The Stanley Mitchell Hut is an excellent introductory hut trip for those just getting started but also a cherished favourite that I have returned to many times!
Located in Yoho National Park, just West of Lake Louise, the Hut is an easy 10km hike from the trail head. More importantly the famous Iceline Trail can be used on the way back out, completing a complete loop with no backtracking.
When To Go
The Stanley Mitchell Hut is open year round, hiking and climbing in the summer, backcountry skiing and ice climbing in the winter. The summer season is considered to be May through October when the access road from the Trans-Canada is open. This road is closed in the winter making access much harder.
The trailhead is located on the north side of the Trans-Canada Highway, between Lake Louise and Field. Take the turn-off for “Takakkaw Falls”. Follow the Yoho Valley Road to its end at Takakkaw Falls, about 12 km. It should be noted that large trailers will not be able to make it to the trailhead due to the presence of tight switchbacks.
The above map shows the location of the trailhead as well as the trails to and from the Stanley Mitchell Hut (to be discussed below). Click here to download the above map of Yoho National Park.
From the trailhead you will head north along the Yoho River before reaching Laughing Falls. At this point you can add additional distance looping up and back to Twin Falls, or you can carry on directly to the Hut along the Little Yoho River. This approach travels on gentle trails through the forrest.
Once at the hut your exit trail should be the Iceline trail along the northwest side of The President. This trail offers spectacular views of the area and can either land you directly back at your car, or just a few hundred meters down the road.
According to the Alpine Club the hut is located at
- Grid reference: 303801
- GPS coordinates:51° 31′ 33″ / -116° 33′ 50″
- Hut elevation: 2,060 m
The two maps I have found helpful are the Gem Trek “Lake Louise and Yoho” map and the Canadian 1:50,000 “82N/10 Blaeberry River”. Both can be purchased at MEC and/or you can download the 82N/10 from Geogratis. I made a video on how to do this here. Another service I have found helpful is All Trails Pro, with a $30/year subscription you can build and print maps of any size! Here are the maps I printed from All Trails for this hike, they have graciously let me share them in exchange for you checking them out.
You can view the Stanley Mitchell Hut and check availability at the ACC’s Website Here. From this page you can follow their instructions on how to book.