By: Magi Scallion
Since I live in Golden and most of my running buddies are east of me in Canmore, I have been trying to set up some runs in the Field and Lake Louise area. It FINALLY came together this weekend, and I experienced my first run in Yoho National Park.
Many people recommend the Iceline Trail (20 km as a circuit out to Stanley Mitchell Hut and back by Laughing Falls and Yoho Valley) as an absolutely amazing hike or run in the mountains. For some reason I decided to make it a bit more epic by adding on Burgess and Yoho Pass (an additional 15 km).
I started with Burgess and Yoho pass as a solo mission as I was meeting the rest of my “team” (Dan and Nadiya) at the Iceline Trail. They were tired from escapades over the weekend so didn’t want the extra distance.
It was their loss as I think the Burgess/Yoho combo was my favourite of the day. Burgess is a bit of a grunt: 1000 m of vertical over 7 km but you get some amazing views out toward Field on the way up. At the top you have a moment where you can hear angels singing as you look out over the valley toward Emerald Lake – it is stunning! From here you actually get about 4 km of cruisy, gradual downhill running along the rim of the valley. Simply stunning. The last 4 km is downhill through the woods, ending at the trailhead for Iceline Trail.
I was a *bit* (1 hour) late arriving there so I thought I might have missed my “team.” This was due to a miscalculation of distance on my part (I thought Burgess/Yoho was only 7.5 km… not 15). Regardless, I ended up running into Nadiya just before she would have taken a critical junction to separate us. We took a quick look for Dan, then headed out.
We were loving the Iceline trail – it’s pretty rocky as you’re running just below a glacier in the Alpine, but stunningly beautiful with amazing views. Shortly into our run I turn to see Dan catching up to us. He had also been late…so despite all of our confusion we ended up as a trio after all!
We ran out to the Stanley Mitchell Hut on the Iceline Trail and the back via Laughing Falls and the Yoho Valley. It was very different on the way back – in the forests, next to a glacial river with waterfalls. Different but very enjoyable as well.
I highly recommend any section of this run to adventurers. The trails are great and the views are stunning. This is now off my bucket list and onto my “must repeat” list!
Born in Nova Scotia and emigrating to British Columbia via Ontario and Alberta, Magi has been running the entire way. Primarily defined as a cross country ski racer, Magi has competed nationally and internationally in that sport. The highlight of her career was competing in the World University Games and the World Cup races in Canada in 2007. Cross country skiers rely heavily on running for cross training and Magi has become an accomplished trail and mountain runner, representing Canada at the World Mountain Running Championships in 2005 and the winning numerous national championships medals.
Today Magi runs for fun… and it’s a lot of fun! Epic mountain runs, city cruises with friends, and more keep her happy and occupied outside of work and school.