Hike to the Opabin Prospect

Lake O'Hara Trailhead

Hiking to the Opabin Prospect will afford you the grandest vista in the Canadian Rockies! The Lake O'Hara Valley and its surrounds are nothing short of magical!

Located in Yoho National Park, Lake O'Hara is said to be the crown jewel of the Canadian Rockies (rightly so!). Callum Snape has described a bit of the process on what it takes to gain access to Lake O'Hara at this post here.

Once you arrive at Lake O'Hara, either at the lodge or at the neighboring campground, you will have SO many choices for adventures to pursue. At some point during your stay, be sure to make the Opabin Prospect a priority. Though it can be done along the way on a number of other hikes in the area, the most direct route is to hike up the West Opabin Trail, passing by Mary Lake along your way. Once you have taken the view in and had your fill of photos, you can continue on to another hike in the area or head back to the lodge/campground the way you came or down the East Opabin Trail, depending on how much time you have at this phenomenal specimen of the outdoors.

Pack List

  • Reservations are mandatory and are in high demand. More information can be found on the Parks Canada website here.
  • Typical day pack items are recommended (some inspiration here if you need it).
  • Bear Spray. If you don't have it, get it here. Get it so you won't need to use it; informal insurance! ;-)
  • I shouldn't have to put this on the list, but just in case...bring your camera. You will regret it otherwise! A few recommendations for cameras and gear here if you need help.
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    RT Distance 2.5 Miles
    Elevation Gain 820 Feet
    Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
    Skill Level Intermediate
    Season Summer, Autumn
    Trail Type Out-and-Back


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    Overall rating: 


    Something that is so amazing about camping at Lake O'Hara is that you are already so close to treeline. This route is a quick 45 minutes from the lake - but puts you in front of views that usually take a full day to get to. In addition, the people I meet on trail here always seem to be the nicest in the world. I've ended up in many multi-hour conversations with people on this trail. It's a favorite for sure.

    Unmatched Splendor

    It’s definitely a hike, but the vistas are ridiculous! Truly beautiful.

    Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

    Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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