We have had a week of off and on clouds, rain, mist, snow, but finally on our fourth and final day hike in the Lake O’Hara region, Friday weather was dry, sunny, and overall stupendous. As you may recall, only 42 day hikers are allowed into the region each day to keep it pristine and lovely for generations. It is refreshing to be away from the crowds at Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in order to experience the beauty and awesomeness of nature. We are transported up the 11 kilometer (6.48 mile) road by the yellow limousines.
Buses to Lake O’Hara
We arrive by bus at the day shelter on the shores of Lake O’Hara.
Le Relais Day Shelter at Lake O’Hara
Lake O’Hara in early morning
Morning reflections at Lake O’Hara
Frosty trees as the sun comes over the cliff on the trail
Snack break on Opabin Plateau trail
Unnamed lake on Opabin Plateau
Opabin Plateau above Lake O’Hara
Mary Lake (left) and Lake O’Hara (right) taken from above on Opabin Prospect
Trail down from Opabin Prospect along the cliff
Lake O’Hara in the afternoon
Earlier in the week, we moved to Kicking Horse campground in Yoho for a couple of nights. We were lucky to receive a campsite right along the rushing Kicking Horse River – what a sound to listen to while falling asleep!
Our Kicking Horse campsite
Kicking Horse River by our campsite
The Kicking Horse campground was originally the campground for the workers who built the spiral tunnels for the trains traveling through the steep Kicking Horse Canyon.
We were lucky to see a long train going through the tunnels. Note the train going in the upper tunnel and the red engine coming out the lower tunnel in the photo below.
Train in the spiral tunnels
Kicking Horse river and valley in the early morning
We did a hike from Emerald Lake to Emerald Basin. It was a rather unremarkable hike except for the young couple from Boston who requested to join us. They were uncomfortable with the heavy vegetation on the trail including many types of berries – bears love berries! They were a delightful couple (a software engineer and a bio-medical research scientist) and full of energy.
Emerald Basin trail with our hiking companions from Boston
The other enjoyable feature of this trail was the marmots. On many trails we hear the marmots whistling and see them briefly, but once they hear us and before we can photograph them they run back into their holes. These marmots in the basin were smaller but willing to hang around to have their picture taken.
Marmot in Emerald Basin
Marmot in Emerald Basin
Mid-week we made a 334 mile round trip to Canadian Glacier National Park and Revelstoke National Park further west into British Columbia. We did not have time to do any hikes, but just saw these highlights.
Rogers Pass is in the middle of Glacier Ntl Pk and a high avalanche area. The trains run mostly underground through tunnels, but avalanche sheds are built in many places over the highway to keep Trans Canada #1 open.
Avalanche shed over the highway
The park service and the military partner to use 105mm Howitzers to break up pending avalanches to keep Highway 1 clear in winter.
105mm Howitzers to start avalanches before they block the highway
The town of Revelstoke was very quaint with several blocks of boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. We wish we had more time to explore it.
Grizzly bear statue family welcoming visitors to Revelstoke
Revelstoke, British Columbia
Mount Revelstoke is in the Columbia Mountains, not as high or dry as the Rockies. There is a rain forest zone and a snow forest zone.
Columbia Mountain chain from the top of Mt. Revelstoke
It was an interesting drive over and back through rain, sun, and fog.
We’ve posted on this blog today while listening to the MN Golden Gophers post a football victory! Go Gophers!