Lake O'Hara All Souls Route
The All Souls Route at Lake O’Hara is one of the finest hikes in the Canadian Rockies. Crowds are kept at bay on this hike due to limited access to Lake O’Hara by bus. We love this walk!
To access this route, you must either hike in on an 11.0km access road, or make reservations on the Lake O’Hara bus through Parks Canada. These reservations fill up early, but cancellations happen – so always make sure to check in.
|When to do|
June through October
This trip can be done either clockwise or counter-clockwise. We recommend the counter-clockwise and will describe the hike this way. Starting at the Le Relais Day Shelter, continue up the road towards Lake O’Hara Lodge, passing it on a well-marked path towards West Opabin. A junction comes approximately 900m after Lake O’Hara Lodge for West Opabin. Take this route and pass Mary Lake on your right, which can be beautiful in the morning.
Ascend approximately 125m of elevation until you reach a grassy area known as Opabin Plateau. You’ll notice the All Souls Prospect Alpine Route connector coming in on your right from Schaffer Lake. From here, you can choose to visit Opabin Prospect by going left for a tremendous view or continue ahead for the Highline Trail.
The Highline Trail takes you along Opabin Creek and heads towards Hungabee Lake. Climb over a knoll and you are greeted with Opabin Lake fringed with peaks and fed by the Opabin Glacier. Continue your circuit and head back on the other side of the valley towards Yukness Ledge Alpine Route. This route can be challenging, as you pick your way through a boulder field while ascending. Continuously look out for the blue square with two yellow lines, which denote the Alpine Route. You’ll ascend to a path that hugs the Yukness Mountain and gives wonderful views. Remember to look back at where you’ve come from, as the scenery is exquisite in every direction.
As you round on the NW corner of Yukness Mountain, you’ll continue to ascend through a boulder section and pass several lovely lakes. If not windy, Lake Oesa is a wonderful place for a break.
From here, you can choose to head up to Wiwaxy Gap on the Huber Ledges Alpine Route, though this is much more exposed feeling than Yukness. We recommend descending on the Lake Oesa trail. Pass beside Lake Victoria, and then continue further down past Yukness Lake. Once down at Lake O’Hara you contour the lake and return to Le Relais shelter. Congratulations on completing one of the most beautiful trails in the Rockies, if not on earth.
Book your bus early, and check for cancellations.
Consider a stay at Lake O’Hara Lodge and spend several days in this beautiful area.
You can spend a few days either staying at historic Elizabeth Parker Hut or in the Lake O’Hara backcountry campground.
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