The mountain peaks, valleys, and lakes that surround Lake O’Hara are among the most beautiful alpine regions in the world. If you haven’t visited yet,  get ready to add it to your bucket list! Activities in the area include hiking, climbing, scrambling, camping, fishing, glacier swimming, canoeing, snowshoeing, skiing, and skating. With so much to do, it can be hard to narrow it down for just one weekend, or even a day. That`s where we come in! Keep reading for our favorite Lake O`Hara hikes in Yoho National Park and why you`ll love them too.

Opabin Prospect

The “famous photo” of Lake O`Hara that you`ve probably seen over and over again is taken from this viewpoint. You can choose to hike here straight from the lake or combine it as part of the Lake O`Hara Alpine Circuit. If you only have time for one of the Lake O`Hara hikes, I would highly recommend this one! It combines the shortest distance with the best views. It`s also where something pretty special happened for us😉 You can choose to do the entire Opabin Plateau Circuit or just opt for an out and back to the viewpoint.

  • Opabin Plateau Circuit: 5.9 km
  • Elevation Gain: 250 m
  • Time Required: 3 hours

Oesa Lake Trail

Another component of the Alpine Circuit, Oesa Lake Trail is a great hike for a recovery day or a less experienced hiker. It’s shorter and less challenging than the full circuit but leads you past several waterfalls and small lakes flowing from Oesa down into O’Hara. This trailhead starts at the NE end of Lake O’Hara near the waterfall.

  • Distance: 6.6 km round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 240 m
  • Time Required: 3 hours

Lake O’Hara’s Alpine Circuit

Lake O’Hara`s Alpine Circuit is one of the most challenging and rewarding hikes in the area. You start out on the Wiwaxy trailhead which is located on the north end of Lake O’Hara. The steep switchbacks bring you all the way to the top of the ridge of Wiwaxy Peaks. Next, you will follow a narrow ridge along Mont Huber leading you across to Lake Oesa, a stunning alpine lake. This is a great spot to jump in the water and stop for some lunch.

NOTE: Lake Oesa is about halfway through the Alpine Circuit and there is a trail leading down to Lake O`Hara from here. If you don`t feel up to hiking the entire thing you can take the trail back to the lodge or campground. To continue, follow the Yukness Ledges Trail with the yellow and blue markers. This will take you around Yukness mountain boasting a ton of beautiful views over Lake O`Hara.

Eventually, you will come to a fork in the road at the Opabin Plateau. You will have the option of an out and back to see Opabin Lake to the left or the Opabin Prospect Lookout if you keep right.

After passing across Opabin Plateau, you can either choose to descend back to Lake O`Hara or begin All Souls Alpine Route. This is a difficult route that is often closed at the beginning and end of the season. This trail will lead you to Schaffer Lake and finally take you back to the lodge.

  • Distance: 10.6 km
  • Elevation Gain: 866 m
  • Time Required: 7-9 hours

Lake McArthur Trail

This is the perfect arrival day hike as it isn`t too long and Lake McArthur itself is breathtaking. The trail has a steady elevation gain until you reach the McArthur Cut Off Trail. You the climb up over a steep ridge before arriving at the lake

  • Distance: 6.3 km round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 310 m
  • Time Required: 3 Hrs

Linda Lake

This trail to Linda Lake, Glory Lakes, and Cathedral Lake begins at the campground. Elevation gain is fairly minimal and it can often be quieter than the trails closer to Lake O`Hara. In my opinion, Linda Lake was one of the most beautiful lakes in the area and is highly underrated! Stop and swim in this turquoise water and soak up the serenity of the area.

If you`re looking for a little bit more, continue on to the West end of the lake. Here, the trail quickly steepens and continues until you can see Lake O’Hara to the East. From there, you`ll see a small trail down to Cathedral Lakes and two separate trails that continue on to Cathedral Basin or Duchesnay Basin.

  • Distance: 9 km round trip (to Linda Lake)
  • Elevation Gain: 250 m
  • Time Required: 2.5-3 Hrs

The Lake O’Hara Shoreline Trail

The Shoreline Trail is a beautiful hike to do in the morning or evening. It’s a casual walk around Lake O’Hara that offers wonderful views of the lake and the surrounding mountain peaks. There are benches along the trail and a ton of great places to relax and enjoy the views.

  • Distance: 2.8 km circuit
  • Elevation Gain: None
  • Time Required: 1 hour
We hope you have a fantastic time exploring this gorgeous alpine paradise. Please feel free to contact us or comment below with your favorite Lake O`Hara hikes. We`d love to hear from you!

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Travel Guide: The Complete Hiking and Camping Guide to Lake O`Hara. Click through for information about Lake OHara Hiking Trails, viewpoints, and more at one of the most beautiful back country campgrounds in the Canadian Rockies. Near Banff & Lake Louise, Lake O`Hara Lodge is a great place to soak up nature in beautiful British Columbia!#lakeohara #canada #canadianrockies

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