When British Columbia joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871, it became necessary to create a national railway to unite both sides of the country. During the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s, Field was created as a resting spot for construction workers and as a tourist site for potential investors.
Today, Field is a small community of less than 200 residents, and consists primarily of those who work in Yoho National Park and those who simply want to be closer to nature.
Field lies at the centre of Yoho National Park, on the western side of the Rocky Mountains. It is located on the Trans-Canada Hwy (Hwy 1) east of Golden, British Columbia and west of Hwy 93 and Lake Louise, Alberta.
Established in 1886 to preserve the natural beauty of the area surrounding Field, Yoho National Park has both ancient and relatively modern mountains. The Burgess Shale contains fossils that have contributed greatly to the understanding of life on the planet - as far back as 250 million years ago. Fossils are on display at the Yoho National Park Visitor Centre in Field. In the early years of the railway, runaway trains were a regular occurence along the steep terrain east of Field, until an engineer conceived of carving two spiral tunnels, with a manageable 2% grade, into the rock wall of the valley. Look for the tunnel portals on the north side of the valley, and watch a locomotove pass over railcars that are at the other end of the same train.
The rushing waters of Takakkaw Falls, Canada's highest waterfalls, cascade 380 metres (1,246 ft) down into the valley.
Located in nearby Banff National Park, Lake Louise contains 4,200 skiable acres, making it one of the largest sking areas in North America. The season runs from November to May, with gentle slopes and long-cruising runs for beginners and intermediates, and endless chutes, glades, gullies, and remote bowls for expert skiers.
Yoho National Park offers 297 campsites during the peak season, all available on a first-come, first-served basis. Enjoy hot showers and an outdoor theatre with interpretive programs at the Kicking Horse Campground, or head to the walk-in campground at Takakkaw Falls and enjoy the unbeatable view.
Enjoy a slow, scenic paddle through Emerald Lake, Moraine Lake, or Lake Louise.
Catch brook char and rainbow trout at Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park's most popular fishing destination. Travel west of Field to the Kicking Horse River and catch cutthroat and rainbow trout, brook char, dolly varden, and whitefish.
Surrounding Field are three popular sites for mountaineering: Mount Stephen, Mount Burgess, and Mount Field.
Banff National Park, just twenty minutes away from Field, offers a variety of beginner and expert routes for climbers. Surrounding Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are some of the most popular alpine climbing areas in North America, ranging from moderate scrambles to more serious alpine faces. There are extensive trails for easy access.
The Kicking Horse River is one of the most popular spots in Canada for whitewater rafting, with three sections that change from class I to class V. Take your family on a moderate whitewater trip that includes some class II and III rapids, or traverse the entire river and experience 27 km (17 mi) of upper and lower canyon rafting.
There are over 400 km (248 mi) of hiking trails in Yoho National Park, all of which feature breathtaking views. Descriptions for most of the trails can be found in the Yoho National Park Backcountry Guide, which can be obtained at the Visitor Centre in Field.
A number of former fireroads within Yoho National Park have been converted into trails, allowing visitors to ride bikes or horses through the gorgeous backcountry.
The Canadian Rockies are one of the world's top waterfall ice-climbing destinations, featuring good access, reliable conditions, hundreds of options, and a long season. Be wary of avalanche hazards.
Travel Guide to Field and Yoho National Park