There are so many great trails to hike and explore in Yoho National Park, but I have found one that is a hidden gem – Hoodoo Creek. This trail is short but very steep, so you are wondering if the end is worth it while you slowly make your way up through the forest. But I promise you it is worth it. The trail is not busy at all and it winds up the side of one of the many mountains in the area that have had their forests burned to control the damage being done by the pine beetle. This beetle has been killing trees in the area for a long time, and when enough trees are dead, Parks Canada lights controlled fires to burn the dead trees in an attempt to control the spread of the beetles to nearby healthy trees.
The trail starts from the road that leads into the old Hoodoo Campground (turn left when heading west on Highway 1). This campground is severely overgrown and looks as though it is no longer maintained, although a lot of RVs still park here. The trail begins on the other side of Hoodoo Creek, where you will see a sign warning of its steep, dry, exposed nature. Follow this trail up about 2km until you get to a fork that offers you a choice to a lower or upper viewpoint. If you are tired, I would recommend just visiting the upper viewpoint. But if you are up for it, go see both. The lower viewpoint takes you down to the creekside where you look up to the many towers of sand capped with large rocks – called hoodoos. They are spectacular to witness. The creek is also very pretty. If you go around 7pm you will catch the setting sun reflecting off the water and lighting the hoodoos with a brilliant orange hue.
The upper viewpoint gives you a slightly better view of the hoodoos as you can see more of them and are closer. The trail is very dry and sometimes can be slippery, so be careful not to slip and fall into the crevasse.
When you are heading back down the trail, you can look out and see where the Kicking Horse River flows over Wapta Falls just a few kilometers west along the highway.
If you are in the area and need a new trail to hike or just want one that isn’t full of other hikers, visit Hoodoo Creek and enjoy the wonders of the power water has in shaping the land. Happy hiking!