Opal Hills Loop Trail

MODERATE 38 reviews
#18 of 74 trails in

Opal Hills Loop Trail is a 7.9 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Jasper, Alberta, Canada that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.9 km
ELEVATION GAIN
520 m
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

snow

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***

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Was wondering if this was a trail you can do in winter and yes it is however it’s not moderate it’s pretty difficult but very beautiful!!!! Also feels a lot longer then listed but def a fun time

7 months ago

Good fun. Hard 3hours but great views of maligne lake.

7 months ago

Great views of the alpine. We did this hike in just over three hours at a pretty steady pace. Most of the hike is in the trees but the section in the alpine makes the trek up worth it. A good afternoon hike.

7 months ago

Excellent hike. Stay left at the junction. Peak the hill to the right (clockwise loop) for panoramic view.

7 months ago

Steady climb up. Beautiful meadow at the top. Saw my first ever Caribou! Great hike!

hiking
8 months ago

This is my favourite day hike trail in the Jasper park area. The climb is progressive through a lovely forested area with peaks of a view on the way up. Took me 3 or 4 hours total I think. You will find yourself in a the middle of a gorgeous valley for the top section of the trail, surrounded by mountains. There is no peak to climb on the actual trail, but the views are worth it. (Hint, recommend staying left at the “Y” on the ascent.) This is grizzly bear territory! Make sure you have bear spray. I encountered 1 grizzly on my journey, but had no issues.
Will do this trail again for sure! :)

8 months ago

Hiked counter clockwise. Be sure to climb the spur trail at top before the hard left toward the creek. The views towards the lake and on the other side the valley you will later traverse are unmatched.

hiking
9 months ago

Breathtaking, and overall stunning. The first part of the hike was a climb. 3/5 the gain was at this part here. It then takes you to a fork where the loop connects. Turning left was a less steep route trek through beautiful woods. Turn right if you want a more vigorous climb. DO THE FULL CIRCUIT! It’s a whole other world up there.

Heads up that there is a grizzly bear caution for this trail. I myself hiked alone and didn’t encounter any problems with wildlife.

9 months ago

One of the five best hikes we've ever done. More variety of plant life and scenery than anywhere. The high meadow in the valley at the top is spectacular and something we've not seen anywhere else. Take a left at the fork for an easier uphill and some tremendous wildflower meadows.

9 months ago

A grizzly bear loved this place!

10 months ago

good trail, still some large patches of snow at the top, some postholing but generally manageable. completed the loop in approx 3 hrs

hiking
11 months ago

Good challenge with the steep elevation gain. However waist deep snow near the top(Im 6’5)
And trail is not clearly marked
May 20

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked April 23rd 2018. Not recommended at this time of year by many locals without proper equipment for avalanche preparation and knowledge of the trail. We didn’t know that until after. After the fork in the road all signage was still buried under the snow meaning the trail wasn’t obvious. We managed to climb through knee deep sometimes hip deep snow assumedly almost to the peak in approximately 2:30-3:00 hours considering the trail conditions. We were unable to complete the loop as we could no longer find trail indicators. That being said the views from the top were fantastic!

hiking
Sunday, August 13, 2017

It is a very nice view, but it is 500 feet of gain and is more towards the hard side, come prepared with proper footwear and optional hiking poles and water. The loop was closed so I can't comment on that part

hiking
Sunday, April 24, 2016

Snow at the top!

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