Historic Photos of Yoho National Park

The name ‘Yoho’ means ‘awe and wonder’ in the Cree language. It’s the perfect name for Yoho National Park, as the place is filled with both. The park was established in 1886 as Mount Stephen Reserve (the same day as neighbouring Glacier National Park), making them the second oldest national parks in Canada, behind Banff National Park. The park was renamed Yoho in 1901.

Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, 1880s-1890s

The park has a rich history. There are four national historic sites, including the Abbot Pass Refuge Cabin, Twin Falls Tea House, Howse Pass, and Kicking Horse Pass. There are also nine federal heritage buildings located within the park’s boundaries. Together with Banff, Jasper, and Kootenay National Parks and Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine, and Hamber Provincial Parks, Yoho is one of the seven to comprise the Canadian Rocky Mountains UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mount Stephen tunnel, British Columbia, 1886

Here’s a small collection of photographs from Yoho’s earliest days. For more information about Yoho National Park, more specifically the world-renowned fossil beds of the Burgess Shale, please refer to my previous story, Yoho’s Stone Bugs.

Cathedral Crags, British Columbia, 1884-1886
Mount Stephen, British Columbia, 1886
Wooden centre span of Ottertail Creek trestle, British Columbia, 1884-1886
Laughing falls, Yoho Valley, Field, British Columbia, 1905-1906
Canadian Pacific Railway Mount Stephen House, Field, British Columbia, 1904
Summit near Canadian Pacific Railway line, Alberta/British Columbia, 1880s
Canadian Press Association excursionists at Great Divide, Alberta-British Columbia border, 1899
Field and Mount Stephen, Yoho National Park, British Columbia, 1900
Takakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park, British Columbia, 1910
Twin Falls, British Columbia, 1905
Hikers at the summit of Opabin Pass, on border of Alberta and British Columbia, 1910
Swiss guides, Christian and Hans Kaufman on Mount Hungabee, on border of Alberta and British Columbia, 1907
Alpine Club camp, Laughing Falls, British Columbia, 1907
Emerald Lake Chalet, British Columbia, 1910s
Natural bridge, British Columbia, 1905-1906
Emerald Lake, British Columbia, 1905
Mount Hungabee, Alberta, 1912
Party climbing Mount President, Yoho National Park, British Columbia, 1921-1937
Mount Burgess, British Columbia, 1920-1929
Car on Snowpeak Avenue, Yoho National Park, British Columbia, 1920-1929
Car on switchback road, Yoho valley, British Columbia, 1920-1929
Cathedral Mountain, British Columbia, 1920
Looking up at the mountains from Lake Oesa in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, 1921-1937

The photos above were collected from the Glenbow Archives. Additional information can be found for each photograph on the Glenbow website by searching the identification number that is printed on each photo. There is also the option to purchase a high resolution copy. Stay tuned for additional posts featuring historical photos from Alberta. We’d love to know what you think in the comment section below.

Tyler Dixon
About Tyler Dixon 147 Articles
Tyler is originally from Saskatchewan, and yes he cheers for the Roughriders, but don’t hold that against him as Calgary has been his home for the past eight years. He is a teacher working at a wilderness- based treatment program for youth working to overcome addiction. Tyler is also a volunteer with the GOT Parks initiative, which aims at reconnecting Canada’s youth with our national, provincial, and territorial parks. During his time away from work, Tyler enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and snowboarding, team sports, travelling, photography, spending time with good friends, and being at home with his wife and German Shepherd, Rome.