The tiny mountain community of Field is nestled on the banks of the Kicking Horse River at the foot of Mount Stephen in the heart of Yoho National Park, between the park’s western boundary and Kicking Horse Pass.
Field functioned as an important mountain stop and railway centre for the Canadian Pacific Railway from 1884 to the 1950s, due mainly to the problems associated with the Big Hill, and remains the east/west division point for the railway.
The grade of the hill was the steepest in North America, and trains ascending the hill required the assistance of four additional engines to make it up the pass. Numerous spur lines were set to catch runaway trains negotiating the hill. The evidence of one of the many accidents can still be viewed at the Kicking Horse Campground. The famous and fascinating Spiral Railway Tunnels at Kicking Horse Pass finally replaced the old route after 25 years.
The CPR built Mount Stephen House here in 1886, one of a number of mountain stops where the CPR fed passengers instead of adding the weight of a dining car to the train.
Home mainly to people who work in the national park today, the pleasant little village of Field is the park’s administration and information centre, dispensing trail guides, maps and other resources year-round.
The village of Field offers a lodge and a nummber of small guest houses and bed and breakfasts, restaurants, a general/liquor store, a post office, a pottery studio, a Greyhound bus flag stop, and gift stores where the handicrafts of local artisans can be found.
Location: Field is located on the Trans-Canada Highway 1 in Yoho National Park, 36 miles (57 km) east of Golden, 17 miles (27 km) west of Lake Louise, Alberta, and 53 miles (85 km) west of Banff in Alberta.
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Rest Areas: If you’re not going to camp in Yoho, but feel like stopping for a couple of hours, pull in to the Faeder Lake Picnic Area, the Finn Creek Picnic Area or one of the several roadside picnic sites beside the Kicking Horse River, all on highway 1.
Surrounding the community of Field is the magnificent Yoho National Park on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains, one of six national parks in British Columbia. Characterized by rock walls, spectacular waterfalls and soaring peaks, Yoho provides endless opportunities for wilderness camping and extensive backcountry hiking along 400 kilometres of trails.
Don’t pass by the most famous site in Yoho National Park, the Takakkaw Falls, the second highest falls in British Columbia (after the Della Falls in Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island).
Some say Lake O’Hara, in Yoho National Park, is the most scenic of all lakes in the Canadian Rockies.
Fossils: Fossil hunters will marvel at one of the most precious natural resources of the region, its fine deposits of fossils. The remains of more than 120 species of marine animals from the Middle Cambrian epoch (about 515 million years ago) were unearthed in the early decades of last century. Visitors who would rather experience the real thing than view the display of the original collection in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C, can embark on guided hiking tours of Walcott’s Quarry and the Trilobite Beds. Hikes to both locations, from June to October, are lengthy and strenuous all-day endeavours on the steep, scree-covered slopes of Mount Field, above Emerald Lake, and Mt. Stephen.
Emerald Lake, one of the jewels of Yoho National Park, is surrounded by a forest of Engelmann spruce, as well as by some of the park’s highest peaks. Covered by ice for most of the year, Emerald lake comes alive with activity for a few short months in summer as hikers, canoeists, and horseback riders take advantage of the magnificent surrounds.
The Emerald Lake Trail leads around the lake, on which the faces of surrounding peaks and glaciers are reflected in stunning detail. The Emerald Basil Trail climbs steeply through oldgrowth Douglas fir and western red cedar into the open alpine zone. As the trail approaches Emerald Peak, there are grand views of a hanging glacier on the limestone flanks of the peak.
Golf: The nearest golf course in BC is the Golden Golf Course, located just west of Golden and flanked on the east by the Rocky Mountains and on the west by the Purcell Mountains. The incredible natural setting beside the quiet Columbia River, the rushing waters of Holt Creek, and the many wild animal sightings makes Golden Golf Course a must-play course. The 6,778-yard championship course on Golf Course Drive includes an outstanding driving range and RV Park.
Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Outdoors: Outdoor adventurers are being drawn to Field as a base for camping, mountain climbing and hiking during summer, and for ice climbing and cross-country skiing during the winter months.
Winter Activities: Winter is a great time to visit Golden, experience the serenity of backcountry hut to hut cross-country skiing or enjoy the area’s groomed trails on snowshoes. Heli-skiing, snowmobiling and dog sled rides are also popular. The powder doesn’t come any lighter than that at Kicking Horse Mountain Ski Resort in Golden, where there is downhill skiing in addition to more than 12 miles (17 km) of cross-country trails. Enjoy skiing or boarding the Purcell mountain powder and some of the best mogul skiing and natural terrain in the World.
West of Field is Golden, in the heart of some of the most pristine wilderness to be found in the Canadian Rockies. Golden is located at the confluence of the Kicking Horse and Columbia Rivers, with the Columbia Mountains standing guard overhead.
East of Field is Lake Louise, Alberta in the heart of Banff National Park. The village of Lake Louise is surrounded by some of the most majestic mountain peaks in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and is amongst the most beautiful areas in all of Canada.
Circle Tours: See the best of the area on the Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies Circle Tour or the Kootenay Rockies Hot Springs Circle Tour. Travel the sunny interior of British Columbia, north through the Okanagan to Sicamous, following Highway 1 into the mountains of the BC Rockies. From Golden, head south through the Columbia Valley to Creston, and west through Boundary Country and the Southern Okanagan to complete the loop. Circle Tours in British Columbia.