Back in July of 2018 we spent a fantastic few nights in the backcountry of the BC Rockies for Ryans birthday. We had booked three nights at Lake O'Hara in Yoho Provincial Park and spent it with our friends (@intrepidphotos) and their kids camped by the water.
Reserving this trip was hard! It usually books out within hours (that's how you know it's worth it, right?). When reservationed opened a few months prior we had four people with a total of 7 phone lines continuously calling the booking centre for hours. We eventually got through, thankfully, and were able to reserve the three nights.
When we arrived at the trailhead on day one we waiting for the bus to pick us up. Yes, you heard right, a bus that drives you the 10km into Lake O'Hara. This was great for us. It meant we didn't have any weight limits for our packs. So we packed luxuriously. We brought rum, lots of food, and birthday cake!
Having a bus to drive you in is also great in that it reserves your energy to do some of the hiking trails from the campground, which is good because we got straight into hiking as soon as the tents were set up.
Our first hike was to Oesa Lake; about a 2km hike to a beautiful blue lake. The kids had great fun climbing over boulders and finding slugs. After a coffee at Oesa Lake the others went back to camp while Ryan and I continued on to the Yukness Ledges Trail; a really beautiful trail with sweeping views of Lake Oesa and Lake O'Hara. Even in real life the view looked like a painting. I didn’t realise at the time how treacherous the trail was with it's narrow trails and steep drop-offs. When we reached the top it actually snowed on us. In the middle of summer it snowed!
That night, at 2am Ryan and @intrepidphotos went out to try and photograph the aurora. Unfortunately the elusive aurora didn't appear as predicted, but there was coffee, snacks and some very large rats to accompany them!
The next day was Ryans birthday so before we set out hiking we took the birthday cake down to the water. We wore party hats, lit the candles, sung happy birthday and then ate cake (a delicious rum and chocolate mudcake that I made) by the turquois blue water.
After cake we all set out hiking again (wearing party hats of course) and took some great group photos. Unfortunately I don't remember the name hike we did that day....Possibly the All Souls Alpine Route?... Maybe there was too much rum in that cake.
The next day Ryan and I hiked the Opabin Lake Trails. If we thought the views before now was stunning, this one was just unbelievable. The sky had cleared and we were treated to clear, uninterrupted views over Lake Ohara and the surrounding mountains. We stopped for a snack while Ryan took some photos and then decided we would head back and hike Linda Lake. Unfortunately, that clear sky didn’t last long and we ended up cutting our Linda Lake hike short and heading back to camp. On our return we pulled out the rum and poured ourselves a drink while we waited for the others. Apparently they had to hide under the rocks to avoid a hail storm.
On our last day Ryan and I decided to squeeze in one last hike before leaving. We packed up our tent and other gear and set off on the Lower Morning Glory trail, very fitting since it was a glorious morning. The trail meandered through wild flowers and grassy plains. It was a bit muddy in spots from yesterday’s bad weather, but beautiful nonetheless.
The Morning Glory Trail was a great way to finish off our trip before taking the bus back.
Lake O'Hara is such a special place. We made so many memories there. I really hope we make it back some day.
All images in this post were taken by and remain the Copyright of Ryan Sault unless stated otherwise.
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