Scenery from the Opal Hills hike in Jasper National Park

Opal Hills hike

Jasper National Park
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Man hiking on a trail at Opal Hills Hike at Jasper National ParkHiking trail at Opal Hills Hike at Jasper National Park is surrounded by beautiful mountainsMountain at Opal Hills Hike at Jasper National ParkOpal Hills Jasper HikesHiking trail at Opal Hills Hike at Jasper National Park has great mountain sceneryForest and landscape at Opal Hills Hike at Jasper National ParkFlowers at Opal Hills Hike at Jasper National Park

Opal Hills hike

Distance: 7.8km
Elevation: 466m
Time: 3-5h

Difficulty Rating:

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9.2 Overall Rating
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The Opal Hills hike in Jasper National Park is exhilarating, with a unique beauty that casts a spell on the hikers who make it through the steep trail – moving up to a lush meadow and beautiful mountains. This is truly one of the best hikes in Jasper.

Opal Hills hike Map

Getting there

Head north from Jasper on Highway 16 until you reach Maligne Lake Rd. Turn right on this road and continue along it for its entirety. At the end of the road, park as far to the left as possible in the lot before the hotel (the first lot).

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About

When to do

June through October

Backcountry Campsites

N/A

Toilets

Trailhead

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Opal Hills
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Opal Hills

From the parking lot, the trailhead is on the far-left side of the lot and it is excellently signposted. While the early section of the trail is a short flat approach across a pleasant field, it will quickly be interrupted by a notoriously steep path. This trail will ascend through partially burnt forest for approximately 0.5km, where you will then encounter a junction. It is best to do the loop counterclockwise, as this will grant the best views and will save your shins on a gentler downhill.

Continue to the right of the junction and maintain the steep grade to climb for another kilometer. You will find yourself emerging into a stunning mountain meadow. This meadow has no trees, just shrubbery and wildflowers. This is definitely the most beautiful part of the hike, with limited views across the valley but majestic panoramas of the symmetrical mountains, which adorn the meadow. Looking across Maligne Lake you can see Bald Hills, another fantastic hike!

Continue along the flat meadow and look up to the scree sided mountain which surround the valley. This mountain has the beautiful name of Peak 45-36. Crossing the valley, find the path that begins to descend again down to the tree line. This side of the path has a gentler grade and passes several small clearings blanketed with more wildflowers. Continue down on the only path and make sure you don’t fall on the steep grade!

Insider Hints

  • The drive to this hike is incredible, and many people stop to take pictures. Be very careful if you choose to stop and get out of your car, as this road can be busy in summer.

  • This is great to combine with a Maligne Lake Boat Cruise.

  • Snacks can be found at the Maligne Lake Gift shop, just up from the Boat House.

Comments

Allanhoward 2 months ago

Sensational! The symmetrical mountains look like something that comes out of a painting.

10.0 Overall Rating
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4h 30m Time Taken
PeterHopkins 2 months ago

Lovely trail with picturesque views!

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4h 50m Time Taken
MayP 2 months ago

I truly adore Opal Hills for its majestic views of symmetrical mountains and serene lakes.

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4h 45m Time Taken
Greenlife 2 months ago

I like a challenge. The nature is so alive, It's my medicine.

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3h 00m Time Taken
kathkirz2 4 months ago

Wow! The meadows up here are so beauitful! Not as auitable for young kids, but our older ones had a great time. It's a bit steep, so we took lots of breaks heading up.

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JMC 4 months ago

The first mile is very steep. Not impossible, just slow going. But once you break out into the open the views are tremendous. Absolutely stunning views at the top.

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Alex Samuel 4 months ago

Fabulous hiking destination. Enjoyed the open meadows, tall mountains and wildlife.

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Tomcote 4 months ago

My wife and I enojyed our adventure here. The scenery was simply breathtaking!

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romeoM 4 months ago

The views were stunning, enhanced by the sunny weather!

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hannahthorns 5 months ago

I can compare this hike to a vanilla ice cream in a snow cone. The views are sweet, and the atmosphere is cold. I love it.

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26 Comments Show all

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