day 7 of the trip.)
From Trans Canada 1, just west of Field, take the turnoff towards Emerald Lake, and within a minute or two, you’ll be at the parking area for Natural Bridge. Long ago, there was a waterfall here, but the sand and gravel in the water eventually cut through the limestone rock. The result is a natural bridge.
There’s another nice view looking away from the Natural Bridge, at least, it would be nice on a clearer day. No matter how much I kept hoping, or how often I thought I saw a break forming in the clouds, the grey skies never relented.
Thankfully, the clouds didn’t detract from the amazing color of the water at Emerald Lake, my next stop.