Sherbrooke Lake in Yoho National Park is a true hidden gem. After a short hike through the wood, you’re greeted with a stunning green lake and no crowds! It’s the hike I recommend the most when visiting Yoho National Park in the Canadian Rockies.
We visited Yoho National Park countless times and hiked many trails in the area, so it’s a mystery why Sherbrooke Lake was never on my radar, especially when the trail is signed on a trail map, unlike Mount St Piran, another close by gem but not signed.
While Yoho National Park might be small compared to its neighbours, Banff & Jasper, there are many amazing viewpoints and hikes. And hiking to Sherbrooke Lake couldn’t be any easier.
Whether you’re visiting Banff or Jasper National Park, I highly recommend putting their neighbour Yoho National Park on your Canadian Rockies itinerary. Yoho National Park is an underrated destination and provides a welcome quiet break from its busy neighbours.
This blog post includes all info about Sherbrooke Lake Hike, including nearby accommodation options for camping & hotels, a hiking packing list, hiking tips, hikes in the area, and additional tips about Yoho National Park & beyond!
Read our comprehensive Adventure travel guide to Yoho National Park for more activities and tips for visiting.
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Pros & cons of hiking to Sherbrooke Lake
- Stunning lake with a calm shore to take the views in
- Easy & family-friendly trail
- Option for a refreshing dip in the lake
- The trail is located off the highway
- A nice day trip from Lake Louise or Golden
- Many other hiking options close by
- None, seriously
How to get to Sherbrooke Lake Trailhead
Sherbrooke Lake Trailhead is in Yoho National Park in British Columbia (close to Alberta/British Columbia border). It’s 16 km west of Lake Louise, 12 km northeast of Field, and 68 km east of Golden.
From Trans-Canada Highway, there’s a sign for Sherbrooke Lake. The official Sherbrooke Lake Trailhead is right across Wapta Lake, as shown on the map below.
There’s a small paved parking lot with a shelter and a kiosk with a trail map.
Some hikers use an alternative trailhead for Sherbrooke Lake, which is right by the Great Divide Lodge where you can park and start from there.
Sherbrooke Lake from Lake Louise
If you’re travelling from Lake Louise, the drive to Sherbrooke Lake Trailhead takes about 15 minutes. It’s a great option for a quiet day hike once you get tired of the insane crowds at Lake Louise.
You drive on Trans-Canada Highway for 16 km until you see a sign for Great Divide Lodge or a bit further for the Sherbrooke Lake sign; you can start at either one.
Sherbrooke Lake from Field & Golden
Town of Field is about 13 min drive away, and Golden is about 50 min away. The drive is pretty straightforward, once again on Trans-Canada Highway heading east until you reach the Sherbrooke Lake sign or, a bit further, the sign for Great Divide Lodge; you can start at either one.
We hiked to Sherbrooke Lake when returning to Calgary from Golden and found it a great stop to stretch our legs and break up the drive.
Sherbrooke Lake Hike
- Distance: 6 km out and back
- Elevation gain: 165 m
- Difficulty: easy
- Best time to go: June to October
- Gear: water bottle with filter (you can fill up water in the creek or at the lake), waterproof jacket, running/hiking shoes, bear spray (map is not needed as the trail is well trodden)
Let me start by saying that Parks Canada describes the Sherbrooke Lake Hike as moderate on their website, but I rate it easy because our 2.5 year old son hiked most of it, so it doesn’t get easier than that.
It’s an easy hike, but not a flat one. The first part, about 1.5 km, goes uphill through the wood. You reach a fork where you can continue right to Paget Lookout or left to Sherbrooke Lake.
The trail levels out after that, and if you’re hiking with kids, they will be pleased to find several small creeks along the trail and wooden boardwalks.
3 km later, you arrive at Sherbrooke Lake, a gorgeous glacial lake with no crowds, just a breathtaking view. You can continue along the lake for about 1.5 km to reach the end.
We stayed at the lake with a small rocky beach, had a picnic, and dipped in the water. If you read any of our day hikes, you know that dipping in the lake is our favourite and a great reward for the muscles.
Back at the parking lot, you can cook a meal if you’re renting our Smile Campervan and enjoy it at the nearby shelter with a view of Wapta Lake before continuing your road trip.
If you’d like to buy a delicious meal nearby, I highly recommend fuelling up at Truffle Pigs Bistro in Field. We always eat here whenever we visit Yoho National Park. Their bistro & lodge are fantastic. I often get the Purple Burger with beets patty; it’s so delicious!
Camping near Sherbrooke Lake & Yoho National Park
We always recommend staying in the campgrounds to have the most freedom and enjoy nature to the fullest while staying on a budget. Check out our Smile Campervans, your home on wheels in the Canadian Rockies.
- Monarch Campground
Monarch Campground is on Yoho Valley Road (on the way to Takakkaw Falls). It’s a basic campground open May 4 to September 18 for a fee of 18.75 CAD/night. Only first-come, first-serve sites are available. If you plan to camp here, I recommend getting a site first thing in the morning and then exploring. Because of its proximity to many attractions, it’s often full by the afternoon.
- Kicking Horse Campground
The Kicking Horse Campground is on Yoho Valley Road (on the way to Takakkaw Falls). Both reservable and first-come, first-serve sites are available. This scenic campground is open from May 18 to October 9 and offers sites by the river, in the forest or a meadow. The campsite fee is 29.25 CAD/night, including hot showers and flush toilets.
- Takakkaw Falls Campground
Takakkaw Falls Campground is the best campground in Yoho National Park. It’s a walk-in campsite with a view of the 2nd tallest waterfall in Canada. It’s open from June 15 to October 9 for a fee of 18.75 CAD/night. Only tents are allowed (parking is about 500 meters from the campground, with trolleys available to carry your gear).
- Hoodoo Creek
Hoodoo Creek Campground is furthest from Takakkaw Falls and other Yoho attractions. It’s open from June 15 to September 4 for a fee of 18.75 CAD/night.
- A fire permit costs 9.50 CAD/day, and firewood is provided
- Online reservation, modification or cancellation costs 11.50 CAD
The best places to stay near Sherbrooke Lake in Yoho
Budget pick: HI Whiskey Jack Hostel near Takakkaw Falls is open from late June till September but is currently under construction.
Depending on which direction you’re travelling, you can choose from these options:
- The closest hostel is HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre, with a shared kitchen, sauna, and the epic Lake Louise nearby. Click here for reviews and the latest prices
- Another option is Dreamcatcher Hostel in downtown Golden offering a shared kitchen and the perfect location close to all amenities. Click here for reviews and the latest prices
Value pick: Truffle Pigs Lodge
Truffle Pigs Lodge (our beloved bistro) also offers accommodation in Field. You can choose a single room, a queen room with a kitchenette, a double queen, and a family suite. All offer stunning mountain views!
Luxury pick: Emerald Lake Lodge
Located on the gorgeous Emerald Lake shore, the lodge offers rooms with fireplaces, an outdoor hot tub, two restaurants, a private balcony, and stunning views.
Things to do near Sherbrooke Lake
- Takakkaw Falls are not to be missed if you’re in Yoho National Park!
- Try canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding on Emerald Lake (canoe rental is on the lakeshore and costs 90CAD/hour for three person canoe)
- Visit Natural Bridge – a year-round activity where you can see the tumbling and frozen waterfall in winter; it’s on the way to Emerald Lake
- See the Spiral Tunnel – the most difficult part of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s track, where trains climb 300m in the tunnel. The viewpoint is only accessible from mid-May to mid-October.
- Visit Kicking Horse Pass National Historic Site – learn about the background and importance of building the Spiral Tunnel
- Mountain or road biking – check the Parks Canada website for options
- Join a guided hike to Burgess Shale Fossil Beds – some of the oldest fossil beds in the world belong to UNESCO World Heritage Site
- See the confluence of the Yoho River and Kicking Horse River
- Hike the Iceline Trail – 18 km challenging hike featuring views of Takakkaw Falls from above, up-close and distant glaciers, several other waterfalls and pristine lakes
- Hike to Laughing Falls – starting at Takakkaw Falls, this 8 km round-trip hike is easy with a stunning waterfall
Best hikes in Yoho National Park
Where to next?
My favourites are:
Banff National Park
If you’re continuing east to Banff National Park, check out our Adventure travel guide to Banff National Park for activities and tips for visiting.
Just a few stops you shouldn’t miss on your visit are:
- Lake Louise
- Moraine Lake
- Johnston Canyon Hike is open year-round with beautiful frozen waterfalls in winter
- Lake Minnewanka
Know before you go
National park entrance
When you enter any national park in Canada, you must pay an entrance fee. You have a choice of either a daily pass or a yearly pass.
- 10.50 CAD per person for a daily pass, 21 CAD for a group/family
- 72.25 CAD per person for a yearly pass, 145.25 CAD for a group/family
The yearly Discovery Pass is valid for all National Parks in Canada. You can purchase it at the gate when you enter the national park, in the Visitor’s Centre or online here.
Hiking essentials for the Canadian Rockies
These are just a few of our hiking essentials. But we do carry a few more things. For the complete list or more details about any of these essentials, read our post Hiking packing list for summer in the mountains.
You need to carry water in a reusable Nalgene bottle, which I find is the most lightweight bottle, or you need to take a filtration system. In this case, all you need is a bottle with a water filter and fill it up when you arrive at the waterfalls. We always carry LifeStraw bottles on our runs, hikes, and backpacking trips.
One of the best-rated sunscreens from EWG, which I use and highly recommend, is Thinksport and Attitude mineral sunscreen. Alternatively, you can pack a sunscreen stick to re-apply during the day without getting your hands messy.
I don’t like DEET repellent’s smell or skin stickiness, so I make my own. It’s been effectively tested in the Canadian backcountry and smells incredible!
My recipe for DIY repellent – combine 200 ml Witch hazel, 5 drops of Lemon essential oil, and 5 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil and pour it into a glass spray bottle. Shake well before each use and spray on your skin or clothes a few times a day.
Alternatively, you can buy biodegradable repellent.
- Bear spray
Bear Spray Repellent is an essential item in the Canadian Rockies. If you’re flying in, you cannot take it on an airplane, but it can be purchased in most outdoor stores or rented at your hotel. Make sure you know how to use it, and keep it close.
Despite popular belief, Parks Canada stated that bear bells are ineffective in deterring bears, and you should make noise while hiking to let bears know you’re there.
- Waterproof jacket
A windproof jacket is a must on any mountain trip. Double bonus if it’s waterproof with breathable fabric as well.
My jacket packs small as it’s from a light fabric, but it’s both windproof and waterproof. Because this shell jacket is an outer layer, you need a fleece or a down jacket for warm insulation.
- Fleece or down jacket
I like to use my comfy soft fleece in spring and autumn when I know I’ll wear it most of the day. When I need to pack a light and small insulating layer into my backpack (especially in summer), I like to use a down jacket that’s lighter than fleece, packs into a little pouch, and uses very little space in my backpack.
- Trail running shoes
My long-time favourite trail running/hiking shoe is Adidas Outdoor Kanadia. They have a waterproof membrane, excellent grip on rocks, and great foot support, and I use them year-round. Michal tried several trail shoes over the last few years, and his favourites for hiking are waterproof Salomon with a wider toe box.
Road closure in Yoho National Park
For trail closures due to wildlife presence or avalanche dangers in Yoho National Park, check out the report from Parks Canada.
Trail report for Yoho National Park
Before you head out, check current trail conditions on Trail Report from Parks Canada.
As always, you are in a bear habitat in the Canadian Rockies. You should always carry a bear spray (can be purchased at Visitor’s Centre or outdoor stores), know when and how to use it and make noise while hiking and running (so you don’t surprise any bears)! Carefully read these instructions on how to behave around them.