Opal Hills Loop Trail is a 5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Cadomin, Alberta, Canada that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October.
Hikers work hard along this trail, gaining 1500 feet of elevation in only 1.9 miles, but they are rewarded with spectacular views of the Maligne Valley, an abundance of alpine wildflowers and possibly a Woodland Caribou and/or Moose. From the hiking trailhead, follow the path to the "Lake Trail Loop" and turn left. This Lake Trail Loop moves right at the second intersection after a little over one hundred yards. Just hike straight ahead. You will climb steeply to a trail junction where the Opal Hills Trail begins. Stay on the right (counter-clockwise) for the fastest way, which is a very steep hike to the viewpoint. You could alternatively go left for an easier hike. Following the steep way to the view, you will reach a sign at mile 1.7; where the hiking route divides. Another hiking route branches to the right down through trees to a good viewpoint or take the path ahead that climbs steeply roughly .25 miles to a great viewpoint where the hiking trail fades on the hillside. Then hike back to the trail sign. The route will turn right, crossing a stream which then loops behind a rockslide heap. While Hiking in the alpine valley watch the slopes for Woodland Caribou and also be look into the valley ahead for a possibly sighting of a Moose. After finding the main hiking trail again, follow it behind the rockslide pile and descend steeply to the Opal Hills Loop junction at mile 1.1. Continue hiking down to the valley finishing once again at the trailhead kiosk. *** There have been multiple sightings of bears and bear activity on this trail in recent years, be sure to hike in groups, make noise and have bear spray. Check Parks Canada website trail conditions and bear reports***