Scenery from the Opal Hills hike in Jasper National Park

Opal Hills hike

Jasper National Park
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Opal Hills hike

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

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
8.8 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

JMC 1 month 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.

10.0 Overall Rating
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LyleM 2 months ago

The beginning of the hike is very steep. Take the right path for a quicker climb. Once in the open, the views are breathtaking

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Chris Morgan-Smith 1 year ago

Not great views, very steep relentless uphill section, with little reward for effort. Too many mosquitos, but did manage to see some caribou.

4.0 Overall Rating
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3h 00m Time Taken
Samuel P 1 year ago

The Opal Hills are beautiful. The hike is really popular, but that's an amazing trail, you cannot expect it to be empty. Just enjoy the views and go early!

10.0 Overall Rating
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MountainPhoenix 1 year ago

The Opal Hills trail wasn't the best hike I've done in Jasper but it's a good hike and you can see quite a lot.

8.0 Overall Rating
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TheTick 1 year ago

yeah, opal hills were great, my wife enjoyed it as well. keeps reminding me we need to go back

9.0 Overall Rating
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4h 00m Time Taken
Wyatt Thomas 1 year ago

Wow, Opal hills is a very scenic hike, definitely worth it!

9.0 Overall Rating
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Lisa B 1 year ago

Opal Hills is such a beautiful hike

10.0 Overall Rating
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sammy 1 year ago

Great hike. Was not too long and we took the boat as well. It was a great day

9.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
4h 00m Time Taken
9 Comments

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