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Lake O'Hara/Sunshine meadows with infant?

Lake O'Hara/Sunshine meadows with infant?

Old Jul 30th, 2003, 12:08 PM
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Doh
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Lake O'Hara/Sunshine meadows with infant?

I hear both of these areas near Lake Louise are beautiful and more or less require a bus trip in (with a reservation). If we are travelling with a baby should we just skip these areas, or is there a safe way to bring the baby on the bus? (We would have a car seat with us, but I'm not sure if that does us any good on the bus). Also, are the trails at Lake O'Hara even appropriate for the three of us to hike together, or are they fairly long, difficult trails?.
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 01:29 PM
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The bus from the parking lot to the Lake O'Hara hiker day shelter is a school bus. It has no seat belts. There is no place to attach a car seat that I know of.

The trails around Lake O'Hara are mostly steep upgrades except for two:
The walk around the lake is relatively flat, but not totally smooth. There are ups and downs over the rocks, with roots to trip over along other sections.

Part of the trail to Linda Lake is relatively flat, but none of the trails is a paved sidewalk.

The Big Larches Trail stumbles over larch roots for a major section, and the trail to Lake McArthur is steep in places, particularly the highline trail which requires some hand assisted scambling.

The trails to Lake Oesa and Opabin Lake are steep! In some places the Oesa trail is a series of stone steps up the rocks.
The only safe way to carry an infant or toddler would be in a backpack, or front snuggly pack, so you would have both hands free. I personally would not want to try the Oesa trail carrying 20 to 30 pounds of wriggling infant in my arms.

A very small child who can walk on his or her own should not be taken on most of those trails in my opinion.

There is enough to see in that area without putting the child at risk.

Emerald Lake is beautiful and most of the trail around it is very flat. The distance around the whole lake is at least 2 miles.

You can also view Takkakaw Falls from a flat trail. The trail along the Yoho River from the Takkakaw Falls parking area is flat for the first two miles and even then it is not rocky and steep until you get close to Twin Falls.

Lake Louise can be viewed from a paved area, and the trail along the north side of the lake shore is fairly flat for a short stretch.
The trail to Peyto Lake is paved, but up and down. You can get a great view of Bow Lake from the lake shore.


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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 05:24 AM
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Thanks, Bob! That's exactly the info. I was looking for. The baby is pretty small so we're planning to use a front pack most of the time, but I still would want to avoid very steep trails.
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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 01:59 PM
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The low line trail to Lake MacArthur is arguably easier than the high line trail, but my wife says it is not much better because there is a talus slope that you must negotiate.

I have seen a lot of children around the lodge, the alpine hut, and the campground, but most of them are able to handle the trails on their own.

I don't know now far up the Icefields Parkway you plan to drive, but nearer to Jasper, Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls have tour bus oriented viewing areas.

I think Maligne lake near Jasper has a good boat cruise and the boat is enclosed.

Save O'Hara for a later visit. The Lake MacArthur Highline trail is my favorite in the area.

Oesa requires a good pair of legs and some agility. People in good shape can do it easily, but it is steep in places.

Opabin Lake as far as the viewpoint called the Opabin Prospect is a little steep, but not rocky to the extent you have to scramble like you do on the MacArthur highline trail.
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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 03:43 PM
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We have been going to this area since our youngest son was in a backpack--when he was that small, we mostly stuck to the area around Lake Louise and the path around Emerald Lake. Really steep areas are hard with a 30 lb toddler in a backpack, though with a really small baby, you can do a little more in the way of incline as they are not as heavy and purposefully wiggly.

Keep hiking with your baby. Our sons are now 12 and 17 and we just returned from our 7th hiking trip in this area and they still love to go with mom and dad.
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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 05:27 PM
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I think that youngsters who are introduced right to the wonders of Yoho get bitten by the bug. That also applies to other national parks. Our son was 5 when we first went to Yellowstone. He recalls accurately a good deal of that trip. Now he goes back with his wife and the 2 boys.

They amused me when I was given directions to find to big bison, probably males. One was called Scruffy because he was shedding his winter coat; the other was Bruiser. Not sure I want to get too close to Mr. Bruiser to make positive identification.

We might have found them, but any of several of those big boys would have filled the bill.

Two weeks ago, the whole herd in Hayden Valley decided to cross the road.
One guy actually got out of his car and flapped his arms at them to make them go faster. Hmm. Good thing he was agile and near his car.
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