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Opal Hills Loop Trail is a 4.9 mile loop trail located near Improvement District No. 12 , Alberta, Canada that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is best used from March until October.

Length 4.9 mi Elevation gain 1,706 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Snowshoeing

Views

Wildlife

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

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***

There is plenty or parking along with a restaurant, gift shop and a guest services area. Boat tours of Maligne Lake are also available.

From Highway16, turn onto the Maligne Road 1.2 miles east of Jasper. The trail is at road's end, 29.2 miles from town, while driving on Maligne Road watch for wildlife, it abounds in this area. Turn left into the first parking area at the lake, then left again and uphill to reach the farthest of the three lots. The trail begins at the northeast corner.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (143)
Photos (142)
Recordings (89)
Completed (330)
Lara C.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking

We hiked this trail 3 days ago. Very pretty trail. Went counter clockwise to get the steep parts out of the way. Technically easy trail as long as you are in shape-the first 90 min are all up. Stopped for lunch at the branchpoint between the lookout and meadow. A pair of hikers returning rapidly from the lookout reported a grizzly bear 50 feet on so we took off with them towards the meadow only to find another grizzly right on the trail a few hundred yards into the meadow. Sadly we had to make a 180 and come back down the way we ascended in order not to cross paths with the second grizzly bear! Will be keen to try again next time. The meadow looked gorgeous.

Bruno Verissimo Brito
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

Amazing view of the Maligne lake. Did the trail counter clockwise because I wanted to see grizzlies, and 2 groups going down reported bears on the trail. Sadly, they were gone when I got there. Lots of marmots, ad saw a deer on the trail. Very steep on the first 1.5 km

Ahmad Saeed
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020

Did this trail on August 1st. It was sunny and the weather was around 30 degrees. Most of the trail is through the woods so we didnt feel the heat as much as I thought we would have. Once we reached the fork we picked the counter clock wise route that ended up being much steeper but it was quicker to get to the view point. The view from the meadows of Maligne lake is superb and definitely worth all the hard work. If you are physically fit, I would put this as more moderate than hard as there is no scrambling, or hard terrain involved, the only thing that makes is slightly hard is the steepness. once we reached the meadows, a couple of us wanted to go up to Opal peak and do the ridge walk to the surrounding summits but unfortunately we were pretty low on water and had to turn back. on the way back I would 100% recommend going through the valley instead of the steep trail we took up as it's a very scenic valley. One more thing I loved about this was that most people come here to visit the lake and not the hikes around it. this was done on a long weekend and we barely saw any other people on the trail except us. 5 stars for me.

Sophia Louie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

Amazing valley views after a steep climb up. Keep an eye out for wildlife and bring mosquito repellent!

Matthew Redman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

Completed August 3, 2020. One of the best hikes I’ve done in the Jasper area. Take the time to do the short out and back side trail (marked with rock cage) for amazing views of Maligne Lake.

Kristen Korhonen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
HikingGreat!

This hike is stunning. As others have said, a steep incline early on is rewarded with the most beautiful meadow. Take the time to hike up the side trail for unbelievable views of Maligne Lake. Bring lots of bug spray and water!

Liby ..
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

lots of mosquito

View Liby's Recording
Angela Armstrong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking

A great investment in elevation through a beautiful woods with all kinds of biodiversity and wild flowers. The meadow at the top defies description- you just need to experience it. Saw some elk in the distance and plenty of ground dwellers! The alpine flora here included some species I have yet to see on other Rockies hikes. Did the loop clockwise after reading reviews and feel it was the better choice. Would do this again.

Dominique Jefferson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike!

Roberto Baggio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2020
Hiking

Great views but steep climb. Did the trail clockwise as per Parks Canada recommendations. Would recommend if you are planning to do the extra lookout climb not mapped out as it allowed for a nice break between the climbing! Made for just over 10km hike with 700m elevation gain. Worth it for the amazing views!

Damien K
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
Hiking

July 19 - Lots of fun, tough trail. We went counter clockwise around the loop, steep all the way to the viewpoint, which you must go see. The default recording in AllTrails doesn’t have it, but about 1km into the loop before you cross the stream into the meadow, you’ll take a right and continue uphill for a bit under a kilometer. From there you’ll have a full view of the entire Maligne Lake, it’s quite impressive. Took us 5 hours total, about 10km with the detour to the viewpoint. Weather was a mixed bag, definitely pack a rain jacket. Other hikers reported seeing bears and caribou in the meadow, we only crossed a deer on our way up the trail. Also, dogs are not allowed on the trail to protect the caribou, this wasn’t super obvious until we saw the signs on the trail.

Shauna Lee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020

Amazing view. Definitely a grind going up but worth it

Markus Blechinger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingGreat!
View Markus's Recording
Kadence Grace
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
HikingMuddySnow

Steep uphill for the first hour, then opens into a meadow. Bear warnings for the area, but didn’t see one. Good hiking shoes and bear spray needed. Took 2 hours 45 minutes with few breaks. Amazing views!

Cassie Naas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
Hiking

Steep, stunning, and specious—as in not crowded by people who don’t know the meaning of physical distancing. Do the loop; it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen up there. There was an unnerving amount of bear poop on the trail, but we didn’t see any actual bears.

Eric Shapiro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 13, 2020
Hiking

Well maintained trail although there were some slippery/muddy spots due to rain. Beautiful path up through forest and after an intense but doable climb you get a great view of alpine meadow and surrounding peaks. Unfortunately we did get hit by a full on snowstorm which made the going rough for about 20 min, but it passed quickly. Made it in under 3 hours because we were soaked and motivated to get back to the car. Definitely worth it despite the climb and snow, just be prepared for anything!

Aslinah Safar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 12, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful scenery especially the valley. The hike was a bit steeper for an hour. We got hit by rain and snow storms for 10 minutes had to take to the other loop.

View Aslinah's Recording
Krista S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2020
Hiking

Also do the viewpoint at the same time. Fantastic views of the lake and the whole area from up there.

View Krista's Recording
Sam Reeve
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike! Steep climb for the first hour, but not technical in the least! Gorgeous valley in the mountain with meadows that go on for ages.

View Sam's Recording
Erin Lynn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 8, 2020

did this a week ago, very snowy and muddy around the top. the view was cloudy too. but I can see how it would be beautiful later in the season.

R Robinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 6, 2020
HikingMuddySnow

A moderate hike up to a meadow. Some muddy areas and some snow patches at the top.

Jamie H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
Hiking

Great trail - bit of a leg burner at the end . Beautiful scenery and wildlife . Lots of mushrooms and secluded areas . Will definitely do it again !

Chris Zang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020

Very steep at the begining of the trail, definitely wear hikingboots and bring your bear spray. There is viewpoint at the top of the hill, do not miss it!

reid irwin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2020

Nice hike, good leg burner. Lots of bear scat on the trail though.

Dustin Bowdige
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
Hiking

Great trail but I suggest getting there early, by the time our hike was done the trail was busy. The trail is in good condition with some wet spots - wear good boots. There is snow on the top so be prepared. The trail is steep and fairly difficult but nothing the kids on the trail couldn’t complete. Would do again (plus minimal bugs!)

Rachel Yaremko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 4, 2020
HikingSnow

Completed on July 3. Lots of snow at the top. A bit muddy but all in all a good time . Would do again once the weather is better to hike to the peak.

View Rachel's Recording
Mary Weekes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 30, 2020
HikingMuddySnow

Did this hike yesterday (29/06/2020). Trail was in great shape, some snow up high and some muddy spots but overall worth the trek. Beautiful views and a good challenge right off the start! Would recommend for someone looking for a hard day hike with excellent payoff! Took us 4 hours with a stop at the lookout for a cold one.

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