Posted by: cherylyoung | July 3, 2013


Exploring Lake O Hara

High peaks, cirques and rock basin lakes, alpine larch

 stands, rock lichens, alpine plants — this is the

Lake O’Hara Valley.

 These special features attract many visitors who wish

 to experience the area’s unique beauty; however, the

 area’s fragile alpine environment is susceptible to damage

 from overuse.


 A quota helps minimize impact and supports a quality

 wilderness experience.


Lake O’Hara Campground is 7 miles (11 km) up the

 Lake O’Hara Road from Hwy 1 on the east side of Spiral

 Tunnels, followed by an 8-mile (13-km) hiking trail.

If you’d rather not walk in, you can access this

 campground  by bus.


 Reservations are required to take the bus to Lake O’Hara

for day use and camping.


 The bus operates from June 17 through September 30,

plus reduced bus schedules from October 1 through

 October 5.


To protect this sensitive alpine area, a quota system limits

 the number of visitors using the public bus service into

 Lake O’Hara; consequently, not everyone will be able to

 book bus reservations.


 Lake O’Hara Reservation Line Hours of Operation

 (March – October) – Telephone: 250.343.6433

Mountain Time.


24-Hour Bookings for Lake O’Hara

Parks Canada reserves six day-use places and three to five

 campsites for 24-hour bookings.


 These places are reservable by telephone only.


They can be booked by contacting 250.343.6433 the day

 before you wish to visit O’Hara.


 Each individual may reserve either two day-use places,

 or one campsite.


 These are usually filled within 10 minutes of the

 office opening.

There are no restrictions on the number of people who

wish to hike the 11-km access road.


 Trails at Lake O’Hara are usually snow-bound or muddy

 until early July.


Higher trails are not accessible until late July.


 These conditions make the trails highly susceptible

to erosion.


 Please stay on trails and obey all closure signs to

minimize your impact.


Cycling is not permitted on the Lake O’Hara road.


 You may walk your pet on leash into the valley, but pets

are not allowed on the bus.


Each camper is restricted to 1 large or 2 small pieces of

luggage (20 kg maximum per person – the bus driver can

refuse anything over this).

Backpacks are recommended.


To protect other baggage, ice axes and crampons must

 have protective coverings.


To maintain a backcountry atmosphere, musical

instruments, radios and lawn chairs are not allowed.


 Campers choose their site once they arrive.


 It is not always possible for parties to camp at

 adjacent sites.


 Lockup boxes are available for valuable items.


Campers wishing to use these should bring their own

 medium size padlock.


If you’re not going to camp in Yoho National Park but

feel like stopping for a couple of hours, go to the

 Faeder Lake Picnic Area, the Finn Creek Picnic Area,

 or one of several  roadside picnic sites beside the

 Kicking Horse River, all on Hwy 1.


 The park surrounds the town of Field.


There is extensive hiking along the almost 250 miles

(400 km) of trails in Yoho National Park, a park

characterized by rock walls and waterfalls.


Many of the trails begin beside or near Hwy 1 as it leads

 through the park.


The park’s west gate is located about 16 miles (26 km)

east of Golden.


Hwy 1 parallels the Kicking Horse River here as it winds

through a beautiful, broad valley.


Many of the trails begin beside or near Hwy 1 as it leads

through the park.


 The park’s west gate is located about 16 miles (26 km)

 east  of Golden.


Hwy 1 parallels the Kicking Horse River here as it winds

through a beautiful, broad valley.

The Emerald Lake Trail (easy; 3-mile/5-km loop) leads

 around the lake, on which the faces of surrounding peaks

and glaciers are reflected in stunning detail.


 The Emerald Basin Trail (moderate; 5.25 mile return)

initially follows the Emerald Lake Trail for 1 mile, then

climbs steeply through old-growth Douglas fir and western

 red cedar into the open alpine zone.


As the trail approaches Emerald Peak, there are grand

 views of a hanging glacier on the limestone flanks of

 the peak.


A much easier hike is the Deerlodge Trail (1.75-mileloop)

 where you can admire elegantly shaped hoodoos.

The well-marked trailhead is located a short distance

beyond the entrance to the Hoodoo Creek Campground.


A 1-mile hiking trail leads to a view of Wapta Falls and

 then descends to the gravel beach fanned out below

 the cataract.


 To reach the trailhead, turn south off Hwy 1 onto Wapta

 Falls Road near the park’s west gate and follow it for 1 mile.


An even shorter trail leads to the foot of Takakkaw Falls,

the third highest in Canada and emblematic of

 Yoho National Park.

 In the Cree language, takakkaw means ‘it is wonderful,’

 which, coupled with yoho, ‘awe and wonder,’ expresses

the exhilaration that most hikers will experience during

 a visit to the park.


 To reach the Takakkaw Falls trailhead, turn north on the

 narrow, winding Yoho Valley Road located off Hwy 1,

east of Field.


Follow Yoho Valley Road for 8.7 miles (14 km) to the

 parking  lot from where the trail begins.

The more demanding Laughing Falls Trail (moderate;

6 miles return) begins from the Takakkaw Falls parking

 lot  and leads to the wilderness campground near

 Laughing Falls.


 Along the way, short side trips lead off to Angel’s Staircase,

Point Lace Falls, and Duchesnay Lake.






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