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Yoho National Park
Town of Field

Field began in the 1880s as a settlement of tents and shacks to house construction workers for the Canadian Pacific Railway.Named for Cyrus Field, an American being wooed by the CPR for investment capital - he never did invest. The CPR built many of the hiking trails and a variety of mountain hotels to attract the wealthy tourists. William C. Van Horne, general manager of the CPR, acted to stop development with a small area surrounding the town.In 1886 the Mt. Stephen Dominion Reserve was established, the CPR buffer was expanded. The resulting park was renamed Yoho in 1901, applying the native Cree expression of awe and wonder.
Mount Stephen

Named in 1886 for George Stephen, first president of Canadian Pacific Railway. Mr. Stephen raised money for one of the largest investments in the world at the time, for a risky investment for a railway through Kicking Horse Pass. This endeavour was a very difficult feat of engineering - a testament to the ingenuity of men, as well as the very hard labour of men, mules and horses. First ascended in 1887 by J.J. McArthur, T. Riley in a dangerous expedition.
Mount Burgess

Located near the village of Field, B.C.- 27 km West of Lake Louise, Banff Natl. Park. The cabins seen here are part of the Emerald Lake Lodge. In 1954, Mt Burgess was also known as "Ten Dollar Mountain" as it was featured on the back of Canada's ten dollar paper currency. World-renowned for the Burgess shale beds, where many unique, previously unknown invertebrate fossils were found on this mountain, and nearby Mt Stephen, which were once submerged by an ancient sea. Mt Burgess altitude 2600m = 8530 ft above present sea level. Mt Burgess was named in 1886 by Otto Klotz, astronomer for the new Confederation (1867) of the Dominion of Canada. The survey was responsible for mapping Canada's geographical boundaries. Named for Alex Burgess, who was then Deputy Minister of the Interior. In 1897 Burgess became Commissioner of Public Lands for Canada. First climbed in 1892 by intrepid explorer J.J. McArthur, and H. Tuzo. 
Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is truly Emerald as shown by this non-colorized, original photo. In the early spring or autumn, it is so clear that you can see logs on the bottom. This lake is featured on the back of older Canadian $10 currency. Left is Emerald Peak ( 2545m / 8350 ft ) Mt. Carnavaron ( 3040m / 9974 ft ), the other mountain on the far right is the back of President Mtn - we see Michael's Peak ( 2696m / 8844 ft ) [a.k.a. Agnes Peak ]. Named in 1901 for Arthur Michael of Boston whoparticipated in first ascents of Mount Lefroy & Mount Victoria in 1897. Mt. Carnavron [a.k.a. Emerald Mtn ] was first acended in 1904 by the Topography Survey team. Named in 1900 by Alex Burgess for H. Herbert, Earl of Carnarvon, author of British North America Act (1867). Pacific winds bring moisture which are trapped by the high mountain peaks. This creates a micro-climate such that the west side of Emerald Lake is partly coastal rainforest, with Western Red Cedar trees, Devil’s Club ( large plant with thorns & maple-like leaves ). In late May, bright yellow Glacier Lilies bloom along the lake shores, followed by pink Calypso Orchids in June.
"Yoho" is a Cree expression of awe and wonder - a good name for this park.
Natural Bridge

The Natural bridge is West of the town of Field along Emerald Lake Road. In this pciture background is Mt. Stephen which looms above the town of Field. The Kicking Horse River has gradually carved a notch in the soft limestone, as the river descends from the flats of the Kicking Horse Pass about 3km East by the town of Field.  This summer picture of the mint green waters, shows just a fraction of the white waters of springtime torrent.  A few years ago, the waters of spring snow melt tore out large chunks of the highway and tossed them about like paper in a storm.  The Kicking Horse River joins the Amiskwi River then tumble over Wapta Falls (easy hike, great view) about 20 km West of here.

Takakkaw Falls

Takakkaw Falls icy waters comes from Daly Glacier. The highest point of Takakkaw Falls is 380m = 1247 ft. with a "free-fall" of 254m = 833 ft. which is the second highest water freefall in Canada, eighth highest in the world (Della Falls on Vancouver Island, has freefall of 440m = 1444 ft). Takakkaw Falls was well known to local natives. The original name was kept to enrich our language -   Takakkaw is pronounced Ta-kuh-koh, native Cree for "magnificent."

Lake O'Hara

Lake O'Haraa was named in 1884 for pro-conservationist Lieutenant-Colonel Richard O'Hara of the Royal Artillery, who visited the lake in 1889.  On the far left are Wiwaxy Peaks (2703m=8869 ft).  In 1893 & 1894 Sam Allen travelled up Cataract Brook to Lake O'Hara. He followed a creek (Wiwaxy) past Watchtower Peak into a valley where a gust of wind almost knocked him over. He named the valley "The Gorge of the Winds", then applied the Stoney native word Wiwaxy which means “windy”. In the center is Mt Huber (3368m=11050 ft) 2 km northeast of Lake O'Hara.

Mt Huber was also named by Sam Allen in 1903 for Emil Huber, a Swiss climber, whom with Carl Sulzer in 1890, made the first ascent of Mt Sir Donald in the Selkirks.    Behind Mt Huber is Mt. Victoria which is at the end of Lake Louise in Banff National Park.

Wapta Falls

Wapta Falls is located just off the highway at the south end of Yoho National Park. An easy 2 km walk on a fairly level trail to this beautiful waterfall. Wapta is from a native language meaning "running water".  Wapta Falls is fed by the Kicking Horse River - named by James Hector in 1858 when exploring the area and his horse kicked him.  The falls plunge 30m=100 ft. in a 60m wide cascade.  The background mountains (L-R) Mt Deville (2924m=9594 ft) & King Mtn ( 2892m=9489 ft ) are part of the Van Horne Range.  E.Deville was Surveyor General of Canada until 1924 and was responsible for mapping much of early Canada's boundaries.  He promoted the use of cameras for surveying, making a rugged travel camera for explorer J.McArthur. Mt. Deville was named and first climbed by W.Drewry, a survey assistant to J.McArthur.

King Mtn was named in 1886 by Otto Koltz for his successor William King, who replaced him as Chief Astronomer & Inspector of Surveys - a vital role in establishing Canada's early boundaries. King Mtn first ascent1892 by J.McArthur.

Vintage CPR Rail & Mt Vaux

When British Columbia joined the Confederacy of Canada in 1871, a cross country railway was proposed to join the nation and surveying began immediately for the CP Railway. After several years of delays, construction of the CP Railway began May 14th, 1880 at Emory's Bar, about four miles west of Yale, BC. The contract was given to Andrew Onderdonk, an American railroad contractor, who followed the Canadian Government plan to follow the Fraser & Thompson Rivers. Upon completion of this small section, Onderdonk won the contract to extend the line 86 miles to Burrard Inlet near Vancouver. Thousands of Chinese workers were much of the human muscle that built the railway, as were teams of mules and horses. By 1880 a syndicate of investors ( James Hill, Lord Mt. Stephen, Lord Strathcona ) received $25,000,000 plus 25,000,000 acres of land east of BC, plus BC land ( 20 miles on both sides of the railway ), no taxation, no competition gurarntee and other benefits. Hill hired A.B. Rogers to find a more direct route and in July 1882, Rogers confirmed the 1865 survey by Walter Moberly and 1858 recommendation by explorer John Palliser. By late 1883, Onderdonk's workers had built bridges and railway to Spences bridge, about 100 miles East of Port Moody, BC. At the same time, railroad construction ( led by C. Van Horne and supervised by James Ross ) was completed from Eastern Canada to Calgary, Banff, then Laggan ( Lake Louise ).

The most difficult terrain was now ahead - Kicking Horse Pass nearField and further west Roger's Pass. Kicking Horse Pass was known as "The Big Hill" and here the railway had to increase the steepness from 2.2 percent grade to 4.5 percent in order to complete the railway quicker and more economically. This section was completed in 1884, andto prevent derailments due to the steep incline, people manned three switches that were activated only if the train speed was acceptable toallow it to continue, otherwise the default was to sidetrack therailcars to a slower section to let them stop. To further reduce the chance of derailment, heavier engines were specially built and used only from Laggan to Field. To span the many rivers and gorges, vast areas of forest were destroyed for use as bridge timbers (and later human caused forest fires at Field and Rogers Pass area ). Ironically , the wooden bridges only lasted 7-10 years before being replaced by fire-safe steel. The last spike to complete the railroad was driven November 7, 1885 at Eagle Pass, near Craigellache, B.C. n the background of the old locomotive is (L-R) Mount Chancellor (3280m), Mt. Vaux (3319m), Mt Deville (2924m), Mt King (2892m). Deville & King were senior astronomy staff of the Dominion Land Survey of the 1880's, which defined provincial and Canadian borders, Deville pioneered use of photography in surveys. William Vaux was resident antiquarian at the British Museum who helped secure funds to support the 1850's Palliser Expedition's principals while they completed their report. Mt. Chancellor was named in 1898 for Sir John Boyd, Chancellor of Ontario for resolving a dispute over mineral rights between CPR and the Canadian Govt.
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