The Canadian Rockies is one of the most beautiful scenes in all the land. The emerald waters, the green forests, and blue skies! What more could you ask for? Around every corner there's an interestingmountain peak or yet another emerald lake.
With so many hiking trails to choose from, which is the best? The best hike not only in the Canadian Rockies but the best hike in the world, would have to be in the Lake O'Hara area. It's nothing like I've seen before. Not only is there beautiful Lake O'hara, but as you can see on the map below, there are several other lakes, streams, ponds, waterfalls etc. You have all these water sources surrounded by snow capped mountains, wildlife, forests, and my personal favorite, peace and quiet! Due to regulation of the area, it's very peaceful. Even though you come out with a bus load of people you will see very little of them on this circuit.
I would rate this hike difficult due to the elevation gain and the terrain in which you are traveling. The Lake O'hara area is limited to how many people can visit each day and reservations to reach the Lake O'Hara are made three months in advance. For more information Check out Parks Canada. With the proper planning and preparation you can enjoy this awesome wilderness. The image below is the route I mapped with my GPS. It took just over 6 hours to complete. It was not the most blistering pace because I was carrying a backpack full of gear and it included a stop for lunch. Below the map is a view from the trail.
Lake O'Hara is the best area I've ever hiked! I recommend this hike to anyone that is capable! Image opportunities are abundant, but the time of day is always difficult. The bus drops off and picks up at certain times. So unless you're camping for the night (which I was not) you will most likely be shooting in midday sun which is not ideal. A camping trip to this location is now on my must do list.