*** LOOK AT THE BUS SCHEDULE TO RESERVE YOUR SEATS WELL IN ADVANCE ON PARKS CANADA WEBSITE OR ADD AN EXTRA 11 KM WALK TO GET TO THE TRAILHEAD.
*** Bus available from June 16 till October 1 for $15/person (round-trip, as of 2017). Make sure to be there earlier and bring cash.
Completed on September 1, 2017 in dry conditions.
Edwards Rating: II (III) S S
3 to 5 hours
Elevation of 685 m NET, 734 m TOT & max 2692 m
Gear: Poles (every hike), helmet (every scramble), GPS device, etc.
***** This is a stunning easy scramble with optional moderate hands-on scrambling on those green piled up boulders on the way to and on the ridge. Views are exceptional! This is too bad that Parks Canada is controlling everything in that tremendous area starting with the bus ride that is so hard to get on…
Starting at the trailhead beside “Le Relais”, we followed the Lake McArthur trail up to Schaffer Lake. We took the left trail (High Level) along the lake and left the official trail there (GR452886) to go up a scree-rubble slope leading to a bowl. We kept going to the left to reach the col where we could see Lake McArthur for the first time. We turned left and scrambled up boulders with two trickier (more exposed) sections that could have been avoided using an easy trail on the left. Once we reached the ridge, we followed it to the summit cairn at GR459875 (again fun scrambling can be avoided but this time on the right). Views of the surrounding lakes, peaks and glaciers are absolutely stunning! This is one easy and quick ascent if you don’t have much time at Lake O’Hara. On the way down, we got back to the col and turned left (GR456881) following a good trail that soon disappeared and continued straight down to Lake McArthur. We took the Lake McArthur trail all the way back down to the trailhead from there.
From Lake Louise, continue onto Trans-Canada Hwy going slightly left to BC. About 10 km later, you will see an obvious sign for Lake O’Hara, turn left. The parking is going to be on your right after the railroad.
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