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 a mountain in Yoho National Park.

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Is this hike right for you? | Cost | Schedule | Reservations | Hike logistics

Walcott Quarry hike

Difficulty: Strenuous
Return Distance: 21 km (13 miles)
Elevation Gain: 825 m (2,710')
Duration 11 hours, 7 am to 6 pm

Is this hike right for you?

The Walcott Quarry hike is very difficult and involves steep elevation gains in challenging backcountry terrain. It’s equivalent to climbing up and down 234 flights of stairs over 21 kilometers! This hike is not advised for people with recurring knee, back or ankle injuries.


  • 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

We want you to enjoy your day! If you are unsure if this hike is right for you, please call us to discuss.


Guided Hike
Online Reservations
Phone Reservations
Adults (17-64 years) $70.00 $11.50 / party $13.50 / party
Youth (8-16 years) $35.00 $11.50 / party $13.50 / party
Senior (65+ years) $59.50 $11.50 / party $13.50 / party

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.

Schedule - 2021 Walcott Quarry Hikes

Walcott Quarry: Classic expedition runs every day except Wednesday and Thursday, from July 10 to September 12.

Note: Construction in the Kicking Horse Canyon, 10 km east of Golden, means periodic overnight closures of the Trans Canada Highway between 10 pm and 7 am.

These closures may impact some visitors traveling from Golden, British Columbia into Yoho National Park on the morning of their hike. Check www.drivebc.ca for details and alternate routes.

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.


Reservations are required and available starting April 13, 2021. To make a reservation you will require the following information:

  • Date 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.

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Hike logistics

Route map
Map of guided hike to the Walcott Quarry in Yoho National Park
Guided hike to the Walcott Quarry

The Yoho Valley Road is impassable to RVs and trailers. Trailers can be left in the parking lot across from Monarch Campground.


Your safety and the safety of our staff is our top priority. Group sizes have been reduced to 6 and there will be no sharing of props and equipment. Risk mitigation measures for Covid-19 will be in place during the hike program.

  • Questions you will be asked by the guide on the morning of your hike
    • Do you have a cough, fever, sore throat, difficulty breathing or any new or worsening symptoms?
    • Have you travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days?
    • Have you had close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has traveled anywhere outside Canada in the last 14 days?
    • Have you been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of Covid-19 in the last 14 days?

    If you answer “yes” to any of the above questions, you may not participate on the hike and you will receive a full refund.

  • Please remember to adhere to the following protocols during the hike
    • Physical distance with people outside of your household.
    • Good hygiene, e.g. sanitize hands before and after eating/drinking, cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching face.
    • You may bring your own masks, if desired.
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)
  • 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!