Walcott Quarry: Classic expedition

Yoho National Park

Guided hike bookings:

  • Reservation launch: Tuesday, January 23 2024 at 8:00 am MT
  • Online 24/7
  • By calling: 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783)

Walcott Quarry hike

Difficulty: Difficult
Return Distance: 22 km
Elevation Gain: 825 m
Duration 11 hours (7:00 am to 6:00 pm)

Is this hike right for you?

Hold a 500 million year old fossil in your hand!

This classic journey begins at Takakkaw Falls and includes views of Emerald Lake from high above. As you hike through stunning mountain landscapes, you’ll learn about the weird and wonderful Burgess Shale creatures and how they were fossilized and came to be found at the top of a mountain in Yoho National Park.

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Is this hike right for you?

Walcott Quarry hike is rated as difficult. The trail begins and ends with steep and sustained hills on well maintained trails. From the Takakkaw Falls parking lot, hike 4.1 km up steep switchbacks on packed dirt trails to Yoho Lake. The remainder of the hike involves more gently graded elevation gain leading 6.7 km from Yoho Lake to the Walcott Quarry trail with a short but steep hill on rocky terrain over the last 600 m to the restricted Walcott Quarry site. This hike is not advised for people with recurring knee, back or ankle injuries.

Please see our day hikes page for details on hike ratings and to compare other hikes in Yoho National Park with similar difficulty

We want you to enjoy your day! If you are unsure if this hike is right for you, please call us to discuss at 1-250-343-6783 or email us at pc.yohoinfo-infoyoho.pc@canada.ca.

Important notes:

  • Children under 8 are not allowed on the Walcott Quarry hike
  • Children and youth up to 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult
  • Parent or guardian of participants 17 to 19 years of age must sign a waiver at the trailhead
  • No pets
  • No exceptions

Schedule - 2024 Walcott Quarry Guided Hikes

Walcott Quarry guided hikes operate from July 11 to September 15, 2024.

Dates Days
July 11 to September 2, 2024 Every Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
September 6-15, 2024 Friday, Saturday and Sunday

When travelling east from Vancouver, the time changes from the Pacific Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone at Glacier National Park’s eastern boundary. All hike times are in Mountain Daylight Time, the same time zone as Calgary, Alberta and Golden, British Columbia.

Collect them all! Receive a souvenir pin on your Burgess Shale adventure.


Visit our fees page for pricing.

All participants on the Burgess Shale Guided Hikes require a valid national park pass. Purchase your pass the day before your guided hike; the park gates and visitor centres are not open in the early morning, and our guides do not sell park passes.


Reservations are required and available starting January 23, 2024. To make a reservation you will require the following information:

  • Dates and hike requested 
  • Names and ages of participants 
  • Emergency contact and medical info 
  • MasterCard, Visa or AmEx number 

Call 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783), or reserve online:

Reserve now!

Hike logistics

Meeting point

Meet at the south end of the Takakkaw Falls parking lot, Yoho National Park at 7:00 AM MDT.

  • The Takakkaw falls parking lot is located at the end of the Yoho Valley Road, 5 km east of Field, BC on the Trans-Canada Highway. Hike ends at the same location.
  • The road up to the Takakkaw Falls parking lot is only passable by cars and small RVs (under 7 m). Longer vehicles must reverse to make it around tight switchbacks. No trailers!Trailers can be left in the parking lot across from Monarch Campground.
What to bring

A day of hiking in the Rockies requires preparation. Conditions can change rapidly in the mountains and higher elevations increase your exposure to the sun and stormy weather.  To have a safe and fun time outdoors you will need to bring:

Hikers on a trip to the Burgess Shale
  • Warm layers of clothes (no cotton), rain jacket and rain pants, winter gloves, and a winter toque / hat
  • Hearty lunch and multiple snacks
  • Drinking water, at least 2 litres or ½ gallon per person
  • Sturdy and worn in hiking boots and extra wool socks 
  • Hiking poles (required for the Mount Stephen hike). Note: Your guide may have hiking poles for you to borrow for the day.
  • Sturdy and supportive backpack with a waist belt
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat, insect repellent
  • Toilet paper in a plastic bag for disposal, hand sanitizer
  • Reading glasses, if you wear them
  • Blister kit and personal medical supplies (just in case)
  • Sorry, no pets please.
  • Camera!

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