Lake O’Hara is within Yoho national park. Yoho is a Cree expression that means Awe and Wonder. Although Yoho is an incredible area, Lake O’Hara really steals the show. One person once told me they think Lake O’Hara is the most incredible place in the Canadian Rockies, I think they might be right.
To protect this amazing area, Parks Canada limits the number of guest by controlling access via an 11km bus ride in. Although you can walk the 11Km uphill bus road, few do (and biking the road is illegal). The bus passes for this area go on sale once a year and are sold out within seconds. Whenever I manage to acquire some passes, it is extremely lucky!
The day starts by doing what I do best, abandoning the rest of the group and heading up Wiwaxy gap with my dad.
Lake O’Hara isn’t just the one lake, but a collection of about 20 high alpine lakes surrounded by tall mountains and glaciers.
My dad and I at the Wiwaxy summit.
Due to parks Canada restrictions on visitors, you don’t see to many other people on the trails in this area. Wiwaxy gap can be seen in the distance as we head back down to the lakes.
“I am not getting any closer to that ledge Shawn!” – Come on, it will make a cool photo!
Heading down toward Lake Oesa. Glacier Peak in the background.
Down at Lake Oesa we meet back up with the rest of the group. Rebecca is thrilled to see us. I try to stab her with a trekking pole,,,, unsuccessfully.
As a group we traverse the Yukeness Ledges. Louie takes time out from navigating through the blocky rubble to throw up some gang signs. Rebecca contemplates licking rocks.
Rebecca then tries to push Louie off a cliff, also unsuccessfully.
Not a bad place to hang out.
Lake O’Hara. If you look closely, you can see some buildings on the lake-shore within the trees. Those cabins are for rent, only $990.00 per night for two people (min two nights stay). Having trouble justifying the cost? it includes a bagged lunch to take hiking with you!
Heading toward Opabin Lake now.
Opabin Lake. It is just as cold as it looks!
Somehow, I always manage to find a beer left in cold water, strangest coincidence. Of course I didn’t drink it, because that would be in violation of the law. I simply took the empty can I found back for recycling.
The crew stopping for lunch.
Most of the trails in this area were hand built by Lawrence Grassi. Lawrence Grassi is famous in the Canadian Rockies for building some of the most iconic trails. He migrated from Italy in 1912, worked for the CPR and after a prolonged strike, started climbing mountains instead. All the trails in the Lake O’Hara area were a retirement project for Lawrence. He would spend his summers camped at the lake and would build trails that wind through what seems like impassable terrain.
Legend has it that one afternoon Lawrence Grassi was heading into Calgary for an eye exam. However, he never arrived because after only getting a few minutes into the parries he said the mountains looked too far away and had to return.
Time to head back to the bus for the trip out.