Located among some of the highest peaks in the Canadian Rockies, Yoho National Park is well-known for its natural beauty. The word “yoho” is a Cree exclamation of awe or amazement, a little bit like “wow!” in English, and it’s easy to see where the name came from when you see the park’s incredible landscapes with your own eyes.
The origins of Yoho National Park date back to the late 19th century, after the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1886, shortly after the railway was finished, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald took a trip through the Rockies with his wife Agnes. When Macdonald got back to Ottawa, he immediately signed orders designating Glacier National Park and Yoho National Park as two new parks in the area.
Yoho is perhaps most famous for its mountains, which are among the tallest in the Canadian Rockies. Mount Burgess is particularly popular and was featured on the Canadian ten-dollar bill for close to two decades, although there are plenty of other mountains worth seeing in the park.
Yoho National Park is also known as the home of the Burgess Shale, an enormous rock deposit holding thousands of amazingly well-preserved fossils from the Cambrian period, over 500 million years ago. The fossils discovered in the Burgess Shale are notable for their vast diversity, allowing researchers a glimpse at the wide range of species that lived in the ocean during the Cambrian age. Many of the soft-bodied animals preserved in Yoho National Park had never been found anywhere else.
To make the most of your next trip to the Canadian Rockies, check out our Yoho National Park Self-Guided Driving Tour, or you can sign up for Action+ to gain access to over 100 tours for a single yearly price.