Loos with Views – The Rockies edition

Loos with Views – The Rockies edition

Loos with Views in the Rockies - Lake LouiseLast year, I had great fun putting a post together about all the most picturesque places to pee around the world. Since then, Marc and I had a couple of amaaazing trips to the Canadian Rockies, and we discovered that Canada’s National Parks have dozens of ridiculously beautiful loos with views.

So, here is a slightly strange post about all the loos with views we found in the Canadian Rockies. I have to admit, I have only used a fraction of these. I just made sure I snapped a photo when we stopped to see the sights. Still, if you’d like to visit the Canadian Rockies but you have a weak bladder, don’t worry! These National Parks have got you covered.

Marmot Basin

The Tonquin trail head is just a couple of minutes drive away from the Marmot Basin Ski resort in Jasper. I love the gorgeous peak view sneaking up out of the forest. If you’d like to see more views from this area, you can read about skiing at Marmot Basinย here.

Athabasca Falls

Athabasca Falls is one of the first stops we made along the epic Icefields Parkway. This is probably Canada’s most picturesque highway, with truly spectacular views (and so, so many loos!) These pit toilets are located in the car park, so you can’t see the waterfall but you can hear the rushing water so nobody will hear you pee.

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Icefields Parkway Viewpoint

There are quite a few rest stops along the Icefields Parkway that allow drivers to stop and admire the views. We didn’t stop at all of them, but this one did have a pretty fantastic view.

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Sunwapta Falls

The pit toilets at Sunwapta falls are tucked into a corner of the car park next to the trees, so you can just capture a glimpse of the Sunwapta River. This is the start of a fun hike down to the lower falls, so it’s a very useful spot for a toilet!

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Viewpoint: Stutfield Glacier

This view is so impressive! There is a posh pit-toilet opposite the Stutfield Glacier, right by the highway. Even if you don’t need to use the facilities, this is a fab place to stop! The road is quite high up, so you can look directly over to see the ice slowly grind its way down the cliff.

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Tangle Creek Falls

This is less than a mile away from the Stutfield Glacier viewpoint, so you probably won’t need the loo. Still, there is a gorgeous waterfall, right next to the highway aaaand a pit toilet just in case the sound of running water makes you need it…

Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre

This is another epic spot for a lavatory, I mean, this would be a good spot for anything as it so so pretty! Just outside the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre there are some pit toilets surrounded by snow, ice and spectacular views. These probably do not get much use, as there are posher toilets with running water a couple of minutes walk away.

Athabasca Glacier

If you decide to do the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier trail, There are some pit toilets in the middle of this epic landscape with amazing views up to the Athabasca Glacier. If you look carefully you can see them in the center of my photo below.

This is the view up close. Isn’t this a wonderful place for an outhouse!? It was incredibly quiet when we visited during the shoulder season, but this is a busy hike in the summer, so it’s great that they have such posh facilities.

Weeping Wall

This is another WC with a excellent waterfall and lakeside views. It even has glass in the top windows so you can see the mountains while you take care of your business.

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Saskatchewan River Crossing

The Saskatchewan River Crossing was one of my favourite viewpoints along the Icefield Parkway. You can’t see those amazing views from the toilet, so you will need to walk a few steps for this one!

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Lake Louise

Lake Louise is one of the most popular places to visit in the Rockies, so I am sure you can imagine, they need a whole lot of washrooms!ย  These are probably the poshest facilities on this list. They have running water, flushes and sometimes long lines! The loos have a mountain right behind them, but to see the main lake, you need to walk for about 100m.

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Plain of the Six Glaciers Teahouse

We loved the hike from Lake Louise up toย theย Plain of the Six Glaciers. The hike finishes at a teahouse. But don’t worry, after you drink plenty of tea, there are some rustic outhouses nearby, with truly fabulous views of the mountains and golden larches.

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Lake Agnes Teahouse

And if one beautiful teahouse is not enough for you, you can walk along the hightline trail to the Big Beehive and Lake Agnes. There is a second teahouse as well as a second set of rustic loos with views (through the trees).

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Banff loos

Even when you leave the wilderness, you might still need a washroom within Banff. Don’t worry, this town looks after its guests. There are clean toilets with running water in the middle of town in the Banff Information center. It may not look like there are views from here as my photo is in the snow…but on sunny days you can see mountains even in the middle of Banff.

Lake Minnewanaka

I have a feeling Lake Minnewanka must be really popular in the summertime! When we visited in April when it was still iced-over, and there were very few tourists. However there were multiple restrooms dotted around the lake, there may have been more privies than people!

If you head to the main car park there are large loos (probably with running water.) Even when those are closed for the winter, you’ll find multiple pit toilets with great views of the lake.

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Upper Bankhead Parking Lot

This is the start of the fantastic C-level Cirque trail. We hiked in before the road was opened for the summer, so the main washrooms were closed. They had provided a couple of porta-potties, but these were put together with the doors facing each other to stop people using them. Ah well. We couldn’t use them, but they have brilliant views.

Two Jack Lake

This is a gorgeous lake surrounded by mountains (between Banff and Lake Minnewanka.) And yep, there is a pretty pit toilet here too.

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Hoodoos Viewpoint

There are a couple of pit toilets by the car park for the Hoodoos viewpoint in Banff. There is a great little hike to this spot (or you can cheat and drive over.) the views are gorgeous, although you’ll have to take a few steps away from the latrines to reach them.

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Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is another one of those beautiful areas that most visitors to the Yoho National Park are keen to see. If you come here when it’s not snowing, there is a gorgeous hike the Emerald Lake Loop, that you can walk around in less than 2 hours. Or, you can just take a photo of the pretty lake, and use the washrooms.

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Natural Bridge

On the way to Emerald Lake you can also stop at an interesting rock formation that forms a natural bridge. The car park has yet more loos with views of the river, and surrounding mountains. These toilets are even decorated with cut-outs of salmon.

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Giant tree boardwalk

On the edge of the Rockies in Mount Revelstoke National Park there are a couple of fun places to stop right next to the highway. The first is a boardwalk that goes through a grove of Giant Cedars. There are pit loos in the car park that were stocked with hand sanitizer and loo roll, even in the spring before the area is officially open.

Skunk Cabbage boardwalk

My final loo of this post is this large washroom at the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk, less than a kilometer from the Giant Cedar trail mentioned above. This one was closed when we visited in April, but it has gorgeous views if you visit later in the spring/ summer.

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I realize that nobody is going to go out of their way to travel to a toilet, but all these loos were near gorgeous sights, so hopefully now when you visit the Rockies, you will also take a few seconds to admire the lavatorial infrastructure.

Loos with Views in the Rockies - Tangle Creek Loos with Views in the Rockies - Lake Louise Loos with Views in the Rockies - Icefields Parkway

40 thoughts on “Loos with Views – The Rockies edition

  1. This is quite a creative topic for sure! But honestly, these loos are in glorious locations and the views are spectacular! sure beats the regular old outhouses, they look like small cabins! haha. Now i need to get to the rockies..darby

  2. Fun post! Your photos are gorgeous. I wouldnโ€™t travel to see the toilet but Iโ€™d love to see these locations and itโ€™s nice to know that the toilets are available out in the wilderness if needed!

    1. You know, started documenting these half as a joke, but I did appreciate them out on trails. We went hiking in Spain last week, and I reeeally missed good loos on the trails there. We only found them at *really* popular trailheads.

  3. These are fantastic! I’d love to plonk a house in some of these locations. We’ve found that in Australia, cemeteries often have the best views overlooking towns and natural wonders.

    1. That is really nice. I mean, that cemeteries have such good spots. I feel like giving people a beautiful place to grieve is just as important as giving folks a stunning resting place.

      I agree that all of these would be great for houses as long as they are away from the toilets. Pit toilets can get a bit stinky close by!

  4. Loved the title of your post – has such a great rhythm to it! Canada indeed has some great facilities – reminds me a bit of Switzerland too where nearly every trail has a nice loo.
    Like the slideshow for the pictures, great idea!

    1. Thanks Smita. It doesn’t surprise me that they have good loos in Switzerland. They always seem to have fantastic facilities.

  5. Excellent resource for hikers. Out here we don’t have well developed trails and therefore there are no permanent loos. The hiking companies make a make shift toilet during camping time.

  6. You have clicked incredible photos. I have so little knowledge about Canada that I immediately bookmark any article that I find on it. I have read few articles so far but most of them indicates that Canada is heaven for hikers. Is that true?

    1. Thanks Nitin. It is pretty amazing here for hikers, but it is also quite a lot of effort! To be honest, I think almost anywhere in the world can be heaven for hikers. You just need to find the trails.

  7. This might just be one of my favorite posts ever! I love National Parks and being out in nature, but I hate using the pit toilets they usually have to offer. I love how you gave it a completely different perspective. I think I’ll have to change my attitude ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I am not always keen on using them when they are stinky, but it’s always better than having to dig a hole (and worrying about locations, making sure I’m far away from water etc…)

      Anyway I am really glad you enjoyed it.

    1. After I wrote this post, some twitter friends sent me photos of the loos (or thrones) in some of the US national parks. They were amaaaazing too. ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. hahaha, the title of this post made me crack up! So very thoughtful of the national parks! ๐Ÿ˜› Definitely a beautiful place to go to the bathroom! That’s smart about the ones by the waterfall–they’re perfect for pee-shy people!

    1. I guess when you think about it, it makes total sense that National Parks have lots of loos. Imagine what would happen if they didn’t (x hundreds of thousands of visitors!)

      Anyway, yay that I made you smile. You must have seen some good ones in the States!

    1. Thanks Lily, yeah the Rockies are pretty amazing covered in snow…but I have to admit, i am super keen to go back and see them all green and rocky in the summer. I’ll use all these facilities again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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