Hiking in BC can be very rewarding – especially if you take the trail to Lake Oesa in Yoho National Park.
If you want a short and easy hike that rewards with incredible mountain scenery and a turquoise coloured lake then look no further than the hike to Lake Oesa from Lake O’Hara.
It’s a straight forward 6.6 kilometre (4.1 mile) round trip hike with only 240 metres of elevation gain – providing of course you start at Lake O’Hara and you haven’t had to walk in from the parking lot. But that’s another story.
The trail to Lake Oesa is well signed and the trail itself is beautifully constructed. In places huge slabs of flat rock have been carefully laid to provide a fantastic surface for walking on.
At the end of your hike there’s a small concession where you can buy cold drinks, ice cream bars and other snack food items. Bring cash.
Here’s what you have to do if you want to hike to Lake Oesa or on any of the other outstanding trails around Lake O’Hara.
- If you have the money – and that’s only part of the equation – then you can try and snag a room or cabin at Lake O’Hara Lodge. It’s best if you’re very flexible. Request a booking six months out or phone them for a last minute cancellation.
- Book a bunk at the Elizabeth Parker Hut. You are encouraged to apply by lottery beginning at the end of October for the following summer. In mid-December bookings that haven’t been confirmed are available on a first come first served basis. Get on the phone the second they’re open!
- Try to snag a campsite. You can book these 90 days out beginning at 8 am by calling 1-250-343-6433. A friend and I tried for 30 minutes on two different occasions last spring and never got through. Try for mid-week or for some time in September when it might be a little less busy. You can stay a maximum of three nights. Only one tent per campsite is permitted and you can book no more than two sites.
- Your other alternative for a day hike is to try to book a seat on the bus. The first one leaves at 8:30am. Otherwise it’s a 12 kilometre walk up the road so hiking Lake Oesa becomes a little less easy. You can pay to take the bus back to the trailhead without making a reservation.
Have you been hiking in BC? Have you considered the trail to Lake Oesa in Yoho NP?
Other hikes in Yoho National Park you might enjoy:
- Hiking the Yoho Valley Trail to the Stanley Mitchell Hut
- Hiking in the Slendour of the President’s Range, Yoho National Park
- Hiking the Spectacular Iceline Trail near Field, BC
- A Daunting Hike to Abbott Pass Hut on the BC-Alberta Border