Lake O'Hara & Lodge

Aug 4th, 2008, 04:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 649
Lake O'Hara & Lodge

If you've been, is it worth the extra expense to get your own cabin vs. being in the main lodge & sharing a communal bathroom?

Also, do you think 3rd week in Sept
is way too early for much color?

Do you prefer to just take the bus & daytrip there, or...?
Not sure if I'm already too late to book a bus, or how that system works. Thanks!
Daydreamer is offline  
Aug 4th, 2008, 05:47 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,238
It depends what you like but the main lodge is very charming . Whatever you decide Im sure you will enjoy.
It is a worthwhile experience to stay at the lodge rather than just daytripping. There is nothing like the lake at night.
irecommend is offline  
Aug 4th, 2008, 06:52 PM
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Have you stayed in both sections of the lodge? (main blg plus a cabin)
I guess the cabins don't have fireplaces or much atmosphere but are supposed to be located more spectacularly?) Thanks!
Daydreamer is offline  
Aug 6th, 2008, 02:29 PM
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Anyone ever stayed in a Guide's Cabin at this lodge? They are duplexes, that unfortunately cost a bit more than the reg. cabins.
And are not set on the lakeshore from what I gather.

If anyone has, please share!
Daydreamer is offline  
Aug 6th, 2008, 03:25 PM
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I have been to Lake O'Hara Lodge twice. Once we (2) stayed in a lodge room and once in a cabin.

The cabin was fine and our view was incredible.

The lodge room was ok, but small.
The central bath was not a problem. I never had a problem finding a shower.

There were of course separate facilities for men and women.

Which did I prefer? The cabin.

The guide cabins are larger of course, but I don't think the extra expense justifies the extra size for 2 people.

Of course given the daily cost at O'Hara , one has to assess the overall value the stay.

The food was very good when we were there. And you can make your own trail lunch!!

I have also been there on day trips with the bus. You call a specific phone number at Yoho Park Headquarters which you can find on the Yoho National Park website.

The Lodge did not operate the Lake O'Hara bus the last time I was there; the service was turned over to another company. Why? I have no idea.

At any rate reservations are through Parks Canada.

bob_brown is offline  
Aug 7th, 2008, 01:11 PM
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Thanks, Bob! Truly appreciate it.

Actually, the Guide's Cabin is only $25/more but their rates are already so very expensive, that was just curious if they are very sub-par views & hence, esp. NOT worth it? (since the cabins run $200/more than the lodge rooms!)

They are described as being 'on a bench' above the lake, and comments from the front desk were that trees had grown up around them. They sold them as very private vs. the lakeshore ones which can get some traffic in front. However, I DO realize that traffic is extremely minor, so don't want to 'fall for' the very expensive cabin prices, if these ones truly are less nice than the lodge rooms. :-\ That's my dilemma now.

The original lakeshore cabin I'd hoped for, ended up being booked by the person who had it on hold. So, this is all that's left now.
(or a lodge room on their very last wknd...which might be too late for larch color?) Oct 3/4

Otherwise, this other cabin is available just a few days earlier.

Other option: Stay at Cathedral Mtn & take bus in one or two days.
Did you find it far nicer to just stay there vs. bus in? Or could we have an equally special time, regardless? Thanks again!
Daydreamer is offline  
Aug 7th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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I had a lake front cabin that gave us an unobstructed view over the lake and to the peaks.

I did not actually inspect the guide cabins for the view.

I do know this: The view from our porch was to die for. I don't see how a guide cabin could rival it because they are set back a little ways from the lake, IF (!) I remember correctly!!

A day trip can be rewarding if you are a sturdy hiker and can get your money's worth so to speak.

There are three really good routes without taking one of the high alpine routes, although one of them does involve a scramble over the rocks.

One: The Highline to Lake McArthur.
We went there very early in July (either July 1 or 2) and the ice cover on the lake was close to 75% although it was developing large open areas of very dark water.

I do not recommend the alternate low line trail. When you leave the lake you descend into a hole that is well below the Lake level and then you have to climb out of it.

The Highline is steep in places and it has one obstacle: A step up that is about 4 feet or so. I did it when I was 72, but I got up there ok. I had dirty pants, but I got there. Then some guy about 24 or so came along behind us and virtually got up with a standing high jump. Ahh, youth.

My other top favorite is the loop from O'Hara to Opabin Lake via the first trail up that you encounter going counter clockwise around the lake. From Opabin take the Yukness Ledge scramble toward Lake Oesa, and return to O'Hara Lodge via the Lake Oesa Trail.

The third one is the Ordaray Viewpoint trail. This trail crosses bear habitat and park regulations require that you travel with a group. These are self policing, and the time I tried it, the "group concept" was in effect for about 200 yards.

Of course if you are feeling very frisky you might see if the staff at the LODGE is holding their often annual sprint around the lake contest. The winner the year I was there did it in some breakneck time.
I would be dead of a broken neck if I tried to do what some of those kids did.

The winner was a girl who was a gymnast. She vaulted over the rocks like she was mounting the balance beam and then used some the tree limbs like the high bar on the uneven parallel bars. That way she could take a few short cuts that the others did not dare attempt. That of course touched off accusations (good natured) that she took unfair advantage. So the ground rule became that you had to touch both feet continually as you circled the lake. Wading was also not allowed.

The young lady who posted the best time to date was our server one night, and she was perhaps 5 feet tall, but a practiced eye could tell that her muscle definition was obvious.

I think some of the guys darn near suffered serious injuries trying preserve masculinity.

I am not sure what Bruce did to calm things down.

One of the funniest sights was the womanless wedding, which ended in a field hocky game played like ice hockey. Things were getting a little rough as the competition got more heated.

bob_brown is offline  
Aug 8th, 2008, 09:44 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 593
Daydreamer, early October will probably be good for larch colour... I drove past Banff and Lake Louise last fall on the 29th of Sept., and we could see all sorts of yellow up higher on the slopes.
krp329 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2008, 03:08 PM
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Thanks for the hike info, Bob &
thanks too krp for the color timing concern. Many say mid-Sept but we just have a hard time reaching that region by car 'til the very end of Sept, it seems. So, was just wondering if we'd miss the whole boat. (and also, if an opening is avail. at some point for early Oct at Lake O'hara...whether to gamble on it, or not). Thanks!
Daydreamer is offline  
Aug 9th, 2008, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The lodge does close in early October.

Were you thinking about Lake O'Hara for THIS year, 2008?? Good Luck.
bob_brown is offline  

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