With a daily visitation quota, few have the opportunity to see Lake O’Hara and her surrounding peaks. Fewer still have the legs, interest or ability to see the lake from this perspective. Today’s objective was what is known as the Alpine Circuit. It is more route than trail. I’d say 25% was on easy, well-groomed trail. The route includes a fair amount of cliff edge, boulder and scree field hiking, not a good place for people with height issues.
- Use this Parks Canada link for more information on Lake O’Hara including cabin rentals, camping, bus schedule and reservations, etc.
- Regarding the bus, keep checking the site. Frequently there are cancellations. I was able to reserve a spot a few days in advance. There are also a few walk-up spots available each day but you’ll need to arrive early to get your name on the waiting list. I had a 10:30am reservation and arrived at 7:45 hoping to get on the 8:30am bus. I was #10 on the waiting list, and thankfully was able to get on because I was already part of the 60 per day quota.
- Bring a plastic container to get a to go or mid hike piece of the infamous Lake O’Hara carrot cake.
- The Alpine Circuit is about 8 miles and 3,600′ of elevation gain and loss.
- Other nearby camping sites.
- The ACA Abbot Pass Hut is accessible from Lake O’Hara
- A Parks Canada Pass is required.
- Link to my other Canada blog posts.
- Gem Trek Publishing, Lake Louise & Yoho (Hiking Map & Guide)
- Canadian Rockies Trail Guide by Brian Patton and Bart Robinson
- Don’t Waste Your Time In The Canadian Rockies: The Opinionated Hiking Guide by Kathy and Craig Copeland