• Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Running, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    5.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    0 Feet

Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Though it's difficult to get into Lake O'Hara, once there this walk is something every hiker should do. 

The Lake O’Hara Alpine Circuit is short loop - but it's not for the faint-hearted. We walked Yuckness Ledges, which is a trail under a large cliff with incredible views over Lake O'Hara and the rest of Yoho National Park. 

The trail starts from the Lake O’Hara outlet bridge across from the Le Relais shelter. It's then a steep (steep) climb up under Wiwaxy Peak, and you eventually reach the beautiful Oesa Lake, where we stopped for lunch. Then it's time to head south, around the Yuckness Ledges and across to Opabin Plateau. This hike probably wouldn't be for someone that has a horrible fear of heights, but it's really not that bad, and the views are incredible. 

Once on Opabin Plateau, have a look at the views! Surrounded on three sides by mountains and with beautiful blue-green lakes, this was definitely my favorite part.  We went in September, so the larch trees were a beautiful yellow and the lakes had some reflections so perfect you could take a photo and (maybe) flip it and no-one would notice. From there it's a short walk back down to Lake O'Hara.

You don't need a permit to walk, but you need to apply (up to 4 months before) to get into the park via a bus to the campground, or to stay in the lodge. It's possible to walk to 11 miles in, walk the Alpine Loop and then catch the bus back - you don't need a bus reservation to leave the park. Or try rocking up and relying on a cancellation to get in. 

Good luck and happy hiking!

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