Lake O'Hara Alpine Circuit is a 6.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length6.6 miElevation gain2,906 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningForestLakeViewsWildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)

This alpine circuit for hikers is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s well-marked and above the treeline, so the views are always exceptional. The lake itself is surrounded by an amphitheatre of mountains on three sides. Please note, the trailhead is only accessible via shuttle service through Parks Canada reservation system. Alternatively, since reservations tend to fill up quickly, you can choose to hike an additional 11km on the access road.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (75)
Photos (260)
Recordings (50)
Completed (247)
View user's profile page
Farah Zawari
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 12, 2020
HikingSnow
View Farah's Recording
View user's profile page
Tanner Armstrong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 7, 2020
Hiking
View Tanner's Recording
View user's profile page
Dorian de Winter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 30, 2020
Hiking
View Dorian's Recording
View user's profile page
Michelle Baumgarten
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 29, 2020
Hiking
View Michelle's Recording
View user's profile page
Jillary Swadas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 27, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful Beautiful hike! worth the 30 km even though coming back was a little grind. If you run and walk every few meters its doable very quickly! Make sure to go from your right side and then upto the west of Lake Opabine as that's the easy way up. The views are same no matter what path you pick on the top after the look out point, so we just ended up following down to the east circuit of Lake Opabine and the whole loop was worth it. It was easy to go up the west and come down the east. Going up yhe east will be difficult and has too many switch backs where as west is straight path up and has nice stoned staircase to ease the climb. Going up to the look out took us hardly half hour. It is just the closed 11km trail head that makes this hike a little torturous.

View Jillary's Recording
View user's profile page
Mim B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2020
Hiking

Sept. 13 - This is a great hike but don’t be fooled by the length or elevation gain! It takes a surprisingly long time, particularly if you add the view point in. We took probably 7 hours. Fun hike with a little bit of climbing, endless lakes and beautiful views. Larches were already changing. Must do if staying overnight.

View user's profile page
Keith Traber
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 15, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeRocky

09/11 Glad we spent the one night. Feeling refreshed and energized this day was as close to perfect as a day can get. We were the first ones on the trails and wouldn’t see another soul until We were halfway done ( 2 other people) No clouds, no wind, just pure sunshine. Things got hot 15 minutes into our hike so we ended up in tshirts and shorts for the rest of the day. The climb up is steep but but nothing sketch. Paths are well marked and are in excellent shape. Quite remarkable actually, considering it was 2 men that constructed these trails. Engineering geniuses. No words can explain the beauty we saw and I’d have to say this has now reached no.1 on my “ most scenic hikes ever “ list...and I’ve been on a ton. Again, mind blowing. Again, we only did part of the Alpine route as we had completed the other half the day before, which gave us a much more relaxed pace.

View user's profile page
D. H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 13, 2020
Hiking
View user's profile page
Lorne Seeley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
Hiking

Awesome and well worth the added 22km to hike in and out with no shuttle running. Very few people with beautiful views. Trails are very well kept and marked. Planned ahead and brought a map to make navigating the trails a breeze. Nice cool weather made the 35km hike enjoyable. Took us 12 hours to do the 13km circuit along with the hike in and out.

View Lorne's Recording
View user's profile page
James Wade
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
Hiking

Incredible. 0 other people on the entire route. I wasn’t expecting it to be busy, but didn’t think there wouldn’t be anybody.

View James's Recording
View user's profile page
Kim Swanson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 24, 2020

I agree with a previous post that is Hard hike given the extra 22 km of walking on the road. That said it is worth it. Personally I would leave out All Souls next time as it was brutal going down for me at least. I would strongly suggest poles but I did see some people without them and they did fine. Some boulder climbing in few places.

View user's profile page
Bowen Xue
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking
View Bowen's Recording
View user's profile page
Domi Wu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 21, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!

will rate it hard after 11km hike in via the fire road. the views r breath-taking especially when weather is good. several sections r steep , poles r highly recommended. one of my fave hikes

View user's profile page
D. H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
Hiking
View D.'s Recording
View user's profile page
D. H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
Hiking
View user's profile page
Benjamin Carlier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
Hiking
View Benjamin's Recording
View user's profile page
Aimee Seguin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking

Did most of Alpine Circuit today, July 24 2020. The wiwaxy gap trail from Lake O’Hara to Lake Osea is open. We continued across the alpine trail to Lake Opaben. A few snow covered areas but easy enough to cross. We did not complete the circuit as it is still very snow covered; returned instead via west opaben trail. Bus is not running at this time. We ran in and out of the lake which is 11km each way. The loop was 12km. Absolutely phenomenal

View user's profile page
Solene barbot
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingGreat!Snow

As a reminder, no shuttle this year, so the entire hike + way to get there is 35km. We started at 4:30 and completed the loop by 4:30 but with lots of breaks. From the parking lot to the beginning of the hike, it took us 2h15 without stops. The official hike starts with a very steep section but doable without a problem. Views are great and hike well indicated with blue signs. However, as July 25th, the 2nd part of this hike is covered by snow on some parts which make it quite dangerous to cross (steep section, sliding is risky). If you do clockwise, I'm referring to the 2nd peak (after the view point detour). We've completed it getting around it but lot of sliding rocks, and I regret keeping going and taking that risk.

View user's profile page
Mara Metz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
Hiking

With this trail, can it only be accessed from Lake Louise / Moraine Lake? Also do you have to take a shuttle to get there or can you drive and park ?

View user's profile page
Jesse Gallery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 16, 2020
Hiking

Does anyone know if this trail of still snow covered or not? Planning on going to Yoho NP in two weeks. Thanks

View user's profile page
James Wade
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 7, 2020
Hiking

Sunny. August, 2011. Smoky. August, 2015.

View user's profile page
Roland Wauthlé
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 22, 2019
Hiking

One of the best hikes in the area. First bit is strenuous (if you do it clockwise) but very rewarding. The biggest atrraction for us was the lack of tourists. Be ready to do some boulder scrambling along the way since this is not your typical Sunday afternoon stroll. However, it’s a piece of cake if you are an experienced hiker. If you’re afraid of heights and small ridges, don’t do it! Only a certain amount of people gets a reservation, which has to be made months in advance. We went up there without having one, but 2 people didn’t show up. That appears to happen seldomly, so we were extremely lucky especially since it was a sunny day. Chances are slim, but if everyone shows up you can still hike your way up to lake O’Hara which is 11 km one way. Enjoy!

View user's profile page
Robert-Jan Coelen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 11, 2019
Hiking

WOW! Absolutely amazing hike. Best we’ve done in the Canadian Rockies. If you have to choose, do this one and forget busy maligne or louise lake. This was such a magic place. It was definitely worth the 11 km walk from the bus station. We did not have a reservation. Although I called one day before and they said there was no place left, we saw the bus driving past us which was half empty.... Return bus was no problem, no need for reservation. There were even 2 busses going back at 4.30 pm.

View Robert-Jan's Recording
View user's profile page
Vanessa Pepin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 11, 2019

This trail will be hard to beat, it has it all! The first few kms up the Wiwaxy pass does kick your butt, but in the best way possible as the view is incredible the whole way up. Well worth it. We didn’t complete the full circuit as we were concerned about catching the bus back. We took a turn trough Opabin instead, do check it out, the view of the three lakes surrounded by mountains is very impressive. Would also recommend going to the Mc Arthur lake on the way back, we did it the night before, very beautiful as well. The elevation looks off from my recording, more like 2300 feet.

View Vanessa's Recording
View user's profile page
Carla Daum
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2019
Hiking

Definitely one of (f not THE) premier hike in the Canadian Rockies.

View user's profile page
Keri Barnes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2019
Hiking

I showed up on a Wednesday in August in hopes of a shuttle cancellation. No luck. I hiked the 11k to get to the trailhead, in a steady rain. When I got there, I dried off and caffeinated myself in the day shelter. This was the most incredible hike I’ve ever done. It was absolutely worth the long boring hike in (there were some views along the way). I wish I could do it again before I leave the area. I’ve done most of the big hikes in the area and nothing has topped this.

Showing results 1 - 26 of 75