Lake O’Hara

Lake O’Hara

Recognizing the need to preserve this fragile ecosystem, Parks Canada has limited the number of people visiting the Lake O’Hara region to 200 people a day during the summer season. Personal vehicles are not allowed to travel to the lake. Instead, you must a reserve a spot on the shuttle online or at the Field Information Centre, or you can hike to the lake- but be warned that the trail is 13 km uphill (without a view). Space on the shuttle is limited and only a few seats are reserved for those who have not booked. In order to get one of the unreserved seats you need to arrive quite early and wait in line. At the site itself, there are a few different options for accommodation, all of which must be booked a long time in advance due to high demand. Campsites with fireplaces, picnic tables, clean running water, and flush toilets are available, as well as the Elizabeth Parker ACC hut. For a more upscale stay, the O’Hara Lodge and Private Cabins are available, with two-person bedrooms beginning at $400.00 a night.

Clean, vast, and well protected, the O’Hara region is filled with many beautifully coloured glacial lakes including O’Hara itself, as well as Lakes McArthur, Oesa, and Opaben. Many of the trails have been handcrafted by the area’s original residents, and many of these path stones were handpicked for the trace fossils they contain. O’Hara is also the site of a protected grizzly bear reserve, so make sure that you stay on the marked path and do not wander into any areas marked ‘caution’.

The shuttle typically runs from mid-June through early October. Reservations can be made up to three months in advance by calling:
Parks Canada
(250) 343-6433

Check the Field Town website for more information.

Photos by J. Verge

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