Opal Hills

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
2.5-3.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
7.8 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
466 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.7
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Scenery from the Opal Hills hike in Jasper National Park

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.

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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 0.5 km, 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 for Opal Hills

  • 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.

Getting to the Opal Hills Trailhead

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).

Route Information

  • 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

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Opal Hills Reviews

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